I do believe I’ve finally sold Matt on the wonderfulness of a beach vacation. It only took 6 years of dating and a third wedding anniversary, but we’ve gotten there!! We spent our last 4 nights in the Bahamas on the Abaco islands on Guana Cay, staying at Oceanfrontier Hideaway in cottage #3 (serendipitously, one for each year of marriage). By night 1, he says, “I could get used to this.” And that is when victory was mine. Beach vacations for the win!
Getting there was no easy task — 2 flights, a taxi, a ferry, and a golf cart ride… But once we arrived it felt like time was put into slow motion, starting with our taxi driver insisting that we turn off our calendars for the next 4 days. It’s been a long time since that has happened — no where to be, no time schedule, no deadlines to meet.
We awaited our 5:30 ferry from Marsh Harbor to Guana at Curly Tails, on the second story outdoor porch, a palm tree for shade and some conch fritters and Kalik beer to pass the time and watch the lapping waves. Hello clearest, bluest waters I’ve ever seen, and that was without super vivid camera mode.
Maria met us on the dock in Guana with a golf cart. She gave us a quick tour of the island on the way to our accommodations. That consisted of pointing out the location of 2 bars, 1 restaurant, the guy with the necklaces on the side of the road, the grocery, the liquor store, and then the tour was done. What a simple, perfect little piece of earth.
Our cottage was a few turns down some sandy pathways off the main road. Go past the giant Poisonwood tree with the “do not touch” sign, and the old bulldozer that was brightly painted and covered in surf stickers, pulled off the road behind some palm trees and obviously unused for years, past the sign for Nippers bar, which we could already hear the music from, past the Old Guana Cay cemetery, and there we were.
The place was perfect – dense, jungly foliage and palms and lush flowers everywhere, and wooden boardwalks. Our cute little cottage had 3 bedrooms (one a loft) with wood paneling and tropical colors throughout, and four big adirondack chairs under a trellis porch, just waiting to be napped in. And the beach, which seemed to be ours alone for most of the trip, save for the giant pig roast party on Sunday, just one set of steep beach stairs away.
beach beach BEACH!!
bluest blue waters
3 year anniversary!
postcard from the island
exploring the beach at sunset. this rock was brutally sharp. it’s not easy being a model
Delta 4 rocket launch, as seen from the beach
moonrise over the beach
On our first night there, we drank a bottle of appropriately named Barefoot wine on the beach. The sun had gone down, and the moon had come up (name that song), when all of a sudden a giant red, then white streak went across the sky. If you’re a Wasilewski, and you’re half of bottle of wine deep, the first thing you yell out, naturally, is “UFO!!!” It was right overhead of us by then, we started saying our goodbyes to each other, when it suddenly gave off some sort of burst with a white trail of gas coming off, I swear it was straight out of the Apollo 13 movie. Or actually, it was real life space stuff happening right in front of us. We later consulted the Twitterverse, when my searching for Bahamas UFO yielded nothing, I searched some more and it turns out what we saw was the Delta 4 rocket (military communications) being launched from Cape Canaveral. sooooo cooooool. Wish I got more than blurry iPhone pics. Maybe that was the fault of the wine though.
this is the stuff. i kind of ate it with a spoon for breakfast everyday
sea. conch. feet. interestingly enough, you should not try to hold up a conch shell to your ear to try and hear the ocean. the sound is there, but then gross, hot conch juice comes pouring out on your clothes and smells so bad that it makes you gag. watch out for that.
