The trip to DC was long, but the plan of leaving early in the morning turned out to be a good one. We hit traffic somewhere in the middle of Virginia which added about 2 hours to our overall trip time -- 13.5 hours in total. Still, the snow was lovely, and the in-laws had dinner waiting for us, so all was well there.

The kiddo enjoyed playing in the snow, and we got several good pictures of her hurling snow-clouds (it was totally the wrong snow for snowballs) at her cousin, father and uncle. We survived the Christmas Eve service with minimal questions from the Bit (all of which I referred to her father) and just a touch of bitchiness on my end. (Really? Scared baby animals should not be used as props. Please don't.) Then home for unwrapping of the first round of presents and time spent with cousins and uncles and in-laws and general happiness.

Christmas Day was quiet and lazy. We all got a ton of books, so we sat around and read for most of the morning and much of the afternoon. We spent the rest of our visit in much the same manner, and finally made it back into town on Tuesday.

Upon arrival, we went into a mad frenzy of cleaning, straightening and organizing which, so far, has mostly only produced More Stuff in the Garage and hasn't really (for a casual observer) seemed to have an impact on the house itself. Still, things have been painted, spiffed, spruced and generally neatened, and we're nearing the point where we'll actually take on the study. (Aah, the study.)

New Years stocking-stuffing and opening was good. It's the first year that both girls seemed truly interested in stuffing the stockings, so that was happy and charming. They also very deliberately pulled everything out of their own stocking and looked at each and every thing that they got before going on to the next present. It was adorable.

We spent the rest of vacation visiting with friends, cleaning more, and relaxing. And now it's back to work for all of us. In some ways, I'm glad to be back to a routine and a schedule. In other ways, I'm still hopeful for a lottery windfall.

Here's to the end of 2009 and good wishes for a bright 2010. (2010. Really? It's 2010 already?_
cyllan: (Default)
( Jun. 22nd, 2009 10:21 am)
I'm back at work after a lovely week of vacation in Gatlinburg. The Bit had an excellent time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time off.

We spent Saturday in Black Rock State Park where we tried our first bit of actual tent camping. It went remarkably well, so I think we'll be doing more of that in the future. We also introduced the Bit to Pop-Tarts which may have been a mistake. Sprinkles + Frosting = Best Breakfast Ever. We hiked a bit, looked at really pretty flowers, and hung out with the neighbors (they had a dog, you see) and then packed up and drove to Gatlinburg.

Monday was TimeShare Sales Meeting and horseback riding. The timeshare -- sorry, Vacation Club Membership -- people offered us $75.00 in cash + breakfast, so we went a listened to their spiel. I highly recommend that anyone forced to attend a high-pressure sales meeting bring along a small child as a distraction and timer technique. The Bit nicely spilled orange juice all over everwhere and went DING about the time that I was ready to throttle the nice salesman with his own reading material.

Horseback riding was awesome, although my knees aren't going to manage much more than an hour ever again I fear. The place we picked (Deer Park Stables) had an attached petting zoo, and they let the Bit ride on her own horse. She was thrilled, and the parents got an hour of not having to answer questions. Awesome!

We spent Tuesday in the park and discovered that tLD has a love of Old Buildings. She thought Cades Cove was was cool, and she has expressed her desire to see more. We spotted some deer (And really people? They're deer. Please do not be blocking the road for deer. If you want to see them, my neighborhood has plenty of the fuckers; they eat my flowers all the time.) and got a glimpse of a shadow of a bear. (More excuse for blocking the road for a bear, but only if it's in the middle of the damned road. It's a bear. Move over to one side and THEN get out to take pictures of the large predator. When it decides to eat you, I don't want to have to go through bear shit trying to find your keys so we can move your car.)

Wednesday was the lazy day; we did a smaller motor trail that was right near our condo. We saw more old buildings, walked through the woods, played in the creek and went swimming in the pool. We also saw the Black Bear Jamboree which...really just drove home the point that I was surrounded by folks who were completely alien to me. My ex-Presbyterian pagan soul (and the ex-Presbyterian is the loudest here) Does Not Approve of blatant displays of evangelical Pop Christianity; it's just tacky. I could have skipped the last 15 minutes of Praise Gospel music and been perfectly content with my evening. Also, Bash-the-Nerd jokes make me want to spork someone. Still, the music was fun; the dancing was entertaining, and I amused myself sufficiently by trying to decide which of the performers were queer and if any of them were out about it. (At least two; probably one but not the other.)

Thursday was poking around Gatlinburg. We did a mirror-maze (oh to be able to recreate that for a module some day) and the Aquarium of the Smokies which was remarkably awesome. Equally surprisingly awesome was Dollywood on Friday.

We got home in time to attend the party for [livejournal.com profile] aveareya's wedding. Yay, being back among my people. Much LARP geeking took place which was much fun. Stupid LARP. Stupid Summer Break. Want air-conditioned site so I can LARP in July. We'll pick back up in 2 months, and I will have completely forgotten what I was trying to accomplish at the last event.

Anyway, back to work.
Wheeeeeeeeee!

I went to London, and it was awesome, and my daughter is awesome, and my husband is awesome, and it was crazy-cool.

Also awesome? Watching the Bit chase pigeons. Years from now, the only thing she's going to remember about London is that there were pigeons. I suppose there are worse things to remember.

There's a fuck-ton of gold-leaf and gilding in London. Like, amazing amounts. I thought Spain got all the gold. Also, who REALLY needs a punch bowl that one can bath in? Gross.

