Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Hello from Vacationland! We're trying a new thing this year. We took off three whole weeks from work with no real plans other than: see friends, camp, and get some rest.
I'd like to report that Week One was a success. We started the week with lots of restful nothing, followed by my 31st birthday (wooooooo, the big three-one!), followed by some more relaxing, and then a weekender to see some friends in Virginia.
In Virginia we camped with friends on the Eastern Shore, alternately roasting in the sun, swimming in the Chesapeake Bay (maybe not the healthiest bay to swim in, but it felt goooood), and chowing down seafood at the greatest gas station/restaurant combo I have ever had the good fortune to patronize. Please please, when you next visit Virginia's Eastern Shore, eat at Stingray's and bring me back some coconut custard pie. At Stingray's they can't even spell unpretentious, and man was it good. I think I'd better crack open a beer right now so I can toast them.
Right, so the friends we were visiting in Virginia: it was Nick & Jess & Violet! Hoorah! Somehow we forgot to take any pictures until after leaving their company on Monday, but that's just because we were having too much fun, even with 100 degree weather and a constipated toddler in tow. Nick & Jess live on the edge of a funny colonial village in Virginia. I have been friends with Nick & Jess for about ten years now, but haven't seen them as much in the last few years. In fact, the last time we saw them, Jess was just a couple of weeks from giving birth to Violet, who is now three years old and my new best friend. I have always loved and admired Nick & Jess as people, as writers, and as incredibly strong and loyal friends, but now I get to admire them as parents, too.
It was such a pleasure to spend a few days with a family that is not only loving and committed, but wide-open and honest with each other. Violet is also the most agreeable and well-behaved three year-old I've ever met. She says "okay" to pretty much anything she's asked to do, eats what she's given and really doesn't seem to be too interested in watching TV. The kid is a wonder, even when she's not quite at her best (like when she reallly needs to take a poo but it won't happen). Hopefully Poo Cat (formerly known as Socks) will help this little episode come to a successful close very soon.
After a weekend of camping with my old friends and their daughter, my new best friend, we took off Monday to see the archaeological excavations at Jamestown, then took the ferry across the James River to Scotland, VA and slooooowly wound our way home along backroads through southside Virginia, into NC.
We came home stinky but refreshed. Today we've been cleaning and reorganizing the house like crazy. Later this week we'll head out for a backpacking trip in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest... but I'll save that for the Dispatch from Week Two.