sittin on the dock of the bay
i so wanted to do an Ariel on this rock (fans of Disney’s The Little Mermaid would understand, skip ahead to 1:40)
palmy reflections. i had to move Matt’s face around a bunch to get this shot perfect like it is. all in a day’s work
On our first full day, we went on a snorkel boat trip aboard the Isabella with our capitan Troy, Colin, a guy doing a scuba dive whose name I did not catch, and Dave and Kate from Florida. We snorkeled in 2 awesome spots for a few hours, and saw some grouper, a ginormous sting ray, HUGE sea turtles, lots of little crazy neon fish that I couldn’t begin to identify, hard and soft corals… but the highlight by far, and I mean BY FAR, was the Baracuda. Troy pointed him out for us, and we’re all watching this crazy big baracuda slowly swim by, he’s kinda looking at me and Matt, but not really all that interested. And then he SUDDENLY turned sharply towards Matt. It was so great. Then all I know is there was a lot of bubbles and back-paddling, and Matt was already far, far away in another universe. Wish I had sprung for the underwater camera, that would have been in the top 3 family videos ever. The rest of the time I spent looking for lost treasure chests, but unfortunately did not see any.
matt’s hand is ginormous. but we knew this
i kind of want to meet this person who lives here
palm tree. you can never have enough photos of palm trees
The rest of our days were spent lounging on the beach, exploring the coral and rock formations, walking along the sand, napping (Matt to me: “I never knew you took your napping so seriously” the things you learn after 3 years), reading (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society-weird title but best book I’ve read in a long time), laying in hammocks, drinking the red frozen drinks, eating ALL the conch fritters and fresh fish, exploring on bikes, taking millions of photos (film to be developed), picking out future beach houses we are going to buy (me), petting our friend Eddie cat, and just generally relaxing as much as humanly possible.
i could become a full time hammocker, I believe
red drinks at Grabber’s. we were warned about these, multiple times.
One of us is a hopeless romantic, and one is just practical. You decide:
me – “Hey we should write a message in our wine bottle and throw it out to sea.”
matt – “but it’ll just wash back up”
me – ohhh come onnnn
matt – “what would we even write in there?”
sippin + biking
hiiiii Eddie cat
pretty red Bahamian flowers
Though the Bahamian bugs may have gotten the best of us, and our backs are quite sunburned, and we had too much rum, WE WILL BE BACK SOON BAHAMAS!!
We spent a long New Years weekend wandering the gorgeous, cobble-lined streets of Savannah, GA. Though our original travel plans called for the sun and beach in the Bahamas, one US Airways cancelled flight (and THE WORST customer service EVER), changed all that. One of the downsides, I suppose, of choosing a super-remote destination (with a limited ferry schedule as well) is that you can’t necessarily get an immediate replacement flight there. We would have had to wait an extra 48 hours to reschedule, but by that point we’d dealt with too many rude, unhelpful, and just plain meanie-head US Airways employees, so we didn’t feel like letting them have our money anyways. And, rather than cut an already quick trip in half, we decided to make the best of it at the last minute, and headed south via Amtrak instead. Unpack bathing suits and sundresses, repack jeans, boots, and sweaters, and we were off.
Savannah is simply beautiful: the lush park squares, quaint old houses, stories of ghosts and hauntings, horse carriages, friendly people, amazing food, and southern drawls. I was smitten. Trip highlights: walking along River Street and watching the cargo ships come in, an amazing dinner at Noble Fare and their little kitchen under the staircase, a leisurely 2-hour bike tour of the city, watching the Redskins dominate the Cowboys and win the NFC East on an outdoor large-screen tv (with other Skins fans!!), eating all. the. pralines., napping in the sun in Forstyhe Park, wandering around out under the Talmadge Memorial Bridge to take pictures, singing along to Simple Man and Free Bird with the live band in City Market after midnight on New Years, watching fireworks out our hotel window, touring the Bonaventure Cemetery on Jan 1, and watching the world go by on the long train ride home… Also, adding to my reading list – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – anyone have this book I can borrow or trade for?
spanish moss, so beautiful
taking pictures in the alley
left our signed bottle at World of Beer, “no little plans”
I FINALLY got my film back from my trip to Cali with Jill!! I love the colors and tones in these shots. Still need to keep working on the focus issues though. Sometimes I think maybe my eyes are to blame. It always LOOKS in focus when I’m taking the picture.
