We got back from this trip September 8, but there has been so much going on in the interim, that I haven’t had any chance to post anything until now, and there’s so much to do still, that I’ll keep this short.
We flew from Fresno, CA to Logan airport in MA in a long and painful trip that was accidentally extended at 1:30 am when I locked the keys in the car in the middle of nowhere VT while changing drivers in the middle of nowhere VT. Keys, phones, money, everything was in the car. Fortunately, there was a pay phone nearby, and not knowing the AAA phone number, I dialed 911. They were surprisingly efficient, and called a tow truck for us.
Our time in Stowe was really wonderful. It included an outdoor concert with Tom’s parents and his sister’s family at the Trapp Family Lodge (the family of Sound of Music fame). Although I had been there many times for XC skiing, it was the first time I’d seen in without snow. Unsurprisingly, it is still beautiful. Sitting outdoors, enjoying some music, and watching the sun set made for a great evening.
During that week, we spent time with Tom’s parents, enjoyed conversation with Mary, Steve and Mariana (they persuaded me to join Facebook), as well as Denis, Pat and their kids who came up for the long weekend. We took walks with Tom’s mother, Maria, along the Stowe Recreation Path. Ate out at many fine Stowe restaurants, and went for a run along the Recreation Path which has measured distances. This is the first time I’ve really run a measured distance that I have any faith in. I’m slow. I averaged something like 11+ min miles over the 4 miles that I ran, and suffered to do it. One morning we hiked to the top of Stowe Pinnacle with Tom’s bro, Denis. The hike was beautiful – like a temperate rain forest wet and with beautiful roots, and brightly colored lichen and fungus everywhere, and so unlike the drier and dustier trails of California. I took a bunch of pictures, but they didn’t really turn out. I blame the camera.
We also went to Doug’s new house in South Hero, VT, and visited with Doug and Bridget. It’s a beautiful old farmhouse, on an enormous property that has necessitated a driving lawnmower to care for the sprawling green lawn. Bridget has started working for a local apple orchard that Tom used to work at when he was young, and they are thinking about starting a Bed and Breakfast at their home to take advantage of the extra space, and earn some extra cash. We tried to convince Doug that he wanted to run just a Bed, because the breakfast part really creates so much additional work, but neither Doug nor Bridget seemed much convinced.
On Friday, we drove down to MA for the second part of the vacation. Our friends, Rachel and Garrett got married in Salem, MA, a short drive from Tom’s sister, Tracy’s, house in Acton. Their wedding was beautiful, set outdoors on the coast, and we met many of their other friends, and family. I took a bunch of pictures of the wedding which also mostly didn’t come out. More and more momentum for the Canon dSLR and nice lenses on the wish list that probably won’t actually improve my photography. Fortunately for the bride and groom, their pro photographer got some great shots.
We also enjoyed lounging at Tracy and Ron’s house in between wedding events. Caroline and Julia are growing up so fast. We applauded Caroline’s interest in nursing, and tried (unsuccessfully) to get Julia to start a million-dollar Cell Phone Website. We strolled with Tracy, Ron and Dori to the dog park, and photographed the interesting mushrooms that grow in the park near their home. It was exceptionally wet from the rain brought by Hurricane Gustav, which is such a pleasure after the extra dry season that we’ve been having in Yosemite.
Unfortunately, the wonderful, relaxing vacation was capped by another marathon airplane journey back to CA. This time our flight arrived shortly after 5pm, and we managed to do a small amount of grocery shopping in Fresno before heading back to Yosemite.
I even managed to drop off a few of the Girls on Granite brochures that I’d brought with me. It’s late to get printed materials out for the September sessions, but there it is.