We spent a couple of days for Thanksgiving with Monique's family in Fairfax VA. Both Chris and Nick and their families were able to join us, so we spent both with family and there was no time for socializing with friends.
Then Monique and I went down to Williamsburg, VA for a week of vacation (sort of). We both spent a couple of days of it working, but we also spent some quiet time together watching TV, shopping, going through a drive-through Christmas Fantasy of Lights (which was absolutely amazing) and catching a murder mystery comedy dinner.
We came back a day early to do things around the house; good thing because even with the extra day we still didn't manage to get everything done.
And now, back to work. Happy Monday everyone!
We were supposed to leave Friday after work, drive to DE and stay in a hotel, pick up Elijah first thing Saturday morning and drive to FL, checking into the condo by Saturday night. Yeah, that was definitely the plan, just not the way things worked out. Something came up that Elijah needed to be in DE Monday morning for a 9:00 apointment. Fortunately, the hotel let me change my reservation last minute from Friday night to Sunday night.
We spent the weekend in VA, staying at Monique's sister's house. I got to spend a bit of time with Steve and Kiera on Saturday, then we went and gambled at the casino in WV Saturday night and Sunday spent the day playing games with Nicole. Sunday night was spent at the hotel in DE and then Monday morning we dropped Chris off to meet Amy and Elijah. After the appointment we headed off for sunny FL. Only sunny FL was not so sunny by the time we pulled in at 5:00 in the morning Tuesday morning.
Anyway, so far we've had pool time, shopping for supplies, a hands-on kid-friendly mobile safari at the condo with tarantuals, snakes, tortoises and hedgehogs. I've got a great picture of Monique holding a tarantuala. I never thought I'd see that day. And now, hibernating from the sunburn-inducing heat of the mid-day I have some time to do some on-line catching up.
So, if you haven't heard from me in a while, it may take a couple of days, but I'm back. To do:
- 7V updates
- Write a 7V encounter
- Write music for 2 LARP needs
- Play with new recording hardware and software to get learning tracks to people
- Answer a metric f***ton of emails
I'll see what I have time for today after that.
Yes, I actually left work Thursday night around 8:00 and didn't work on Friday and we flew into Orlando at 9:00 last night, but we're now settled into the condo, the groceries are put away, the clothes are put away and my PC is set up (and will *NOT* be used at all for work purposes). Now I can say it's vacation. Two weeks of nothing but rest and relaxation. It's in the 80's. The sun is shining. The ocean is beautiful. I am a happy man.
Monique and I spent most of the week together, at least in the same room and I wasn't at work, so I was very happy. Just getting all that 7V stuff done removed loads and loads of stress, so I'm feeling much better for the vacation.
First day back was rough. I met with all 6 of my guys, one-on-one to catch up on things going on. That chewed through a fair chunk of my day. The rest was spent reading emails and dodging problems that need to wait until tomorrow so I could get to the important stuff. Gotta love job security. I've only been back one day and already I think that light at the end of the tunnel is the flames of Hell flickering across the tunnel walls.
( Vacation ramblings behind cut for friends' page brevity )
Happy birthday to my friends nomadmwe and tinwesl !
And on the order of congratulations... Congratulations to my awesome, wonderful, fantastic brother for this year's first Teva Life Agent Award! You can read about it here: http://www.pitchengine.com/free-release.
I last left off on Friday, the day before Halloween. The thing I didn't mention about the whole haunted house that's relevant here is that there were 11 hours of setup for it across two nights last week. We were there until 2:00 in the morning the night before setting up our haunted house and I was back to work at 7:00 in the morning, with a (45 minute) commute each way. If you do the math, it means I was drop dead tired Friday night and opted not to drive to NH on only 2 hours of sleep.
So why was I going to NH?
( Vacation, oh boy! Restful, relaxing, recharging vacation. (Boring details under cut) )
But that's not really why I came to NH. I'm on vacation this week.
The last week and a half have been... interesting; as in, "May you live in interesting times". The last week of work prepping for vacation was really rough. I just didn't have the time or stamina for an LJ post. I was constantly going trying to get everything done at work I needed to before leaving. I failed. I'm sure the ramifications of that will come back to haunt me when I get back, but right now, frankly, I just don't care.
While doing the long hours at work, I was also trying to get stuff done at home to prep for vacation and for NERO. Let's visit NERO first. ( NERO notes )
( The escapades of the memorial service... )
( How I spent the first 2 1/2 days of my first real vacation in 14 months )
( Theatre thoughts )
( ERP and (not) vacation )
( JoAnn's and the Dollar Tree (sounds like a fairy tale) )
So now I'm working on catching up on a whole bunch of stuff. Maybe I'll actually get some of it done.
One last thought. Thank God the weather wasn't like this last weekend. I think I'd die running around in the sun in a black, furry dog suit this weekend.
So while she's at work today and tomorrow I'm left to sleep in late (7:30 this morning), eat a leisurely breakfast (IHOP today) and just generally relax. I have a few items on my "to do" list, but none of them are critical, so if they don't get done it's no big deal.
