Boone Camping, 8/18-8/23

Last week, we took our inaugural camping trip with our camper, and it was certainly an adventure!

I didn’t have high hopes when we drove up and this was the sign that greeted us.  It looks like a five-year-old made it.

The staff, however, was full of people who were very intelligent and also kind and accomodating.  They helped Joey get backed in and helped us when part of the trailer broke and I ended up inside sobbing and cussing about how we never should have taken on this debt and we need to drive right back home and sell it.  Yep, it was a little much.

I got over it.

image

Kit is my “camping buddy.”  She’s been with me on all of my camping trips, and she’s pretty badass since she’s both a kitteh and a skeleton.

image

I think Joey was glad to be done with the backing/set-up/poop-hose-maintenence/watching wife-spin-off-into-drama-oblivion.  Once he got settled down with some potato chips, he was pretty happy.

There were many good meals, including an excellent chili that our friends Chris and Christine made when they came up for one night.  She has all of the pictures.  Here, however, is the meal that we made on Sunday night.  Steaks and roasted corn over the fire.  It was, without a doubt, the second-best steak I’ve ever had in my life.  Joey did an excellent job.

image

On Monday, we went to Blowing Rock.  This was the view from the top observation deck.

image

yeah, me and the rock.  One of them, at least

And another campfire shot.

Additional things:

  1. I’ve never made s’mores before. Christine made them and now I’m hooked.
  2. I can cook ANYTHING in cast iron.  Freakin’ eh!
  3. Always make sure you ask if the sewer hookup is ground level.  Ours wasn’t.  Joey had to run the dirty water down it one hose at a time and work it to the end of the hose.  Not fun when all that’s between you and some stinky poop is a few tenths of an inch of plastic.
  4. Never cook bacon in cast iron inside.
  5. There is no hook for the shower nozzel, so you have to use the want attachment, spray down, turn off the shower, soap up, rinse off, repeat.  Several times.  Shaving one’s legs is not in the cards.  I learned to embrace my inner-hippie.  But I still wore deoderant.
  6. College move-in weekend is probably not the best time to go to Boone, NC.
  7. Neighbors are great.  Our neighbors on the next site, Warren and Mary, helped us out a ton with first-time RV-ing questions, and we sat with them for two nights hanging out.  They were high school sweethearts and are turning 70 this year.  Such amazing people.
  8. You have to turn sideways and put your butt in the shower to have enough room to use TP after you poop.
  9. Towing a trailer up and down a mountain?  Scary as hell, but Joey did an excellent job.
  10. I MISSED SHELLI so much.  We’re working on the modifications that we need to make so we can take her next time.

Oh, and on a side note, if you’re a reader of Daisy the Curly Cat, she had a little scare this morning with a link on her blogroll that got hacked, which caused her to be listed by Google as a site with potentially hazardous malware.  She found out what the problem was, removed the link, been cleared by Google, and all has been restored, so if you encountered the warning this morning, don’t fear, all is well, and you can go back to her site without any worries of big, scary monsters.

More to come.  Probably more rambly stuff.  But stuff.

New York and Halloween Spookiness!

Howdy!  I finally got my pictures together and got some time to myself, so I thought I’d share the past couple of weeks with you!  I had to get stuff ready to lead discussion this week at school and had a paper due, and I’m still dealing with this hacking cough thing, so I buckled down and focused on what I needed to do (that, and I’ve been ODing on tv since we got DISH Network and I have channels now!!  Brain Atrophy, let’s begin!!)

So, here we are at the airport, me and Katie:

image

Saturday, we saw a show:)….and it was awesome…over-the-top, fun, everything a musical in New York should be!

image

Sunday, we went to Ground Zero, which was probably the most important thing I did.  When we entered the gallery, it was just as though it had happened yesterday.  I won’t post a lot of the pictures, but this one gripped me:

image

At the end of the gallery, there was a room with a table and these cards where you could share your thoughts.  They were posted all over the room.  Here’s what I wrote:

image

Monday morning, we walked Central Park.  We ended up reading the dedications on the park benches for most of the walk.  Here was one of my favorites:

image

Here are Katie and I with the promo poster for the concert; let me tell you that the experience of preparing for and singing in Carnegie Hall was surreal.  Saturday, we had eight hours of rehearsal, broken into two sessions with a lunch break.  It was like being in a very detailed, advanced music class.  The director threw technical elements at us, and there was a diction coach who taught us different ways to pronounce the words we were singing so that it would come across correctly to the listeners in Carnegie Hall.  On Monday, we had a four hour dress rehearsal before the actual concert.

The concert hall was incredible.  I don’t have any pictures because of Union Rules…the only one who could take pictures in Carnegie Hall was the union photographer.  We’re supposed to get them emailed to us at some point, so I’ll post those once we have them.  Suffice it to say that it was beautiful.  Melinda Doolittle was so nice and adorable, and Travis Cottrell was great, too.  I really feel blessed to have gotten to do this.

Last weekend was pumpkin carving time with the BFFs…here are the boys, being silly as usual:

image

Shannon’s pumpkin:

image

My pumpkin:

image

Joey and James actually carved two sides of the same HUGE pumpkin.  Here’s James’s side:

image

And Joey’s side:image

Joey’s feeling pretty sick right now, so we’re hoping that he’ll start to feel better because we’re planning to hang out with James and Shannon tonight and I’m making a special meal as part of The Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program!!

Here’s a super-spooky Kins-shot for you.  Happy Halloween!!

image

Home, Sweet Home…SWEET, SWEET HOME…

Yes, we’re home.  We got in Tuesday evening (two hours later than we were supposed to, thanks to stupid DELTA Airlines) and I went back to work yesterday (probably not the best decision because I was mostly worthless).  The wedding site was beautiful; Bridal Veil Lakes, a private park, gave the bridal party the run of the place for the entire day, including the lake and canoes.  Joey got lots of beautiful pictures, but I’ll just post mine because some are going to Tobacco Road Creations!  Stay tuned for more on that:).

That was a park bench that sat on a ledge over a rushing stream (it was rushing pretty quickly and was LOUD!).

The pine trees there were huge; it was incredible to see, since we mow down any tree that gets to be tall here in Charlotte….and then replace it with a smelly Bradford Pear Tree.  I got a pic of Joey shooting a pic so you could get an idea of just how much the trees were.  It was amazing.

As far as the rest of Portland?  There was Powell’s Book Store.  There was the Portland Zoo.  There was Extremo the Clown.

And, thank goodness, we are now home.  For all of my gripes about Charlotte politics, money mismanagement, and government corruption, I was ready to kiss the ground when we finally got off the plane.  There is truly no place like home.

West Coast Thoughts

1.  Do not assume that, if someone is talking to himself, that he must have a bluetooth headset on the other side of his head.  And if he just told himself that he stopped taking drugs a while back, don’t necessarily believe him.

2.  Buses smell.

3.  Stumptown Coffee has, thus far, been a letdown.  But the coffee in Powell’s Used Bookstore is fabulous!

4.  Everyone has tattoos!

5.  Thankfully, the lady who was talking to her purse actually DID have a tiny dog in there.

6.  Don’t assume it’s a woman.

7.  Finally, a place where people don’t think you’re crazy when you’re in your Vibrams!

8.  A used bookstore that takes up an entire city block is heaven on earth!

9.  Vegan stuff EVERYWHERE…but also nudie bars:(

10.  There’s no place like home.