About halfway through the trip, I got to my last roll, I remember going into this little supply store in Death Valley and asking if they had any film for sale. They had everything else known to man, so I figured I’d just ask. The guy looked at me blankly, then sneered, and told me that “no one uses film anymore.” I mean, I get it, most people use digital, but he didn’t have to be such a jerk. WELL HERE’S MY FILM, you stupid idiot!!!
going going back back to cali cali
October 12th, 2012
I slacked a bit on posting our left coast trip photos, but here they are. These are all the lazy Instagrams anyways… I shot 3 rolls of film while I was gone, but that takes me even longer to get to, soooo until then… Just enjoy these camera phone pics. I should probably turn one of our rooms into a darkroom and learn how to develop film myself. Yeah, that’s a good idea for future home project. Who needs extra bedrooms anyways?
Well, what to say. To put it in Jill’s terms, the trip was epic. This country is humongous. I feel a little ashamed that it has taken me so long to get out west, and I saw only a fraction of it. Must. go. back. soon.
There were many highlights — Big Sur is an incredible drive, everyone should do it at some point in their lives. Around every turn we just went, “WOW. wow. WOW!” Pfieffer Beach was incredible — the water crashing through the big hole in the rocks, and the gigantic seaweeds washed up on the sand looking like something from an alien horror movie…
The second night, we’re gathering up our gear before heading out to camp, I’m putting on chapstick, Jill is just staring at me blankly, I say, what’s wrong? and look at her confusedly. You know you’re just making yourself bear bait, right? I didn’t know bears can smell chapstick, and that is crazy.
Then, strapping our gear on with some bungee cords like a bunch of amateurs (note to self, buy a backpack), and walking out to our campsite in Sequoia National Forest and finding our private overlook at Panther Gap, hoping my limbs wouldn’t suddenly spaz out on the top of the rock ledge, and camping under the stars, which are truly infinite.
Are you awake? … Yeah. WIDE.
Eating Ramen for breakfast like it was the best food I’d ever had, and then spotting a bear from the safety of our car and yelling AWWW BEAR!!!, when just 5 hours before I couldn’t sleep a wink for fear of a bear mauling me in our tent in the open.
Watching the sun set over the Pacific for the first time in Morro Bay, staying in crappy motels without AC, eating beef jerky and dried mangoes from a roadside stand, all the kind and corteous roadside workers (“you chickees look like trouble!”), hiking up to Moro Rock– the long way, SEQUOIAS!!! they are incredible, each and every one, every time, over and over.
WOW!!! Look at that!! .. ok, go, keep driving.
Then we made it to Death Valley, which was yet another indescribable place. Getting out of the car to walk around on Artist’s Drive was the best decision we made. You can see some crazy things from your car, but to BE IN IT was another story. Talk about feeling like a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things, those mountains are good at making you feel so tiny. We camped at a remote site just south of Stovepipe Wells. Jill insisted on putting the tent back off and away from the campsite proper (you know, where the coyotes roam around), but I found that enough red wine will help anyone forget the things that lurk at night. In the morning, on the way to TOUGH MUDDER, we poked around in a Ghost Town called Rhyolite at dawn. There are many spooky things in the desert, and if you ever wanted to torture Jill you could drop her off in a place like that – full of abandoned buildings and remnants of the past.
VIVA!!!! Las Vegas was the final stop, and Matt met us out there. It was a shocking contrast to go from a night of starry skies and canteens of water to the bright neon lights and martinis with Pop-Rocks on the rim. Hiking boots and high heels. I’ll take it both ways. Thanks for letting me join you on your adventures, Jill. May you be lucky enough that I never get around to compiling all the videos I took of your car singing skills.
Our road is like a crazy zone. They are replacing the water pipes and generally making a huge mess of everything, eveywhere. The house has been shaking non-stop and there is a constant clashing and clanging. It’s a GREEEEAT backdrop for getting work done at home. Bowser likes it though because it’s like his own personal obstacle course when we go for walks. Big dirt piles and gravel mounds, all sorts of things to smell, and construction workers to say hi to. I haven’t lost him down and trenches, yet.
