Archive for travel

almost a cardboard box

metro watch window

a bus, a train, an amtrak.

highlight of the trip.

——

Seriously, folks, the kids spent the better part of a morning sitting on an ottoman staring at the King St. Metro station in Alexandria.  I think their hearts would have broken if the front desk had put us on the other side of the hotel…

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a space invader

As long as we stick to our little corner of the American South, I don’t expect to be that surprised by what I see outside in the yard or down at the park.  I’m no naturalist, but I’m pretty solid at identifying squirrels, pine needles, and the average garden plant.  This little guy, however, spotted on the tree in our front yard threw us all for a bit of a loop.

We had seen a lot of wooly worms down at the park that day, so is this Casper, the Friendly Ghost Caterpillar?  He looked more to me like a novelty pompom gone bad, but I suppose that’s just too many trips to AC Moore kicking in.

Speaking of wooly worms though, the forecast at the Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk predicted a miserable looking winter.  Here’s hoping that this forecast applies just to the High Country and leaves the rest of us in the Piedmont alone.

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enjoy your meal!

“I felt like they were crawling all over me because it only takes one maggot to upset your world,” she said. “And as they’re telling us to stay calm and seated, I see a maggot looking back at me and I’m thinking, ‘These are anaerobic, flesh-eating larvae that the flight attendants don’t have to sit with.'”

Just reading that makes me squirm.

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it’s a brickhouse

If they won’t buy you Lego, then you have to create your own building blocks:

I very much like this simple, austere structure that w. and Opa built in the backyard.  It has near symmetry, bricks stacked in different directions, organic colors that draw from the surroundings.  The tower actually reminds me of a Japanese temple with its simplicity and integration in the natural environment which is, sadly, something that Lego pieces can never quite capture.

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pangea–not just a baby name anymore

When I was pregnant with my second child, my husband used to spend his commute to work brainstorming ideas for baby names.  Two of his favorites (which strangely didn’t make the final cut) were Persephone (“We can call her ‘Phone’ for short!”) and Pangaea.  So, any news story that mentions the supercontinent immediately commands my attention.

Enter NPR this evening.  Apparently there is a gentleman who is making it his goal to lengthen the Appalachian Trail.  As if the AT  just wasn’t long enough, he wants it to reflect the original mountain chain back before Pangaea broke apart and went its separate ways.  At first, you have to laugh at this plan.  How can you through hike a trail that crosses the Atlantic?  But then you start to see the brilliance of it–a fresh challenge, a new level of logistics and planning, the gift of an unexpected sequel.  And, honestly, after hiking on the vista-less tunnel that the AT can be at times, who wouldn’t want to spend a week or so on Scotland’s West Highland Way?

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order, order!

Every time they do this, it causes me acute physical pain:

Which is why, I firmly believe, that they insist on doing this.  Instead of four distinct colors in lovely shades of springtime newness, we end up with four tubs of swirly nothingness.  The bigger person would just sigh and recognize that it’s the kids’ play dough, but I just can’t.  I cringe and recoil and mutter things about keeping the shades separate.  But, the dough’s not mine because if it were mine, things would be different.  Very different.  The red would stay red, the yellow would be pure yellow and never the twain shall meet and create an off-putting orange hue.

And yes, I am just that law abiding when it comes to the little things.  I observe the “No Right Turn on Red” sign that my husband always ignores.  I toss the milk on the expiration date regardless of smell.  And this aspect of my personality has never been as satisfied as it was when I lived in Vienna surrounded by people who never crossed the street against the light and waiters in cafes that carefully brought you out your coffee in the same meticulous set up each time.

Now, my life is clogged with Lego airplanes hanging out on the edge of the tub, wooden play food in my shoes, and red double-decker buses parked in the refrigerator.  A little orderliness cannot possibly be too much to ask.

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ode to a fine pair of boots

Chocolate brown lace up boots brought home twelve years ago.

Big mountain purchase when “big money” was a baked potato at Wendy’s.

Backpacking on Mount Mitchell, Green Knob Trail non-proposal.

Vistas in the Columbia Gorge, monster-sized slugs in Olympic.

Trudging through the snow in North Carolina with kids in tow; these boots have seen it all.

Until.

Crouching in a toystore in Boone to get a closer look at the Playmobil Wedding Chapel.

Thwack.  Slap, slap, slap.  Trip.

A trail of my shoe’s dark gray matter follows, tiny bits of my hiking soul.

Shedding the tread of my footsteps.  Erasing the fall of my feet.

Unceremoniously dumped into a trash can outside of a fudge shop in favor of a pair of chocolate brown

flip flops.

A girl has to walk and these boots were made for walking no more.

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