Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ohio in October

You may have seen the post about Ohio last October - the one with the scary lodging we quickly ran from... Well, here's the rest of that trip.

Our lovely friends Jess & Jen live in Ohio and we're sad that we don't get to see them more often. This 10 days or so gave us the opportunity to visit with them several times. Our wonderful times together included several tasty meals, lots of stories and laughter, a wide variety of fandoms with a healthy proportion of Doctor Who, and a day trip to the Renn Faire. We had some tasty food, saw lots of fantastic costumes and crafts, avoided the loud noises as much as possible, and generally had a fantastic time together.

Jess & I started off the Faire with a selfie while our wives bought us drinks. This is the first photo of the two of us together - in five years of friendship.
Gandalf agreed to a photo on his way back to his carriage

group selfies - not easy
yay! all of us together

sometimes art is weird
Lovely stained glass art
I nearly bought this journal

So, Heather and I wandered into one of the little shops and walked along opposite sides of a shoulder-height shelf lined with journals (see below). A few minutes later, we turned to each other from opposite sides of the store and said (in almost perfect unison) "Sweetie, look at this one!" The store owner laughed as he saw that we were holding up the same journal, only mine was in silver and hers was bronze toned.  Take a look below and see if you can guess which one caught both our eyes.

If you guessed the one with the t'ai chi sign and bamboo, you've met us once or twice. ;P

This is all hand sculpted metal, hand painted, too. So beautiful - the photo really doesn't do it justice...

Constellations around the TARDIS

Yeah, there were a lot of wonderful crafts there, but finding other fandom geeks in the midst of the Renn Faire geeks was just a bonus.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

WOW... it has been a while. Oops.

Anyway, in November we took a trip to North Carolina to see a friend. It was a lot of fun. We saw some interesting stuff but with Cindy getting sick it wasn't as awesome as it could have been. However, I did get to see a DaVinci codex, so that was epic.

After that we headed to Atlanta to see more friends. Sadly, Cindy was too sick and we headed home. Everyone was sad.

Once home we rested and healed enough so that our trip to New Orleans was a go. That was a hell of a lot of fun. We went with some friends, saw a lot of stuff, had some great food and listened to some great Jazz. Such a lovely trip. Also, David and I checked out the National WWII museum. It was awesome. And then I found out that the displays were based on books by a friend of my father, which explained why they seemed familiar. Heh...

This trip we went up to VA to stay a night with Tiffany. Opal, one of her cats totally remembered us and spent our whole over night stay with and on us. It was very cute. Next was PA for a night. It was a nice place and we enjoyed it. Again the local feline spent the time with us, sleeping on the bed.

Currently we are on Staten Island. The house we are in was built in 1899 so it is epic, with twisty stairs and a clawfoot tub and the like. So very cool. And our hosts are really neat. Dulu and Nilefer are very sweet people and very generous. That and they are really cute together. They had fun trying to explain Cricket to Cindy and I. I at least had a basic clue as to the rules. Cindy started with no clue. It was fun.

New York has been a blast. We have seen Na'ama and her daughter several times, eaten some great food, walked through Central Park, went to a Goodwill for scarves (because it has been colder than expected), chatted with some Marine Corp vets who run a hat stand near Times Square. All in all a lot of fun. Today we are garden bound and might go see a show. I'll try to keep you all updated.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Once again we are back on the road!

We left Home and drove to Knoxville on Friday the 30th. There we stayed at a lovely AirB&B that had a very comfy mattress. Next day we drove to Raleigh, North Carolina. Here we are staying with our dear friend Joyshine and her love Jamie.

So first night there we partook in a lovely Samhain ritual at someone's house in the woods. Very nice. Afterwards we went to a really shiny diner. And when I mean shiny, lots of light was reflecting off the thing. The food was great and we got home plenty late.

Sunday was a day of rest, doing a lot of nothing, but we did socialize with Joy and Jamie. I was mostly out of it thanks to kidney pain and exhaustion. Monday was another day of rest but we had tasty Mexican food at the end. Then we bought bacon from a butcher and I got beer. It is a scotch ale aged in whiskey casks. I am so looking forward to tasting that.