Cabbies -- even the one that ripped us off -- are not paid enough. Or at least, I couldn't be paid enough to drive in London traffic. But I would love to live somewhere that walkable. I'd need better food though. Cause, um, yeah. I'd have conquered countries with good food too, guys.

Note to people trying to get me to move to London. Sending me the enormous poster of "Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellan in Waiting for Godot" would go a long way towards expressing your point.

London Eye was really keen. Coherent thoughts are tricky right now as I think my brain has melted out of my ears and dribbled down my jeans. Or maybe that's just sticky stuff from the plane flight? Not sure; check back tomorrow.
cyllan: (Default)
( Sep. 8th, 2008 01:30 pm)
We went off to Huntsville, Al this weekend (breaking a long-standing vow of [livejournal.com profile] touchstone's to never set foot in the state) with the goal of seeing caves and rockets. Except for some minor stress of the Bit being too excited to listen to mom and dad, it was a blast.

After the Bit's dance class on Saturday morning, we threw ourselves into the car and headed to Catherdral Caverns state park -- featuring FOUR WORLD RECORDS for a commercially operated cave and tour guides with the thickest Alabama accent that I've ever heard. We were in a bit of a rush until we remembered that Alabama was in the Central timezone, so we made it to the caves with tons of time to spare. The Bit and Kit got to spend time running around the courtyard and playing in the fountain before the guided tour got underway.

The caves were huge -- massive, even -- and had some really beautiful rock formations. I highly recommend stopping if you ever find yourself in the area. the Bit had tons of fun, going so far as to declare that "When I grow up, I want to be a cave lady!" like our tour guide.

On Sunday, we went to the US Space and Rockets Center. There, the Bit was bitterly disappointed that she was going to be able to get into a real rocket and go to the moon. When we told her that if she studied really hard in school, and became an astronaut that she might go to the moon, she gave us this Look and said, "But I don't want to go to the moon when I'm grown up. I want to go when I'm THREE!" Mom and Dad were understanding, but unrelenting.

She did get to ride on a "simulated moon-jump" ride for little kids. It took her up about 15 or 20 feet and then bounced down to the ground. The first time she tried it, there was this look in her eyes that said, "Should I be scared? Is this fun?" She looked at us, and we were smiling which seemed to be the indication that all was well. At that point, she broke into cackles of glee and insisted (along with the Kit) in riding some seven or eight more times. It was much fun.

Me, I was just amazed. Every time I look at a rocket or space ship, I get goose bumps to think "People did that." Humans -- people just like me (okay, smarter than me, but still) -- put together this thing. We designed it, built it, found people to strap themselves into it, and we shoved our way our into a place where we totally do not belong, and that is just the coolest thing ever. I am thrilled by the idea that men and women can get together and build a spaceship that lets us go into outer-space. It's awe-inspiring to me.
cyllan: (Default)
( May. 29th, 2007 01:53 pm)
Just a short update to skim over the very lovely vacation week in Vermont. We got back on Sunday evening, and I've spent most of the intervening time unpacking, doing laundry and dealing with everything that I'd ignored before leaving for vacation. Most of livejournal backentries were skimmed at best, so if anyone had anything really important or interesting, let me know.

Vermont Vacation )
cyllan: (Default)
( Jan. 2nd, 2007 09:12 am)
Work? Huh? Oh, right. It's this place where I go and do stuff so that I can get paid. It's all coming back to me now.

Surprisingly, waking up this morning wasn't all that painful. It helped that tLD decided to sleep the entire night through, waking up briefly at 6:40ish or so and then going back to sleep until after I was out of the shower -- sometime around 7:20. Even traffic wasn't bad coming in this morning.

New Year's Eve and Day were both delightful. I spent NYE geeking with the rest of Team Darkling and appreciating a brief lack of small child. The same lack of small child meant that I got to sleep in on New Year's Day until sometime slightly after 10:00. Amazing.

We spent the rest of the day with friends and good company. We got to exchange presents, eat the traditional New Year's Foods (black eyed peas, cabbage, grapes, doughnuts) and relax for one evening more before returning to work.

Right. Work. I should go look into that now.
cyllan: (Default)
( Dec. 21st, 2006 01:18 pm)
Work has finally calmed down after a hell project took over for about three weeks, so I've a bit of time to update.

Bit Update. )

Fourth Wall )

Holiday Cheer? )

Also, it is worth noting that I'm off work and home for all of next week. I would like to see folks generally, so if you're free and up for company, drop me a line.
Home from Boston. Saw lots of folks, survived wrangling tLD in a completely non-babyproofed home. Had fun. Relaxed some. More later. Go tud now.
cyllan: (Default)
( Feb. 21st, 2006 09:45 am)
My friends list is being swarmed by pregnant people and very young babies. Where did all of this exuberant reproduction come from, anyway?

Not a whole lot to report; life has been rather blissfully quiet as of late. tLD is doing well, the Rat and I are doing well; it's all pretty good.

Brief tLD update )

Spent a few hours this past weekend poking at old high school classmates and seeing where they are. Turns out that a lot of them are high powered lawyers or financial analysts. Somehow, I'm not surprised. Still debating the high school reunion thing. I didn't like it the last time, but...I'm still torn.

Skiing this weekend. Me and the snow and the going down hill (hopefully not) very fast. I'm not so sure about this. But the visiting and the people should be fun even if the snow sends me fleeing inside.
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