eimarra: (Default)
Laundry, of course, took precedence, as it would be crazy to try to pack enough stuff for two weeks. At least with the fees for checked bags.

Sunday night, the family drove from Grass Valley down to Oldtown Auburn to have dinner at the Auburn Alehouse, which occupies the space that used to be the Shanghai bar & restaurant, a fairly notorious dive when my MIL was growing up. I had the hard apple cider that they had on tap; my husband had their draught flight (3 oz. of all eight of their beers on tap), followed by a pint of their brown ale. (He also bought a growler of their Rye-nocerous PA to go.) After that, we left the kids with his parents and headed to Sac. He's teaching there this week, and the hotel he's staying at is the same rate single or double occupancy, so we figured I'd stay over Sunday night -- our first night alone in just over nine years!

Monday, he headed off to work and I read until the in-laws and kids arrived to pick me up. We lunched at Mel's Drive-In, then headed to William Land Park. We'd planned on doing the zoo, but instead we did Fairytale Land, which gave the kids lots of exercise. (The only way to get the girl away from the first slide was the promise of another -- and there are several!)

Tuesday was more of a chilling day: grocery shopping, kids playing in the wading pool, barbecued ribs for dinner. Oh, and more reading plus a new character showed up in my head.

Wednesday, the in-laws drove the kids and me up to Reno so we could spend some time with my mom. The kids really enjoyed her Peanuts DVDs, and I drove her around to do some errands. Friday, the in-laws came back to pick up the kids, so Mom and I had some time to ourselves -- part of which time involved a trip to the Walmart near her that's closing (they're building two new ones in the area), where I discovered that the fabric, being on clearance, was 50% off. Mom will be shipping the fabric to me at home: stuff for kids' clothes and pajamas, skirts for Mom and me, quilting material ...

Friday evening, my husband arrived from the workshop he'd been running that week, and we went to the pub mixer for my reunion. Had lots of fun reconnecting with people. Several were disappointed that I don't have a book yet to show them.

Saturday, we helped my Mom upgrade her computer (from 6-year-old eMachine to new iMac) and did some other shopping. (I only bought one new fiction book for me -- Laura Resnick's Unsympathetic Magic.) in the evening, another reunion event, dinner at a Basque restaurant. Not sure who picked the menu, but it didn't strike me as very Basque.

Sunday, back to Grass Valley to do laundry and pack -- hubby repacked it when I was done to make everything fit and distribute the weight. Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner. Then up at 3 am to get to Sac airport and fly home with 3 hour layover in D.C.

Lots of family time, fun with old friends -- not a bad vacation, even if I did feel somewhat stressed on the flights (and other times).

First week

Aug. 1st, 2010 11:00 am
eimarra: (Default)
First part of last week was spent getting ready for the trip to the Monterey Peninsula: packing the motorhome, buying produce, that sort of thing. I did get some fusible interfacing (Misty Fuse black), which worked almist perfectly -- and would quite possibly have been better if I'd used it before cutting out the motifs. Live and learn.

When we arrived at the RV park (Marina Dunes, for those who may be interested), we walked down to the beach. A third of a mile on a sandy path, with a steep drop at the end to the beach itself. Saw lots of pelicans and cormorants, some gulls, and a couple of turkey vultures. On walking down the beach, we discovered the vultures were after the seal carcass near the high tide line. Walking back to the motorhome was exhausting; I was sweating in 60-degree weather, my legs were rubber, and my ankle hurt like hell. Fortunately, my husband had left the beach sooner, and he met us at the trailhead with the car, so I didn't have to make it as far as the motorhome on foot.

Thursday, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That was an awesome trip, and I want to go back again someday. At one point, the girl fell asleep (we took an umbrella stroller) and her dad and pop-pop sat on a bench near her resting. My MIL and I just stood at the near tank, watching the flounder, skates, bat rays, leopard sharks, sturgeon, and seven-gill sharks. That was awesome. I love the way the rays move, and I'm going to have to make an alien race that looks like that but has the brains of a cephalopod.

My one disappointment: their lack of an on-line store. There were a couple of shirts I was interested in, but couldn't decide on then. Their "on-line" store is a handful of gifts, books, and plush that you have to call to order. No shirts. Very little merchandise at all. They seriously need to join the 21st century! (If anyone is going in the reasonably near future, let me know -- I'll send you a check if you're willing to pick up shirts for me!)

Also, I read [livejournal.com profile] david_bridger's Beauty and the Bastard while driving both ways (well, being driven). Most enjoyable!