Joy and I were rather tipsy, thanks to multiple margaritas, and it only got worse as we went through some wine and looked at travel pics. The images of the Basilica de Sangrada Famalia were stunning. By the end, Joy and I were plastered and giggling like fools. It was lovely.

Today, I ventured out. Cindy did not come because fibro and narcolepsy tag teamed her. J&J took me to the North Carolina museum of art. There were two travelling exhibits I had to see and then the regular collection. The first special exhibit was the Codex Leicester by Da Vinci. It was primarily a collection of his observations of water, how it flowed, water pressure, etc... The writing and the sketches were so amazing. I was completely in awe. The exhibit shows all the pages of the Codex and they are amazing.

Next we walked to the exhibit adjacent to the Da Vinci, which was the Escher exhibit. The museum had tied the two collections together with quotes, two by Da Vinci and two by Escher, where he lauds Da Vinci. That helped set the mood.

That collection was rather large with a lot of the more famous works as well as some of the early Architecture pieces. They also had a 12+ foot copy of Metamorphose II. That was amazing. The wood cuts used to ink some of the designs were also on display and they were very cool.

Then we went next door to the primary collection. That collection is great because it has excellent representative works that give you a feel for each of the time periods. The Egyptian section was rather nice with a few sarcophagi and a nice bust of Sekmet. The Rodin collection was amazing, with a lot of the more famous pieces but also a number of his more common works. It wasn't all subsections of the Gates of Heaven and Hell. Then there was the Jewish collection with some great Seder plates, Torah decorations and covers, menorahs, and more. Very good stuff, though not large.

All in all we are enjoying this portion of the journey.

Talk to you later,

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weird, Cool, & Unusual Along the Way

So, as we wandered around various parts of the country, we saw a number of ... interesting things. Some were cute and funny...

Found in a Dollar General - yes, that's the freezer case of ice cream treats that Anna is sitting on.

Some were just bizarre and confusing... like this unidentified object seen on our way out of Buffalo, NY.
And then you get closer and it's all pink and wrinkly...

WTF is this thing on the side of the road?

Early in the trip we saw someone driving a rather large boot down the street (yes, some of you have already seen this)

And we can't forget the Kermit riding on the back of a motorcycle...

I feel like he should have a helmet or something. I worry.

This was an... interesting? piece of art at the Renn Faire. It came from Aradani Studios, in case anyone's interested. I liked some of their other stuff, but this one creeped me out (I really didn't like the IT clown, but who did?) so I had to share.

This one, well it was part of a whole collection of celebrity high school photos. I just had to share this because teenaged Helena Bonham Carter looks WAY more like Emma Watson than I ever imagined she would have.

In the Youth section of the Lynchburg, VA public library - Harley Quinn. :)

Heather had to come to the back deck and save me from this monster praying mantis. That's an entire wooden plank it's sitting on - like 4.5 inches, and it's at a diagonal. It was HUGE. I'm pretty sure in went off to take a substitute teaching job when she scared it away.

I had to text Heather because it wanted to eat Xander!!!
And last but not least, you've all seen this before, right?

Well Highway 100 in Vermont has an asphalt version ...     

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ohio - the Good, the Bad, and the Horrid Crack-house Lodging

We still have a bunch of Vermont stuff we'd like to post, but I'm skipping ahead to the 1st of October and a few days after, as we arrived in Ohio to visit people in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas.

We arrived Thursday evening to find that our temporary apartment wasn't ready for us (i.e. had no furniture in it, despite us making a reservation with security deposit so we could check in that day.) So, a trip to Red Roof Inn in Miamisburg it was. On the plus side, it was super close to friends Jess & Jen, so we were able to meet them for breakfast Friday morning before they took off to get paperwork to legalize their marriage of six years. They had a tiny little private ceremony & signing on Saturday, but I was just thrilled to find Sew Dayton, a wonderful small business owned by two ladies who were so sweet and welcoming to me. I got to go in there, use a sewing machine, cutting table, ironing board, etc. while I completed a wedding gift for this really sweet couple (who are essentially me and Heather, only younger, and one is left handed.)

