Well, that's the sad thing about vacations. They always come to an end. But this one was a really nice one. We had good weather: not too hot, not too cold. We did a lot of things that were very interesting which we had not done before. We went to the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco. Went to see Old Town Sacramento (didn't even know they had an Old Town but it does figure) and spent two nights on a restored river boat. We drove through Weed, California (may not seem important but to my freshmen lit classes, it figures in the book Of Mice and Men and the students are amazed that there is actually a town called "Weed". I took pictures) to Sisters, Oregon for the biggest outdoor quilt show in the world (see previous post.) We went antiquing in Redmond, OR. There was a Lavender Festival the same weekend and we went out to visit a family-owned lavender farm (also see previous post). We visited Albany, OR. to see a workshop where the townspeople of Albany are creating a carousel (previous post). We drove though hundreds of miles of absolutely beautiful scenery: trees and mountains and rivers and lakes (Oregon is very green.) We had breakfast made for us every morning and fresh linen on our bed every night. We listened to 2 1/2 books on Doug's iPod. So all in all, a nice time was had for the 10 days we were gone.
One of the nicest things about taking car trips is the opportunity to see the places in the United States that most people just fly over to get to their destinations. In our travels, over the years, we have come upon some very interesting and unusual sights. Quilts painted on barns, memorials to famous people and not so famous people. Small towns that are holding their own in the economic crisis by banding together and making it work. We have met so many interesting people.
This year was a little different though. We did not take a trip last year due to my recovering from cancer surgery. And in the last 6 months I have discovered I have some food allergies. Food allergies make traveling more challenging. It's a lot more work. I take my own salad dressing and coffee creamer (almond milk), make my own protein bars, take peanut butter; all which necessitates taking a car refrigerator and making sure all the hotel rooms have fridges. We stay in a chain of hotels that have a hot breakfast and allows you to take fruit with you for the day ahead. Bananas and peanut butter are a life saver! You also have to ask a lot more questions. "Do you scramble your eggs with milk?" "Is the sauce a clear sauce or more of a gravy?" "Can I order a hamburger without the bun?" "Can I substitute fruit for another item?" "What kind of fruit is in your fruit dish?" "Are those shrimp grilled or sautéed in a sauce?" "Do you have a non-dairy creamer?" "Are your mashed potatoes made with milk?" "Is the salad premixed or can I have it without the cheese, or tomatoes or...???" "Can I order the ribs dry or are they pre-sauced?" I was amazed that, for the most part, people are very accommodating and only one wait-person rolled his eyes at me :) But I did get what I ordered so at least he took me seriously. And when there wasn't much on the menu to order at least I could order a hamburger and take the bun off myself, no sauce please, or most restaurants serve steaks and that is usually a good bet for me as they are usually just grilled, even though they are not always the least expensive item on the menu. And the places that serve breakfast all day, they are the easiest for me, and they are not hard to find. I was glad to see that many of the places we went had restaurants and bakeries that were vegan and usually had gluten free items as well.
So, now it is back to the business of getting the stuff on my summer list done before school starts. I am getting a lot of things done for the guild's auction in September. I downloaded all the songs I wanted for my iPod and now just have to organize them. I'm spending two days with my sister next week. Got my two books read (yeas, I am counting the ones from Audible!) I have mastered a gluten free cake recipe and tried some quick breads that were good also. I tried to make crackers four times with three different recipes. No luck there. Got a baby quilt done and am working on another quilt I hope to get done by the time school begins. I got my syllabi (or syllabuses; both are correct) done and will do my common notebook formatting tonight. I haven't sat down and worked on my book. Too many thing running through my brain to concentrate but I have done what I call "mind-mapping" of one of the characters. So I can count that as some progress. I don't remember the rest of my list; I will have to go back to that post and read it.
As far as summer goes, I will count this as a fulfilling one, and it's not even over yet!
Summer on, my friends!