Friday was a day at Point Lobos. More walking, including up and down stairs, as well as along Gibson Beach. Picnic lunch at the South Shore picnic grounds. The area brought to mind my shelved project that was intended to be submitted for the Nocturne Bites line, Blake and Melody, a.k.a. "Reign of Lightning." My reasons for leaving it remain, but I was still tempted to go back and do some work on it.

Yesterday, we drove back to Grass Valley. I read more of Echoes while we were on the road, but mostly, it was a quiet day.

Next vacation, I'm bringing mire books with me. Yes, I have dozens on my iPod, but there are issues, such as needing to charge it, the boy wanting to check his Zombie Farm or borrow it for some other reason, and bumpy roads making it hard to change pages. I think I shall have to raid my in-laws' bookshelves.

All in all, vacation is going nicely. I didn't start out as relaxed as last year, but that's because, despite being quite able to take care of myself, I find vacation most calming when there are no choices that I have to make, when someone else has done the plans. Last year, my husband had done all the reservations and route plans. The past few days, it was my in-laws. But having to be the one to get everyone from one place to another and decide what to do each day -- not so much on the relaxing side. Yes, there are downsides to being an adult.
eimarra: (Default)
The air travel probably went better than expected. Several good Samaritans chipped in to help the woman with two kids and too many carry-ons. (I did check a large suitcase, but I wanted to be sure I had everything I needed to amuse the kids.) Special thanks due to the man in the Penn State T-shirt who helped carry stuff from A terminal to C in Dulles, claiming that he was on a two-hour layover and had plenty of time.

The girl didn't nap at all on the plane, but she was quite well behaved. She colored, she read, she looked around. She didn't keep her EarPlanes in, but her ears didn't appear to trouble her unduly, for which I am grateful.

Yesterday was a quiet day, hanging out at my in-laws', watching the kids play in the wading pool, and reading A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski. Small birthday party in the evening for the boy. He got an RC car, a digital camera, and books. He was especially thrilled to see The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan. We had been reading the library copy for bedtime stories, but returned it unfinished before we left. Very happy to know he doesn't have to wait two weeks to find out what happens next.

This morning, I started reading [livejournal.com profile] saetter's Echoes of Truth. The boy wanted to play on my iPod Touch, but I showed him that I was reading-- and how much reading material I have on here. Showed him that I have an RTF of one of my WIPs -- Rob & Jeanie -- that I put on here last summer.

Started reading it. Read it all the way through. Wanted to start in writing some of the missing scenes, but I remember starting work on it last year after vacation. (There appears to be a trend here.) I still might write on it, but not today. I remember now why finishing this was on my list of goals for the year.

Instead, I went to grab the notebook I started a short story, "Wish Hunter," in last week. Oops. I brought the other short story I started, as well as my Sekrit Projekt. So I did a bit on the SP this morning, and I'll probably do more this afternoon.

Maybe tomorrow or Tuesday, my MIL and I will go hit the local quilt shops. Mostly just looking, though I need some lightweight fusible interfacing for the appliqué I want to do. Tried without, and there's just too much fraying.

A couple more short story rejections, too, including more feedback on the index story that I'll have to ponder after I get back home.

All in all, I can feel myself relaxing. Life is good.
eimarra: (Default)
The rest of the trip )
eimarra: (Default)
One downside to leaving Banff Thursday morning: Thursday evening, Michael Ondaatje is giving a talk here at Banff Centre.

I'd rather see Val, though, even if she's not a famous author yet.
eimarra: (Default)
Tuesday morning was about as unexciting as you'd expect laundry day on vacation to be. Highlights included getting to the building with the machines and discovering laundry detergent was still in car and having to go back to the room during the dry cycle to change CG. Fun times.

The afternoon sightseeing was terrific, though. We went over to Yoho National Park and visited 3 places: Spiral Tunnels (figure-8 railroad tracks through the mountains to get a 2.2% grade rather than 4.5%), Takakkaw Falls (very high, runoff from Daly Glacier), and Emerald Lake (also largely glacier-derived, as evidenced by the creamy green color). Some walking, lots of pictures.

Today was finally sightseeing in town. Took the kids with me for the day. Started with breakfast at an artisan bakery. Visited the Banff Park Museum (kids liked the discovery room) and the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. Walked the Bow Falls Trail -- T-Bug very disappointed with how small those were compared to Takakkaw. Did some shopping. Let the kids play at the playground. Picked up sushi and edamame for dinner.

