Posts Tagged 'vacation all I ever wanted'

First lightning bugs sighted at the corner of Church and Graveyard

6 days ago, on our evening walk, we saw lightning bugs. The other night I saw a bat out of the corner of my eye.

The official start of summer hasn’t happened yet, but summer seems to be sneaking in with heat, humidity, and shore traffic. And my thoughts skitter off to remember the delights:

  • Sitting on gnarled rhododendron branches that stretched over the edge of the lake at Girl Scout camp.
  • Or lazing in a hammock on the wrap around porch at my great aunt’s house, reading an Agatha Christie novel.
  • Walking to get popsicles with my father near the lake.
  • Fish boils at family reunions.

(And now because of my search, I’ve started watching a very gentle public tv show about Northern Door County… yes, it shows fall weather, but beautiful shots of the lake).

So, anyone else have summer vacation memory triggers?

Places worth revisiting – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary in the 1980s was an amazing mashup of historic buildings, hills in the distance, and armed Soviet guards in the subways. The subways had massively steep inclines, which were miserable in the snow of January. The electric trolleys were a different shape than they are in the States, with speedy reflexes on your part being your only hope of jumping safely on and off. No one seemed to speak English, and German was the only common language I had with the shopkeepers.

The city was beautiful, the people seemed friendly, and it’s just one of those places that is worth a revisit, even if it’s only in my daydreams.

  1. Fabulous monuments like the Fischerbastei. Here’s an aerial view (from the sky: look at the turrets hugging the cliff)
  2. Amazing churches that show the blend of historic influences on their walls, like Matthiaskirche
  3. A Dominican cloister preserved within the walls of the local Hilton hotel (we stared at the ancient well through the windows)
  4. Hotel Gellert (I really don’t know how the tour afforded to book us here, but we loved gawking at the spa and mineral baths,but weren’t brave enough to go in among all the businessmen in towels)
  5. The Central market, with its garlic vendors, rabbit hutches, and more fruit pyramids than I’d seen before
  6. And of course, the Hungarian National Gallery in the Royal Palace

So, if you could go back to someplace you visited in your youth — where and why? (Yes, this is the sort of stuff I think about while commuting. Much better than thinking bad words at people who don’t use turn signals.)

Perfect Labor Day, with lots of mental rest

Today was beautiful:

We walked over to see a movie at the corner theatre (Ghostbusters), ate pizza out with friends, then talked with them about the summer while eating plum cake (that I made last night).

The weather outside was foul — humid, steamy, and filled with ragweed pollen. Much better to have a little neighborly kaffeeklatsch in the living room to discuss trips we’ve had, or vacations others are planning. Oh, and Ghostbusters was a total blast, and held up surprisingly well although kids today would never believe a musician could live in a penthouse in NYC. 

So, anyone catch any good movies at the end of the summer season? I’ll probably go back to see Helen Mirren’s latest, but if there’s a film from the UK coming my way that I shouldn’t miss, please let me know so I can watch for it.

Hope everyone had a good labor day, and spent a few moments at least remembering why we have this holiday and remember: look for the union label (am I showing my age maybe?).

Sand between the toes

Our vacation was lovely. I’ll probably have more pictures up eventually.

We’ve:

  • tutlewalkPicked up seashells.
  • Hung out with friends, and watched their children play in the sand.
  • Watched sea turtles [Link] escape from their nest (with help from the turtle ladies who patrol the beaches).*
  • Fought the waves (well, more the Gardener than me).
  • Eaten more than our fair share of popcorn.
  • And bummed around a town 20 minutes away from the seashore.

If you ever want a lovely vacation, spending the time with friends, it’s great to rent 2 houses on the shore. We had massive cook offs for over 15 people at a time. Our friends are good cooks, and we sorted out kitchen duty before we drove south.

* By the end of one vigil, we were well-educated, and now we will never, ever use white lights to look at baby sea turtles, because they get distracted and won’t go to the ocean or down their little turtle walkway (created in this case by humans to funnel baby loggerheads down to the ocean). Wait — you don’t believe me about the walkway? It’s a bit difficult to see in the sand [in the picture on the right], but there are two regular walls of sand on either side of a nice, easy path to the shoreline. Right by the red cooler (for scooping up turtles that need help), there is a line of stones stuck in the sand, marking where the nest is buried. There is also a slight barricade to keep people from walking directly onto the dunes where the turtle eggs are hidden.

More about the art scene in Raleigh, NC later.

What I did for my summer vacation 2013

North Carolina coastline, August 2013, (c) R

(C) rjn, August 2013

There was time to play with my watercolors while staring at the North Carolina coastline. And time to gawk at other peoples’ work. More later.

A knitter’s vacation

I spent 3 days solid, without real computer access, ignoring the television. And, in the mornings I hiked in the desert, then knit in the shade in my own private window porch, complete with a small table, chair, and bench. 3 lucky days spent in Arizona (Wild Horse Pass Resort — really nice). I tagged along and got a real vacation.

My own little roost — just me and the pigeons next door (and the view of more mountains in the distance, over miles of scrub, sand, and barrel cacti):

Image

After lunch there was the option of swimming in an 85°F pool, while gazing out at the mountains in the distance (If my math is right, I think that’s 28°C), going to a spa, or retreating to the library to read about local history when it was too hot outdoors. What lovely options to choose from, when the weather I left at home was 32°F/0°C, with sleet.

Back from a land of beautiful sunsets

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Arizona, outside of Phoenix. In March, it’s a beautiful place. I’ve been to Phoenix during later parts in the season, and it’s too hot for me, but mid-March is just about right (swimming outdoors, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, doing everything I won’t be able to do until June around here). I’ll post more photos once I’m mentally “unpacked”. 🙂


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