“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– St. Augustine
Sorry for the hiatus, darlings, J. and I went on a roadtrip with parents, brother, sister, brother-in-law, and five assorted nieces and nephews and a partridge in a pear tree. The purpose for this jaunt was to celebrate J.’s grandmother’s 90th birthday.
And she is well worth celebrating! She was a nurse in WWII and was stationed in Wales, but made it all over the place, including France, Luxembourg, Ireland, and England. She brought her uniforms for the kids to try on and dozens of books filled with pictures and memorabilia. Apart from that she raised a large family by herself after her husband, a police officer, was killed in action. And she is one of the happiest people I have ever met! I’ve never seen her without a smile. And she manages to make it to ever family function in spite of age, distance, or inconvenience.
Now, as to the vacation itself, it was a novelty. My family hasn’t done much in the way of small trips. We’ve either been living on a forsaken island in the Pacific that required a dozen hours flying to escape, or in Europe where if you drive an hour you’re in another country. My parents just had a trip to Sicily (where they were waylaid by a volcano). In the past few years we’ve gone to Australia, China, Italy, Austria, and my parents also got Thailand squeezed in there while J. and I visited England for Christmas. Plus a rather lot of traipsing back and forth across the Atlantic. But short roadtrips to and through towns with a population of less that 600 are foreign!
One of the uncles made homemade root beer with dry ice that bubbled away like witches brew, another made cotton candy. An aunt was in charge of the whole thing and sent everyone out on treasure hunts, got the entire clan to play dress up (and in some cases, Cross Dress, which in less capable hands is normally an awkward game…), and organized enough food for everyone.
Which was good, because other than that almost every meal we ate was deep fried in some capacity and my internal workings have not yet recovered. I mean, deep friend bread! I thought that was just in the South…I was so wrong. These foolish Americans actually call such things scones! And while I remain adamant that scones are something of a more biscuit variety to be consumed with tea, eating something (anything) deep friend and slathered in honey butter is not something to turn one’s nose up at.
And finally, despite living here for years, I’ve not actually seen a lot of the American West. Las Vegas, some parts of Colorado, fin. And while it will never convert me away from trees and lush grass…the mountains, rugged emptiness of it, and the oases of vibrant life are quite lovely!