After dinner, we went off to see this Zome-tool geometric structure created as a group project over the conference. Wound up hanging out while they finished it up.

Kids are still awake. My face is sunburned, and my arms mosquito-bitten. Husband is seeing about uploading some pictures. In other words, a good time is being had by all.

Very excited about tomorrow -- leisurely drive through Kootenay National Park, ending with a visit to my friend Valerie!

Oh, Canada

Jul. 27th, 2009 08:53 pm
eimarra: (Default)
Now, where did I leave off? Oh, yes, Great Falls.

We were slow getting on the road because the car told us one of the tires was low, but we couldn't tell which one. All the gas stations had free air, but none of the hoses had a pressure gauge. Very weird. Eventually, we went to a station with a garage attached, and they let my husband use a gauge.

The drive north was uneventful. Passed through a dramatic river valley and stopped for gas in Shelby. Border crossing took a while, which was okay as I hadn't signed my passport (or the kids') and hadn't put addresses in any of them. Southern Alberta is wide and pastoral with fields of mustard and some little purple flower I couldn't identify from the car.

We stopped in Lethbridge for lunch. Real city but not in AAA guide book. More for living than tourism, I guess. Our route was amusing -- we took Canada highway 4 to 3 to 2 to 1. Circled Calgary to the southwest, so didn't see much. The Alberta Children's Hospital is colorful, and we did pass by the site of the Olympics.

A heavy storm hit us just as we reached the Rockies. Rain so thick we could barely see, occasional hail, lightning on the mountains. Very dramatic.

Also being dramatic at the time was T-Bug. We were not appreciative, and I took away the DVDs.

We weren't expecting to pay a park use fee for Banff (assumed it was included in hotel fee), but we did -- $19.60/day. Got to Banff Centre while it was still light and ate dinner in a dining room with the most amazing views!

Sunday, I got up and located the Catholic church on the map, but CG was under the weather, so we spent most of the day in the room. (Not husband, whose conference started.) In the afternoon, CG felt a little better, so we walked out to Surprise Point and got some pics. Then we checked to see where the coin-op laundry was. That was CG's limit for the day. Husband took T-Bug to movie about origami, then they did a Zome tool workshop.

Today was my turn to be sick. Unlike CG, I actually emptied my stomach. Twice. Tried to nap, but only so much I can do with active and feeling-better toddler running around. Husband did take T-Bug for the morning, though, which helped. He also went to the store And bought me Gatorade.

Feeling better now -- think I got enough acetaminophen into the system to ease the headache finally, for which I am duly grateful. Tomorrow morning, laundry; afternoon, shuttle sightseeing tour.

Oh, and I'll be setting up a Facebook account soon. Resisted all my friends encouraging me, but mother-in-law and brother-in-law got accounts, so husband set up his yesterday. So now I surrender to the inevitable.
eimarra: (Default)
Sunday morning, I got up early to touch up my roots before we got on the road. Didn't want to share my silver with everyone, after all. I picked up a golden brown rather than cool brown shade this time, and my hair is a bit redder than I had expected. Oh, well.

Sunday was a long drive -- Pennsylvania, Ohio, and half of Indiana. Yesterday was shorter. We drove into Chicago and spent the day at the Field Museum. Husband looked at Sue and said, "So that's the one Dresden rode through the streets of Chicago?" (Dead Beat by Jim Butcher)

I made some mental notes about Sekhmet for Ivory and Bone while going through the Ancient Egypt exhibit, too.

Then we drove up to Wisconsin to visit my (former) sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. We're spending today with them, too, and now most everyone is up. The day starts . . . .
eimarra: (Default)
Yes, it is time for our cross-country trek. We did this two years ago. This may become a pattern (next year, the plan is for my husband and I to go to Hawaii for his 20th reunion); we'll have to see.

We're going to see lots of friends and family, a couple museums, some national parks . . . should be a good time.

Now that I have the iPod Touch (with Livejournal app installed!), I might even be able to post short updates along the way, depending on Wi-Fi access. While we're in Canada, I know we'll have access, so I'll certainly be posting then.

In fact, I'll be posting a review of the August issue of Realms of Fantasy. They posted asking for people willing to blog about the issue in return for receiving a complimentary copy, and I signed up. I did something similar for Fantasy & Science Fiction, but I posted that review on my Blogger blog.

So I won't be totally incommunicado, but I'm not going to be reading everyone's LJ while I'm away, either. If you think there's something I really need to see, e-mail me the link & I'll get to it as soon as I can.

gang agley

Jul. 29th, 2008 11:30 am
eimarra: (Default)
That "putative" trip I mentioned? Not so much.