Not the best of pics, and I had to fix a bit in the top left corner after I took this, but you get the idea. These are their fave colors, and the embroidery blends purple & green together in a variegation. I can see all sorts of uneven spots and crooked bits, but really, I'm quite proud of how it turned out. Oh, and the white bit at the top is a pocket so it can hang from a dowel or curtain rod on the wall. :)

 We ate at a wonderful little cafe during a Saturday visit to Indiana - www.cafepatachou.com, where they not only had a decent gluten free selection (rough to deal with sometimes when you're on the road) but even put a little flag in my sandwich to show that it was GF and that they had paid attention to my needs (i.e. changing gloves, cleaning work space, etc.). I was highly amused by these bathroom doors, too, especially the fact that they are considered unisex bathrooms, and people often don't get that because of the gendered images on the doors.

Horrid Crack-House Lodging (aka apartelusa.com, Dayton location) began on Friday, and ended early Monday morning when I reported that we still had bedbugs even after they replaced the infested sofa. I won't go into all the details here, but suffice to say I am covered in bite marks and it was gross and scary. While we were packing up and waiting to move to our new, non-scary lodging, there was a fight, a domestic issue, cops called, and a screaming match between a "crack whore" and a "bald bitch." It was like being in the middle of a Jerry Springer episode, and I've never liked his show.

Monday afternoon, we moved to Cathy & Dan's (found on airbnb.com, a much better option based on all our experiences) and spend the first bit of our time just lounging in the hammock and enjoying the wooded back yard.

Heather and Sandy, being cute.

So really, the first lodging was awful in many ways, and the second was amazing in just as many. The best part of our trip, though was visiting with the people of the area. Jess & Jen are among our closest Chosen Family, despite having only seen each other 4 individual times before this trip. I think we managed to get that number up to 9 with our various days/evenings spent together. The Renn Faire will be a post all its own, and there really aren't any photos of other times together, but that's okay. We shared many stories (old and new), and Jess & I worked with sticks and strings while our wives watched with grins (as usual).

We did also manage a visit to some Cincinnatti peeps we don't know very well but had a great evening with! Ocean & Skylark were incredibly welcoming, and again there were shared stories (some of mutual friends) and really good food (they make tasty Thai, which might have something to do with Skylark living in Thailand for a while).

All in all, Ohio was a good trip. It's kinda nice, but also kinda weird to be home again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Robert Frost & Wooded Paths

So, along 125 in Vermont, a road that passes over and through the mountains and was a 2 minute walk from our place, there is a Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. Apparently he lived & worked near there for about five minutes at one point. The parking area and trail head are just off the road, and the trail is definitely more of a walk in the woods than an actual "hike." I did this one alone, and aside from the family that passed me a few times here and there, it was quiet, solitary, and very peaceful. 

This was near the end of the trail, as I was heading back to the parking area. It struck me in a thinky-thought spiritual way.

My absolute fave of his poems (and one of my fave poems ever thanks to The Outsiders)
cool little squiggles of green & purple moss

what does this even mean?

I was gonna climb a bit of this tree...
Until I got close enough to see all the pine sap dripping from it.

Some of the area just looked out over fields of wildflowers and the mountains in the distance, while other parts of the trail wound through the woods (and diverged a few times - I always went to the left when presented with a fork. The other people there were going to the right both times. We passed each other in different areas of the trail.)

lovely bridge going over the river

and some of the pretty wildflowers up close

It was a lovely walk, and though I didn't remember some of the poems posted, it was kinda cool to read them, and to see some of the other info posted as well. One display described the process of empty fields and bare hills & mountains slowly turning into the forests we see today. The things we don't usually think of...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Packing the TARDIS

So, below are pictures of all of our stuff, before the packing began. 

I then did my thing and got all that in our little car. What's more... I was even able to look out the back window for the drive. :D

(This post brought to you by request of our most recent hosts who couldn't believe we could fit all this into the car)