Other than that, we’ve both been working our arses off. Too much work. My weeks either seem to be 20 hours or 80 hours, no middle ground. If all my clients could have a little get together and disperse their projects a bit, THAT WOULD BE GREAT. But, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! On Monday I’ll be out in sunny CA to meet Jill and continue with her on her epic roadtrip. If you haven’t read her blog yet, you must. There are some seriously enviable pictures and things going on in her life right now!
We will be meeting in San Fran, pit-stopping in Monterey, then driving down the coastal highway through Big Sur. Then, heading east through Sequoia National Forest and Death Valley. Then, just outside Vegas, in Beatty, NV (which I cannot wait to see) Jill will be participating in a tough mudder. I thought about signing up as well, but then realized I’d be much better volunteering to give people buzz cuts and mullets before the start of the race. Not yet sure if this pertains to Jill or not. Wahoo! Finally, we will be staying two nights in Vegas, where Matt will be meeting us and hopefully keeping us in line. I cannot wait to get out there and enjoy a break and overdose on gummy bears!!! YAYAYYYY.
And the last bit of news is that baby countdown is officially on!!!! Any day/week now I will be an aunt!!! I can’t wait to hear about my new nephew (or niece), though I’m guessing nephew.
C & O Canal Bike Trip and Lockhouse Tour, 2012
September 4th, 2012
This weekend we went biking along the C & O Canal path with a bunch of friends, staying at Lockhouse 10 and Lockhouse 28 along the way. We left DC on Friday evening with Sandy, Olly, and Josh, and did a short 12 miles out to our first stop at LH 10 for the night. It had AC and running water and a sweet back porch with rocking chairs. We had sandwhiches and gin and tonics and cupcakes (somewhat smushed) for dinner, then walked down to the river to try and catch a glimpse of the full blue moon through the tree cover.
On Saturday morning, Ty, Greg, and Val joined us for the next 40 miles out to LH 28 in Point of Rocks, MD. We made good timing and stopped a couple times along the way — to see the river at Great Falls, to have some lunch at a campsite, to fill our camelpacks and bottles at the water pumping stations along the route. Around 4:30ish in the afternoon, we arrived in Point of Rocks and got unloaded for our second night – no running water or electricity, just a few trundle beds and a roof – our “stone tent” as one of the C & O Canal guides called it. We relaxed for a few before setting off in search of some well-deserved pizza and beer in town. We were all majorly hungry after 40 miles.
That night, Olly made us a campfire and we made s’mores and drank Natty Bohs – the perfect kinda-camping experience.
On Sunday morning, we were up bright and early and hitting the trail homeward. It rained a bit on the way, but we made even better timing than on the way out since we were going slightly downhill, and all of us eager to get home to showers. I was nervous about trying to make the whole 54-ish miles home in one day since I have never biked that far at once, but somehow I made it and my legs did not even fall off. Wahoo! I think we will need to make a repeat of this trip again soon!
Matt’s bike, fully loaded and ready to leave!
just a few miles out of Georgetown
the state of the cupcakes upon arrival, but this did not stop us from eating them
we’re baaaaackkk from Buenos Aires
August 24th, 2012
You might have thought you had gotten rid of us, but we’re back! We spent the past 9 lovely days tromping around Bueonos Aires, Argentina. To make a major understatement, it was an amazing trip! (bonus: escaping broiling DC summer weather for the much more appealing boots-jeans-and-light-sweater attire, oh yeah!). We spent our first 3 days staying at Hotel Babel in San Telmo. Highly recommend! We had a cute, high-ceilinged room right off of the inner courtyard and the people there were awesome. We quickly learned that breakfast (and most meals) come with dulche de leche (a milky caramel) spread, so delcious, so I jumped right into the practice of spreading it on everything from fruit to toast to steak. Ok, I didn’t put any on my steak, but I considered it.
