August 7, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Click the X in the right hand side of the Super Poke advertisement. That's a disappointing aspect of this app!

I still have a few more weeks of vacation left, but a few weeks ago, it did occur to me that when I meet with my colleagues again, we'll have to engage in the traditional catching up ritual when we regale stories of our amazing summers. Awesome, huh? Yeah, except I work with a lot of people who lead more interesting lives than I do. People whose families live in more interesting places than mine do. People who leave the country to vacation. People who do service in the summer. People who might have travel tales to tell.

I can't wait for this scenario to be played over and over:

Nice Colleague: So, how was your summer? What did you do?

Me: Well, I visited Idaho twice and Utah once. Neither of those were vacations I'd had planned, as we had a bunch of family here in June, and we thought that would pretty well be our vacation.

Nice Colleague: Oh, well. That's nice.

Me: Actually it was nice seeing family and friends I hadn't seen in a while. What did you do?

Nice Colleague: Oh, you know, I took a cruise to the Bahamas./ I helped youth build houses in needy areas./ I went to the World Cup./ I went to Disneyland and Disney World./ Created the cure for cancer.

So, shoot me now.

I had a very nice summer vacation, actually. And I'm not finished because yesterday I woke up with a wild hair that I should call my friend in Grand Junction, Colorado to see if I could come visit for a few days. So, I'll be able to add Colorado to my list of exotic destinations.

Okay, now seriously. I have had some great times this summer, and here I will list them for my pleasure, and yours, if you like.

  • In June, my eldest step-daughter and her family came for a week-long visit. It was a pretty big deal because there was a grandchild in the house for the first time! And she is just cute, cute, cute! They live in Tennessee, so we don't get to see them often. My mother-in-law came at the same time, and I was so thankful to have such a large home (we just bought in November) to accommodate everyone so comfortably. Although I was nervous to be in a house full of people who are not my blood relatives, we had a blast!
  • We traveled to Kimberly, ID, which is a suburb of Twin Falls--like Twin is even big enough to have a suburb--to visit my best friend at her parent's house on the 4th of July. My friend's brother had a big barbecue, and although I was so cold all day, we had a lovely day just hanging outside. The best part was watching my son run wild with other little boys all day. Feed the horses, play kickball, have a water gun fight, walk on barrels. It was a boy's dream day.
  • My childhood best friend came to Las Vegas for a conference, and we had a nice afternoon shopping and catching up. I saw her a few weeks later when I was in Utah, which is where she lives. We usually celebrate our birthdays together, but I didn't have much time, we spent another nice afternoon making plans for our birthday next year. We are moving into another decade. It will be a big deal.
  • My mom and I took a road trip to see my grandma in northern Idaho. Mom lives in northern Utah, about 7 hours from me , and it was about 13 hours from her house to my grandmother's house. I had road shakes--you know when your body vibrates for a few hours after a long drive--several times in two weeks. Throughout Nevada, most of Utah, and southern Idaho, the scenery is pretty much the same. Desert and sky.
  • When we first hit the pine trees, we pulled over so I could take a picture for my 365 project. TREES! I didn't get a good picture, but I could have stood there all day smelling the trees. Love the smell!
  • On the way we stayed at this little motel along the Salmon River and we saw deer right outside our window! There was a patio behind the hotel, so we sat outside and drank beer, watched deer, and listened to the river. It's hard to find such peace where I live! It was a great evening to share with my mom.
  • Grandma lives with Aunt Diana, and yet another aunt, Barb, came to visit, so we girls had a dandy old time catching up! One night we broke out the camera and were taking goofy pictures. We tried to take a self portrait of ourselves, but without a tripod and five of us in the group, we found it challenging. I think the best one was the one we took of our feet. It was certainly the easiest one to take!
  • I also spent some time with my brother and his family when Mom and I came back from Idaho. I was impressed with his yard and the "green" way they live. My sister-in-law works at a greenhouse in the summer, and she gave me a tour of her work. I know nothing about plants, so I am just in awe of her!
  • While in Utah, I ran into an old high school friend, Ali, who lives in the Netherlands. We are the type of friends who, unfortunately, lose touch for years, but when we reconnect, it's like we had never been apart. When I saw her, she had just arrived, and I was just leaving, but as it turns out, she was going to be meeting family in Las Vegas! Happy dances! She came over one afternoon, and we drank tea and caught up on too many years. I was so sad to see her go, but that afternoon brightened my whole week. (You know, I've had a standing invitation to go to the Netherlands for 15 years. Maybe I should go!)
I'm sure there are other little things that I'll forget. I've actually had a pretty busy summer visiting friends and family. Nothing too exciting or exotic, and for the most part, I've visited places I've been before, and those places are small, slow-paced towns. Some of my young, adventure colleagues may not understand it, but I've had exactly the kind of summer I've wanted and needed!

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