Sunday, September 14, 2008

My first vacation in more than 6 years!

Day 1 (Saturday):

A grueling day of travel. Up at 4am and downhill from there! The highlight: seeing my sister and brother-in-law come down the stairs at the airport in Boston! Picture this: we lock eyes and my sister and I run toward each other, arms out, squealing the whole way. A 4 hour drive later, we arrive for dinner at my great aunt and uncle's house. A wild event for all of us since we haven't seen them in about 20 years. Chuck got a bird's-eye-view into the history of the Stock side of the family! :o) We finally arrived at Folkestone Cottage (where Uncle Alan and Aunt Regina were waiting) after 10 and soon fell into bed. Don't remember much after arriving!

Day 2 (Sunday):

A typical New England fall day. We do breakfast at a local cafe (Tapley's) and spend the rest of the morning exploring a small section of downtown Bar Harbor (or, as everyone here calls it, "bah ha-bah"; it gets kind of annoying!) What started as mist became a steady drizzle by early afternoon. A hot bowl of Clam Chowder (at Geddy's) was great to warm up with (and a little bit of a local pumpkin beer). Returning to the sidewalk, the rain did not stop so we made a stop at a grocery store and Walmart and headed back to the cottage. We met up with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Kathy later in the afternoon and spent the evening catching up and playing games.
Highlights of the day: breakfast in the morning (don't usually eat before 9 or 10); exploring Bar Harbor with Chuck and Kelly; catching up with family throughout the day; playing board and card games until 10:30 (there is a lot of time to make up for with Kelly and Chuck!!). All-in-all, lots of fun!! :o)

Day 3 (Monday):

Dad, Mom, Kelly and I begin the day with a hike on one of the carriage roads in Acadia. It was a bit foggy and overcast, but that soon burned off to a warm day with lots of sunshine. Breakfast at the cottage and a few showers later, we headed over to the Asticou Inn to meet up with Bob and Kathy. We explored some shops in a couple of the little villages (they turned out to be really small and very expensive!). We had lunch in a little diner (I think in Southeast Harbor) and went back to the cottage to hang out for a little while. For dinner we excitedly went to the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound where Dad, Chuck and I all had our first whole lobsters. What a cool experience! We walked up to a tank in the lobby where we picked out our live lobster, they gave us a number corresponding to the steamer bag and took the lobster straight out to the (wood fueled!) steamer and then 10 minutes later it was ready! I couldn't believe it when I found out that my lobster only cost $12!! My Aunt Kathy gave us all "lobster lessons" and we dug in to the sweet, rich meat...there is nothing else like it! We stopped at an antique/wine store and a local dairy bar before heading back to the cottage, exhausted.

Highlights: getting to see my dad and his brothers together for the first time since my Nana's funeral; LOBSTER!; time spent talking to Mom, Aunt Kathy, Aunt Regina and Kelly.

A bright spot on a rainy day

Local boats

New England Lobster Buoys

Misty Bar Harbor

Monday, July 7, 2008

Signs of aging

I would by no means consider myself old at 32, but I have recently been reminded of exactly how much I have changed, especially in the last 10 years. A few weeks ago, my 22 year old cousin moved in while she does a summer internship. The existing circumstances created a requirement of packing, moving furniture around and adding furniture so we could share a room for a few months. I have not shared a room with someone since college (well over a decade ago) so needless to say this has been quite an adjustment. Fortunately, Katie and I have similar interests and get along very well.

It is fun having someone to do spontaneous things with...movies, shopping, playing games, walking/hiking, late night ice cream sundaes, anything that strikes our fancy. It has been the process of reverting to these activities after so many years, that has made me realize how old I have become. I definitely have much less stamina than I used to. I love being spontaneous, but I have been challenged to balance the peace and rest that I have become accustomed to and the activities I am enjoying again. Late night now means crashing into bed at 10:30 or 11 and talking until we fall asleep, which doesn't take long for me (what happened to those effortless all-nighters?). I haven't had mixed drinks in years and have found that I really don't miss them. I have the attention span of a 2 year old for many lengthy activities, including vegging and watching TV (didn't I used to just crash in front of the tube and zone out for hours?). The snacks and ice cream go straight to my waist and hips in spite of my increased activity (boy do I miss being able to eat whatever I want!!).

Even worse, (and, sadly enough, this was a surprise to me) is that guys are looking again. Not at me, of course, at Katie. The first time it happened was on our trip to the Smoky Mountains last month. We took a side trip into Gatlinburg and weren't there even 5 minutes before a car full of nice-looking boys (and I have to emphasize boys in this instance!) almost turned their heads completely around to look at us as we walked down the main drag. After a moment of utter shock in this realization, a deeper level of shock settled in when I realized that it had been years since I have seen members of the opposite sex react in that way. And now it wasn't even in response to me ('unless', I couldn't help thinking, 'that they were wondering what a beautiful girl like Kate was doing hanging out with a homely whale of an "old" woman!').

Many things just aren't as exciting and interesting as they used to be. Many more things make me sad for the "good old days" and a bit depressed. Could it be that I am older and wiser? Or, am I just unknowingly aging more rapidly than I would ever have thought possible?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Vocabulary

So I have recently been told that I make up some very interesting words. Most of the time it is little more than combining or lengthening normal words such as "gimongous" or "bestest". The most recent ones drew some rather funny comments from friends and co-workers.

A few weeks ago a couple of co-workers got into a conversation about vegetarians. When asked if I was a vegetarian, I paused and said, 'I'm a semitarian!' After a stunned look of confusion, I was inevitably asked what on earth that meant. As dead serious as I could be, I said that sometimes I go for days or weeks without eating meat, and other times I can't live without meat. Not really a full-time vegetarian, so a "semitarian"!

Yesterday, another new word was "created". I have a very mischievous cat named Milo. Among other things, he is well known for his stealth thieving abilities. In our previous house, my mother had a desk connected to the kitchen counter with a drawer underneath. Inevitably, if the desk chair was left pulled out away from the drawer, Milo would stand on the counter above it and slide his paw underneath to open the drawer. He would then proceed to steal whatever he could carry in his mouth...his favorites being rubber bands. These would often be found under furniture, or more often, under the stove or refrigerator.

In our current home, there is no drawer to get into. Now he has to resort to crimes of opportunity; straws and other implements from my mom's work table for her jewelry, bottle caps left on the counter, anything that makes noise like paper or foil. His favorite is still rubber bands and he has been known to retrieve them when they are flung across the room. He has also developed some new favorites. Pony tail holders are good, because they are easy to carry and flip around. His all time favorite, though, are nail files. I have some padded salon boards that he will go out of his way to steal; climbing on my bookshelf, digging in my purse, whatever it takes. I think it is because he likes to chew on them to sharpen his teeth. I can't tell you how many of these I have gone through for this reason!

That brings me to the next word. "cleptomanicat" That one pretty much speaks for itself! :o) Does anyone else have words like this, or am I the only crazy who makes up their own words?!?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Something to say?

Day one of the birth of a new blog. I have no idea what to write, but I guess I have something to say. Here goes...let's see where it takes me!