Husband wasn't feeling much inspired, so last night, he checked his e-mail, looking for inspiration one way or t'other, such as someone saying "We really need to get together in Wisconsin to catch up." Turns out, the inspiration was his colleague whom he's supposed to be co-authoring a paper with saying, "When are we going to get this paper written? I'd really like to be able to put 'submitted for publication' on my tenure review paperwork."

I knew he was going to get into that "I haven't done any work this summer" phase when we got back--he has been spending all his time on the painting and flooring, after all--so this just moves that up a week.

I'll miss seeing the family, and seven-year-old isn't too happy at not seeing the cousins, but I'm also not losing another week of work time, so it's all good.

And I did have lots of fun this last week while the in-laws were here.

Went shopping with mother-in-law both Weds and Thurs. Got fluffy new towels, some grown-up looking glasses, some new shirts for hubby, birthday present for father-in-law (books, of course--first three of the Ranger's Apprentice series, The Ghost Brigades by Scalzi [he's previously read my copy of Old Man's War], and a Joe Haldeman), birthday presents for the child (Playmobil, dragon poster, books), a Little Black Dress for me, and stuff for birthday dinner (child wanted mini meatloaves) as well as frozen yogurt cake.

Friday, we went to Knoebels. Fun amusement park--no admission fee, reasonable prices on food, cool rides. (I loved the Phoenix roller coaster. Got off it still giggling.) Took the baby for a ride on a carousel horse. Went into the haunted mansion with hubby and seven-year-old. Lots of fun! We even found out we could take the dog, so next time, we might, so we don't have to worry about rushing home to feed him dinner.

Saturday, we did arboreta with treehouses: Tyler Arboretum and Longwood Gardens Much, much, much walking. In the heat. But very fun, and I want to go back, especially to Longwood (preferably when it's cooler). If we'd known they were having a Celtic music concert at Longwood in the evening, we would've left later and stayed longer.

We also ate out at a variety of places, from Mama Nina's Focacceria (lovely Italian seafood--I had the blackened tuna) to Cactus Blue (pretty good Mexican food). And we cooked shellfish for dinner twice--one night, mussels, the next, clams.

Oh, and the baby still belly-crawls more than real crawling, but has learned to sit up and can pull herself up to a stand when holding onto something as well.

A very good week overall.
eimarra: (procrastination)
Yah, the Tom Swifty just hit me earlier, and I had to share.

I just spent the last week with my in-laws visiting. Very nice, much relaxing, reading, walking about in gardens, celebrating the now-seven-year-old's birthday, that sort of thing.

Next up (putatively) is a trip to Wisconsin, where hubby has a conference to attend and we have family to visit. Except that the info package is still sitting at hubby's work, we've done nothing about holding the mail or newspapers or asking a neighbor to deal with it . . . I'm beginning to wonder if we're going at all.

Eh, if not, I've had a "staycation" and can get back to the paying work.

How's everyone else doing?
eimarra: (Default)
Haven't posted as much this month as last, and the trend will continue. Next week, my family and I disappear on a month-long vacation. See you all when we get back.
eimarra: (Default)
Yesterday we drove back from Knoxville. Stopped just north of the city to have breakfast at one of the many Waffle Houses along the way. (Our server's name was Bubbles.) I can see why [livejournal.com profile] kyleri likes them. Had the pecan waffle, but I'm seriously considering wandering to the nearest one to have some hash browns -- scattered, chunked, and diced, I think. Yum!

Uneventful drive, home not too long after 8 p.m. Had to get up and deal with things like an electrician this morning. (We have a circuit that isn't working but didn't trip a circuit breaker. The home warranty will cover the work; electrician will actually be here tomorrow.)

Discovered again on this trip that caves refresh my muse but do not give me plot bunnies.

Will probably give a longer post tomorrow, with more details of the trip, when I'm feeling more caught up on life.
eimarra: (Default)
For those whom I may not have told, I'm taking off for a week. We leave tomorrow morning, headed to Knoxville. My husband will be attending Mathfest; my son and I will be visiting the zoo, Fort Kid, the Candy Factory, and such venues of interest. I will be doing my best to catch up on LJs and such Monday and Tuesday of next week.

I posted a short bit of fiction (1,100 words) this morning for FM's August challenge. It can be found here. Comments appreciated but not required. :-D

Have fun, all!

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