Spent the day packing for our trip to the Midwest. I also spent some of the day looking at my Panda Planner that arrived yesterday, becoming excited at the possibilities. Am I finally going to become organized? Will I be able to keep it up on vacation? Of course — I’ll have all the time in the world; I’ll be on vacation after all…
We spent the past eight days settling back into our normal routines. Dean working long hours, me puttering around the house. There were a few delights though:
- Getting texts from Clare on her westward train trip — the photo at the top is from her trip from somewhere in the Midwest.
- Hello Fresh meals. The buffalo chicken was really good.
- Atypical — we really like that Netflix show and [gasp!] sometimes watch more than one episode a night!
- Weeding the wildflower garden. I finally figured out what was a weed and what was a wildflower and pulled up the weeds. Unfortunately I accidently pulled up some phlox so I put it in a small bud vase (actually old medicine bottle) and took a photo of that. I also cut some black-eyed Susan. (photos below)
- Organizing — I seem to be in an organizing groove and have gone through a few boxes that were cluttering up my study. I think this will last, as long as my languishing stays away.
- Sleep — I’ve gotten some really good sleep lately and only twice neglected to sleep through the night.
- This blog — after this post I will be caught up.
- Making arrangements to visit people on our trip to the Midwest — I’m lunching with two favorite cousins, we’re meeting up with family friends (and showing Alex the alpacas) and visiting with our nephew, Danny and his family.
- Talking to Clare on her actual birthday.
We had a few days left with Clare after our return from Lake Gaston. They were generally delightful — being with Clare is almost always delightful.
For dinner one night Dean and Clare made a vegetarian version of pasta carbonara which was tasty.
Clare found delight in some scratch-off art cards I’d bought for the engagement party. One night she sketched ghosts of friends and family on them. They are delightful.
This afternoon we dropped Clare and Pete off at the train station for their journey west.
We said goodbye to Lake Gaston this morning and headed home. It’s always nice being back home after a trip and today was no different.
Since the pontoon boat went back yesterday we had some time on our hands. Clare’d expressed a desire to visit The Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum in the nearby town of Littleton, NC, so we went. It was interesting and the owner was very nice. We only saw two rooms, I think there has been more rooms open in the past, but it was something to do. I didn’t realize that Bigfoot was not limited to the PNW.
After the museum we went to a state park where Bigfoot had been sighted. We didn’t see Bigfoot.
On the way back to the cabin we stopped at an abandoned plantation that was more creepy than the museum.
Finally we got ready for Clare’s early birthday celebration, had cocktails, ate dinner and celebrated Clare.
Andrew, Alex and Bennett (Clare’s friend from high school) arrived Monday night. I stayed up just long enough to welcome them and show them their rooms.
Because each day was similar, I’m grouping the delights together.
The pontoon boat was possibly the highlight of the trip. I think Dean took the crew out twice a day most days (Rupert, Chum, and I went out with them on Thursday). The kayaks were also a big hit; he Airbnb had two and Dean brought his two. We also used the fire pit. It was delightful watching everyone have so much fun.
Fire Pit Night
Things that Float
Rupert and Chum go boating
After a rough start, today became delightful. Dean figured out how to get the pontoon he rented to the dock of our property (not an easy task with no Internet or GPS). I drove him to the gas-station-convenience-store-boat-rental-place-that-had-internet (hereafter called the marina) and watched while he learned to drive the pontoon. Then I drove back to the cabin and waited for him to show up at the dock. It took a while but he eventually arrived.
Once I knew for sure that I would not have access to the Internet for the whole week, I took it in stride and decided to devote my free time to reading. I’d loaded a few books on my Kindle and brought a few physical books. I chose to read Hoover the Talking Seal by Jeremy Burgoyne first because I’d bought it during the first part of the pandemic and knew Jeremy was wondering why I had not let him know I’d finished it.
Later that afternoon I went on a pontoon ride with Dean. It was relaxing. This was shaping up to be a relaxing, Internetless week full of reading!
I also explored the yard of our Airbnb and disturbed a snake that I found out later was probably a copperhead.