Our first days were spent getting our bearings. All the maps we came across were of various orientations, and rarely north, so I gave up right away and left the navigating to Matt. We walked everywhere — around the shops and restaurants at Puetro Madero, across the Calatrava bridge, around Plaza San Martin, to see the obelisk on Avenida 9 de Julio (not as impressive as the Washington Monument, sorry Argentina), through the antique markets and shops in San Telmo, to the Ferrocarrill Museum (we actually almost got ran over by a bus on our way here, like, nice knowing you, reallyclose), along the crap shops on Calle Florida, and so much more. There were many pit-stops for espresso and cappuccino and croissants. I realized my 3 years of high school Spanish was pretty worthless, as I was too afraid to attempt to speak it much, and the talking was WAY too fast for me to understand. We did quickly learn though how to say “la cuenta, por favor” for the “check, please.”
One thing that was both confusing and disappointing was the money. Lots of places claimed to take credit cards according to the symbols in the windows, but then they just didn’t. At all. Also, our first few meals we left tips on credit cards. Or at least we thought we did, they way you normally add a tip here. Because there was a little line on the bills that said “tipo.” But we also learned that you just can’t do that… you have to leave tips in cash. So by the end we finally just realized you need to carry cash everywhere. It was just much easier.
On our fourth day, we took a Pullman bus 5 hours outside the city to a tiny town called Tapalque. The Retiro bus station in BA is kind of like another universe, but that is a long story for another time. We managed to make it to our destination, and enjoyed watching the Argentinean countryside go by. Many of the fields were flooded out due to all the rain they have been getting. Lots of cows and horsies and trees, and all flat landscape for the most part. We made several stops in other little towns on our way. It was an eye-opener for sure. Dirt roads, lots of stray dogs, tiny yards, water-collectors on the rooves, people bicycling. The homes were so much denser than you find here, even for a small town, lots of people seemingly living right on top of each other.
When we arrived in Tapalque, we were picked up by the folks from the Estancia La Margarita. One of the girls was from Germany, but luckily spoke great English, and was volunteering at the estancia for a few weeks. We arrived there just as it was getting dark, so we didn’t get to see much of the grounds on the way in. We were welcomed with a delcious spread of tea and bread and cake, and shown to our cute little room (with fireplace!), just off the main shared room of the house. It was so cozy! That evening, it began to storm, the rain poured, the lights even went out briefly, but we enjoyed drinking wine and talking with our hosts. Later, we were served the most delcious homemade dinner of salad, bread, steak, potatoes, and dulce-de-leche for dessert.
In the morning, and for the next two days, IT POURED. We were basically confined to the house, no horseback riding We spent the time reading (I started and finished Hunger Games that day) and relaxing, drinking red wine, eating more amazing home-cooked meals, and learning to play Argentinean cards. In the afternoon it stopped raining long enough that we could take a quick walk through the fields. We borrowed some boots and strolled around with Lucas, one of the three house doggies, and went to see the cows, horses, and pet ostriches that belonged to the estancia. I was disappointed at first with the weather, but in the end it was a really nice break, super-relaxing, and the estancia couldn’t have been more accomodating. I would love the chance to go back in the summer…
On Saturday we made the return bus trip back into the city. Our final stay was at Art Hotel in Recoleta. We really liked this hotel too — there was a great gallery space downstairs and our room was cozy here too — really high ceilings and a big curved wooden door. We got in after dark, and spent that night again getting our bearings in a new part of town. I think we preferred it here. It seemed a bit cleaner, more put together than San Telmo, and the sidewalks were slightly less broken and crazy. On Sunday, we perused the market in San Telmo. It was wild. Extensive doesn’t even begin to describe… Everything you could possibly think of for sale. We had beer and cheese for breakfast that day and people-watched, it was finally sunny out too! There were people doing tango performances in the street. Matt bought a wallet and a new red placemat/mouse pad thing for his desk. We wandered and wandered, down through all the market stalls, then along the parks and plazas along Avenida del Libertador. We took lots of pictures of the Floralis Generica (giant flower) sculpture and layed on the grass and sunbathed — there were tons of people out and about, it was wonderful.
