News from Washington
Actually nothing new
News from Washington
Actually nothing new
But sensitive kitty ears
Perceive End of Days
I know you’re all clamoring to know more about my trip to Ireland and Luxembourg (I know this because one person asked me about it, and so I’m rounding up). I do plan on blogging about the rest of the trip eventually, but it will have to wait because at the moment I am knee deep in NaNoWriMo and trying not to drown in post-election despair. So, perhaps in December…
If you need something to read in the meantime, I humbly recommend You Don’t Know Us… a collection from the Budlong Woods Writers, which I am privileged to be a part of. The writers among our ranks range from relative novices to accomplished award winners, but we all have at least one thing in common: we put our hearts into this book. Hope you enjoy getting to know us a bit.
July 20, 2016
Politician” is perhaps
A bit redundant
Happy Independence Day!
July 4, 2016
Let us remember
What makes this country so great
And more, what does not
It was the penultimate day of our trip (and the last one that wouldn’t be taken up almost entirely by driving), and we were ready! The socks I wore said it all.
There was a threat of rain that day, but the forecast looked most promising in the morning, so we decided to hike first and beer/wine taste later. Off we went to Watkins Glen State Park, which had been described to us by scores of people as a must see. Indeed. It was stunningly beautiful.
All that hiking and beauty and nature and stuff made us thirsty, so we went to Wagner Vineyards, which is home to a brewery, a winery, and a cafe–what more could we possibly want? Well, it had a lovely view to boot!
We tasted beer and wine and then fortified ourselves with lunch so we were ready to move on to our next stop: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards. There we encountered some of the friendliest and most entertaining staff members in recent memory. Also, the tasting glasses and many of the wine labels had a cat theme going, so I was sold.
At that point, we considered the day pretty well seized and headed back to the hotel (excuse me, castle!). We strolled around the grounds for a bit and enjoyed the view from the patio as a we watched a rain storm roll in on the other side of the lake.
To top the day off, I coined a new word: relaxificationizing, to describe the combined effects of wine and a soak in a hot tub.
The next morning, we ate breakfast under guard of the brave knights at Belhurst before beginning the trip home.
We had plans to visit two wineries on our way out, but between the breakfast and the car ride, I began to doze off and was unable to help navigate. We missed the turn for our first intended destination and didn’t realize it for several miles, at which point, we didn’t feel like turning back. So, we proceeded to the next spot on our agenda: Bully Hill. This delightful place is home to many delicious wines, the labels of which bear the beautiful artwork of the late Walter S. Taylor, who was one of the winery’s founders and, by most descriptions, quite a character. A sign in the tasting room indicated that, after one complimentary tasting, additional tastings were one dollar each, but our friendly server assured us as he poured that he was absolutely not keeping track of how many wines we tried and told us just to leave a few bucks, whatever we thought was appropriate.
During our travels of the preceding week, we had collected about a case of wine, some beer, several gifts, various other souvenirs (including the all-important rubber duck, Isabella), and a lot of great memories. It was time to head home. The drive was long but mainly uneventful save for a traffic jam outside of Cleveland. Isabella enjoyed the scenery and looked forward to seeing her new home.
Ian and I had not gone on a significant road trip in quite some time, so for this vacation, we decided to pack the amount of driving we typically do in about 6 months into a single week. Part of our trip entailed visiting wineries (as so many of our vacations do), and we rejoiced at the freedom of simply being able to stow our wine purchases in the trunk rather than worry about putting them in our checked bags or shipping them home.
Hoping to stay well ahead of the morning rush, we hit the road at 4:30 am, an hour I rarely see unless it involves rolling over, glancing at the clock, and delighting in the fact that I don’t have to get out of bed for a couple of hours. We left that Thursday morning amidst light rain, which, not 20 miles from home, turned into a deluge. Showers alternated with blinding sheets of rain for many miles, but after a couple hours, the worst of the rain was over, and after that, the drive was long but mainly uneventful, with few blogworthy observations.
On I-90 in Ohio, we drove past an outpost of the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most highly regarded hospitals in the country. Just moments later, we passed an enormous sign announcing our proximity to the world headquarters for Duck Tape. Naturally, this got me musing about whether the secret to the success of the Cleveland Clinic involves fixing all manner of trauma and disease with strong, sturdy tape. Probably not, but the thought amused me for a while. Later, as we drove through Pennsylvania, I was amused by the sight of groundhogs, though we were nowhere near Punxsutawney.
After about eleven and a half hours on the road, we were more than ready for some wine. Luckily, the tasting room at Glenora Wine Cellars is open late, so we stopped there to sample their wares and made our first of many wine purchases before heading to our hotel in Geneva.
Friday morning, we had the luxury of sleeping past sunrise. We partook of the hotel’s free continental breakfast, when, mainly because they were right there with the rest of the spread, I tried Fruit Loops again, just to make sure I still don’t like them (I don’t). With that, we began the roughly seven hour drive (which seemed almost trivial after Thursday’s trek) to our destination in New Hampshire. We hadn’t been on the road long when my phone began to explode, as friends texted to share and celebrate the happy news that the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of marriage equality. Woo hoo!
Later, as we passed through Vermont, I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was not even close to being entirely filled with maple syrup. I’d never been to Vermont before, but for some reason, in my mind, the state had become synonymous with maple syrup. I pictured veritable rivers of it and was quite certain there would be roadside signs every 12 feet announcing the sale of the sweet liquid. In fact, we saw only 3 or 4 such signs. However, one thing not lacking in Vermont was oversized chairs. We passed the World’s Tallest Ladderback Chair in Bennington, the Best Seat in Vermont in Marlboro, and a few other chairs, which, despite being not quite as grand, were much larger than average.
It was around 5:30 in the evening when we reached our destination, a cabin owned by our friend Jenny’s family, which we lovingly nicknamed Heisenberg’s Cabin. We were greeted by our friends and relaxed knowing that, for the next day and a half, we would hardly need to be a in a car at all! We drank some beers, ate some fajitas, and gathered around the fire pit in back (it was a rather chilly evening for late June). Life was good.
Later, when he discovered that there was a telescope at the cabin, Ian got the opportunity to flaunt his astronomical prowess by focusing it on Saturn. We stood in the darkness near the end of the cabin’s gravel driveway taking turns looking at the ringed planet. At one point, I took a step backward to make way for another viewer, but my foot did not connect with ground. Instead, I felt myself falling, as if in slow motion, wondering what had just happened and fearing I was being dragged away by a horrible ditch monster (after all, you never know what might happen at a cabin in the woods). Thankfully, I escaped unaided, which was good because no one even noticed my brief disappearance until I was in the process of climbing out of the ditch, laughing and a bit muddy. I was unharmed except for a small blow to my pride. I’m not very easily embarrassed, but I felt somewhat abashed, mainly since I feared people would assume that I had stumbled because I was inebriated. I’ll admit to being tipsy, but I feel confident in asserting that I would have done the exact same thing had I been stone cold sober. It’s just the kind of thing I do.