Sunday, September 14, 2008

What I Did on My Vacation

Went to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Took the ski lift to the top of the mountain and checked out the view. Gnats were deadly, and I sweated so much my hearing aids shorted out. The good news was that, unlike ski season when the lift never slows down to load and unload, they stopped the chair so old fogies could sit down and get up without fear of being dragged to their untimely death.

Went to a pottery studio near the Shenandoah. Blue Ridge Pottery is just down the hill from Skyline Drive, on Goose Pond. More deadly gnats at the pottery studio, but I loved the pottery tree stump amid an unkempt garden.

The old Civil War Inn adjacent to the studio is undergoing yet another renovation to make it into yet another bed and breakfast where rich white people can visit between "antiquing" ventures. If I lived in that climate, this is what my yard would look like. We did a lot of eating and drinking and talking of politics, with predictable results: nobody changed anybody else's mind about anything.

Despite the gnats and other wildlife, we enjoyed seeing deer in the woods near our luxury condo. My brother tried to run them down, being a resident of Virginia where deer have overrun the suburbs, including his yard. Despite looking like Bambi and his doomed Mom - quite exotic to my Californian eye - deer apparently have no natural enemies in Virginia except serious gardeners.

Although I didn't make the day trip, the progeny went to Monticello and brought back a picture of Thomas Jefferson's garden. Not terribly impressive this time of year. Back home, I'm already late starting my lettuce and other cool season seeds. Planting an entirely new vegetable garden twice each year has become such a habit to me, it's hard to imagine living in a climate like Tom, where you can only plant once each year.

Kicked back and enjoyed nature. I liked the fauna, and the flora...

...and I should mention, I liked the beer. We toured a brewery, ate at several brew pubs and soaked up a great deal of the atmosphere along with the beer.

We went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I loved the tropical rain forest because it wasn't quite hot and humid enough walking along the harbor in the drizzle in Baltimore to make me homesick for the dry air of California. The dank furry thing amid the tree branches looked to me like a piece of old torn shag carpet that had been left out in the rain, although a docent insisted it was a sloth who had just become a father. She insisted that the mom and the new baby sloth were hiding somewhere nearby. More old carpet most likely.

The best part of my vacation? I sat on the porch one rainy morning and read a book.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful area to vacation. I live in Virginia & have never been to that area. Isn't that a shame? :(

greeny said...

I wondered what had become of you.

Ack to gnats and humidity- yay to beer and pottery and Monticello.

walk2write said...

We have missed you! Thanks for making me laugh again. I hope your hearing aids are functioning again. Who's the hunky looking guy in the mountain view? He wasn't one of those rich white people you referred to, was he?

Martha in Michigan said...

Re cool season crops, I am trying that for the first time here in Michigan. I had replanted sugar snaps and green beans before leaving in late August for Virginia, after doubling the fence height against the very well-fed resident bunny that ate the first set down to short stems. No produce yet, but they are covered with blossoms. Perhaps I will like the Russian Roulette gamble with early frosts, since there is little excitement around here.

Little bro would be pleased that he is perceived as "hunky guy."

natlaquarium said...

That piece of "old carpet" you saw in the trees of our rain forest was indeed a sloth. One of the three adult sloths we have in our rain forest habitat in fact. And yes, that sloth has just become a father. The National Aquarium in Baltimore has just posted an article about their newest addition on their blog. You can read all about it HERE.