One of our favorite meals of the trip was at Don Julio in Palermo Soho. We had giant steaks and a bottle of malbec (ordered off the iPad menu list, so hip). Afterwards, we signed our bottle “love from Washington, DC” with the sharpie they provided, and got to add it to all the other 1000s of signed bottles that lined the walls of the restaurant. We wandered over to check out Plazoleta Julio Cortaza. For DC comparision, it kind of had an Adams Morgan feel to it, maybe slightly classier, but there were tons of bars and restaurants around the square. Another interesting place to people watch, especially at night.
We spent our final day walking around to all the shops in Palermo. We had coffee in a cute little bookstore that felt like Kramers here at home. I drooled over tons of shoe stores, and then found some cool alley ways that were all painted and muraled over. Matt took a bunch of pics of me against all the brightly painted walls in this part of town. Excited to get them back once our film is developed (I dropped 6 rolls in the mail today!!) In case you thought this wasn’t a lot of photos here…
Now we’re back in DC, happy to have slept in our own bed last night and happy to see Bowser again!
We spent the past few days relaxing with family at Rehoboth Beach. It was a really nice getaway and a great change of pace to see fireworks on the beach after spending the last several 4th of Julys in DC. The weather was hot and sunny almost the entire time and the ocean was perfect for cooling off. We did lots of walking, ate ice cream every day (including some made with our handcranker!), fed the turtles and fish in Silver Lake, visited the farmers market, window shopped along the boardwalk, ate too much taffy, lounged in the sand to watch beachfront fireworks, took a morning yoga class on the beach, and just had a generally great time decompressing. Our stay ended up being extended a few days due to Bowser’s unfortunate visit to the Animal Emergency Hospital. We found out the hard way that Bostons don’t make great beach dogs after he came down with puppy pnemonia due to water in his tiny lungs. It was a bit of a scare for us, and we felt like bad irresponsible parents, but luckily he is on antibiotics now and seems to be making a full recovery. He just looked like he was having such a fun time playing on the beach with Tiki and chasing waves that we didn’t realize he was taking on quite a bit of salt water. Lesson learned on that one.
Now we’re back in DC, unpacking and getting life things back in order, ie laundry and emptying sand out of everything. I keep eyeing up the fudge I brought home for Dad, trying not to open it before I can give it to him
check out the huge turtle in the center of the pic! that guy was ENORMOUS
We just got back from a 4-day visit to Iowa to attend Matt’s Grandpa’s burial and spend some time with family. Trip highlights: stopping in Pella for Dutch letters at Jaarsma Bakery, taking a long walk at the Vanderlinden farm at sunset, Matt’s first motorcycle ride, visiting the Historical Museum open house, an early morning Flower Power 5k race in Des Moines (I think we had the largest family of participants there!), walks around the square in Centerville, ice cream, poking around in Possum Lodge, reading on the patio swing, the storm clearing and the sun emerging right as the burial ceremony began, playing Horse in the park in Confidence, a late night bonfire with S’mores and scary stories, taking over a whole row at Sunday morning church, and an intense game of Dominoes with cousins. good times!
bike art in Des Moines
decisions, decisions at Jaarsma Bakery in Pella
Tulip Time in Pella
the Vanderlinden Farm
Uncle Steve giving a motorcycle lesson on the farm
Roselana looking cool and tough
Seth’s purple ride!
pretty sure this was my shot since it’s going in
crazy clouds after a summer storm
a sale in Centerville
bonfire! and a small sliver of the moon
sunrise on the way to Des Moines for the 5K race = sooo early
Howdy-ho. We spent our long weekend in the mountains of VA with 6 of our good friends, Adam & Anna, Keith & Brigid, Mike & Lindsey, (and Bowser and Obi dog) from DC. My grandparents built a cozy little cabin on Hightop Mountain, just east of Shenandoah National Park (and Skyline Drive) — David and Kristy lived there for several years, and my parents will soon live there as soon as they sell their house, which goes on the market VERY soon. We headed out early on Friday afternoon and got to enjoy some time away from the city. Traffic was relatively light getting there, and we found a great little drive-thru ice-cream place (Moo Thru = genius) that seemed to make the trip go by even faster.
On Saturday morning we drove to Massanutten to go on a 7-mile canoe adventure up the Shenandoah River, which we learned is a tributary of the Potomac and flows northeast. We also learned that the water was unseasonably high right now, which allowed us to cruise along quite nicely for the first half of the journey with minimal paddling. For the second half of our route, the water stilled a bit and required some team paddling work. Matt and I are about as compatible together in a canoe as we are when we drive places together (mostly argueing over who is not navigating correctly), but we managed to get it together enough to get through some wimpy little rapids. It was a scorching hot day, so I jumped out of the canoe for a bit and just floated, cold but refreshing. I even managed to get back into the canoe with little problem. A few 100 yards later, Matt took a dip in the water. Unfortunately when he pulled himself back into the canoe, we tipped ourselves over, filled completely with water, and had to swim to the cow-manure filled shores to dump out the water and right ourselves once again. Thank goodness there weren’t any cows at that particular spot, as there were elsewhere along the river, because those suckers were looking pretty hot and ornery standing around in the sun. It was a great little trip though and probably all the more memorable for the tipping incident. Thankfully, we left our cameras behind and there is no photo evidence of this part of the trip. Had we brought them, they’d have been completely water-logged…
That afternoon, we headed back to the cabin in time to watch the sun go down, play some bocce in the driveway, and grill up a feast of hamburgers and sausages, bacon-wrapped asparagus, sweet potatoes, and grilled corn, all on our tiny little charcoal grill. It was an amazing feast, our friends know how to cook! We stayed up that night playing Skill Roll (with the added challenge of obstacles) and telephone pictionary, where some infamous sketches were drawn, such as Brittany on the RV, which later turned into a runaway baby.
On Sunday morning, a brave few of us (me, Matt, Keith and Brigid) hiked a little ways up the mountain road with Bowser and Obi in tow. The dogs played, wrestled, and ran most of the way up, and quickly tired themselves out on a hot morning. We saw lots of bugs, wildflowers, and trees and I wore David’s redneck orange hunting hat, just one of the many treasures we found at the cabin.
Around lunchtime, we ventured 45 minutes south to Charlottesville for eats at Miller’s Restaurant, which is apparently (cool factoid alert) where Dave Matthews used to work. We ate seafood po-boys and had some beers and then wandered around to the shops. It’s such a cute little town and wish we could have spent some more time perusing, so hopefully we can make it back soon. But we had a timed tour reservation to make at Monticello, so we headed onward.
Monticello was pretty impressive to me. They tour was quick and felt a little rushed, probably since it was crowded for a holiday weekend, but I learned a lot about Jefferson and the most important take-home of the trip was his ingenius dumb-waiter system that allowed wine to be brought up from his cellar to the side of the fireplace. Matt and I need to get on that soon for our house – both the wine cellar and the dumb-waiter system, I love it. I also appreciated learning about the on-going nature of Jefferson’s architectural designs, house-building, book collecting, and education in general. He seems like he was a pretty cool person to have had a glass of wine with by the fire. After the house part of the tour, we wandered around the beautiful flowers, gardens, and his memorial gravesite.
On Sunday night, we stayed up until the wee hours learning and playing Settlers of Catan, which is my new favorite game and, like Lindsey, I want to begin forcing all my other friends to learn it so we can play it all the time. It requires lots of beer, bargaining, luck, and strategy. A great end to the day, and a great end to the trip. Feels nice to get away sometimes.
this is a real cool moth we saw on the wall at the cabin
this is one of the two bears we saw on the trip… the other one was a little brown cub that was running across Rt 33 a good ways behind our car as we were driving… I’m sure it’s momma bear was not far behind, but we didn’t see her
*not pictured: the 3 foot black snake we found chillin’ on the deck at the cabin. i might have tried to take a photo of it if I wasn’t busy running away from it like a big weenie.