I just woke up from a two hour nap. i feel absolutely decadent... and refreshed.
We spent Thanksgiving in Williamsburg, VA. We have a timeshare down there and we used some of our banked swap time to pick up more units so that each family could have their own place to stay for the 3 1/2 days were together. Unfortunately, ours was the master hang-out unit, so there really was no escape from the mob. In the long run, it wasn't too bad because letting everyone else escape kept the stress relatively low. There were a few moments, but not nearly as many as I anticipated and I actually had some very cool conversations with my niece Melanie. She's always been very quiet and non-communicative. I think college has done her a lot of good.
I found this brochure for a Crystal Concert in historic Williamsburg and talked people into going to see it. It was only $10 a person and most everyone wanted to see the historic part of Williamsburg anyway, so it worked out. This was really cool. It was a program by a guy who plays the crystal armonica, crystal handbells, a glass violin and this french instrument that's made of glass that looks like a xylophone called a baschet. Everyone in the family loved it, so I was pleased that I managed to pull off a successful family activity. If you want to see some of these amazing instruments, check out http://www.crystalconcert.com/
The drive home Saturday was pretty brutal. It took us 11 hours. I did all the driving so Monique could keep an eye on Elijah. We took him on the ride home so Amy and Chris could get ahead. They were going all the way up to NH for the Sunday football game. Unfortunately, even though they had an hour head start on us, because of traffic and alternate routes and us meeting up with them in NJ (we caught up), we ended up getting home before them.
And to make matters worse, both Monique and I caught colds while on vacation, so that added to the general stress and fatigue. I actually ended up being quite sick Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to the point that I've missed two days work this week. So I guess I'd better get to it because being out for a week and a half isn't going to make the rest of this week any easier.
The Fifteenth Annual Columbia Flute Choir Festival
sponsored by the Columbia Institute of Fine Arts and Columbia Flute Choir will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 10:00 am. The event is held at Columbia Baptist Church, 103 West Columbia Street, Falls Church, Virginia. The church main telephone number is (703) 534-5700. Click here for map/directions to the church.
Participants in previous years have included Flutes on the Brink, Baltimore Flute Choir, Frederick Flute Choir, The Musical Offering Flute Ensemble, The Woodbridge Flute Choir, the Fauquier Flute Ensemble, and, of course, Columbia Flute Choir.
The Columbia Institute of Fine Arts can be reached at (703) 534-2508.
And if you're interested in breakfast with us at 8:30, Steve posted:
There is an IHOP in falls church. 6655 Arlington Blvd Falls Church VA 22042. I have never been there, but I assume it is like any other. If there is an objection I can find something else. :)
I have no objections to IHOP, so I'm planning on being there.
With any luck I'll get out of here around noon today. I suspect it will be more like 1 or 2, but Monique is here, so I should be able to leverage that to make an escape. We'll head down to here sister's house in Fairfax VA straight from work.
Tomorrow morning, assuming he finds a place for us to meet, we'll be going out to breakfast with Steve. If I should find out in a timely fashion, I'll modify the post with that information if anyone chooses to join us. In fact, if anyone in the VA area chooses to join us at any time in the next few days and wants to know where we are, you can call me on my cell at 203-268-4282, At 10:00 we're going to the flute choir festival in Falls Church with a couple of folks. The rest of the day is still unplanned.
Since I don't know what internet connectivity will be for the next couple days, I will take this opportunity to wish a slightly early Happy Birthday to lemmenkainen and silentmwe . May you both have great days with fun times, good health and beautiful women. :-)
We get into CT tonight around midnight. Tomorrow we're heading up to NH to take my mom out for Mothers' Day.
If I don't get to post again, as I suspect I won't, Happy Mothers' Day to all you mothers out there in LJ land.
First, happy birthday embermwe anddebgedney. May the day bring you both much happiness.
Ok, now that the important stuff is out of the way, back to vacation updates. We've done a lot of relaxing, reading and sitting by the pool, but also a fair amount of work. Monique has probably put in four full days of work on this vacation. A lot is going on at her job and it really can't wait. Well, some of it could, but today is her boss' last day and there's some serious considerations having to do with the transition and it's in her best interest to dealing with it directly.
This vacation has been all about trying out different places to eat. Last night we went to the Lobster Shanty. Our table was overlooking the water and while we were eating, we saw a dolpin surface a couple times within about 50 feet of us. That was really cool. The food was good. The service was slow.
Today we went to visit Nancy Clew, the director of the flute orchestra we saw on Sunday. I had spoken to her briefly after the concert. She had a lot of people waiting to talk to her that day, and though she acknoledged who I was, she didn't really have time for more than a few words. I sent her a follow up email congratulating her on the fine job and we ended up swapping a few emails ending up with her inviting Monique and I over for a visit today.
We talked about lots of things relating to flutes (go figure) as well as a whole bunch of other stuff. She's an absolutely delightful lady. Next year's concert is on the first Sunday in May, the second Sunday of our vacation. I will be bringing my bass flute down, rehearsing with them the Sunday before that and playing the concert with them. Yes, I now have plans for my 2009 vacation.
It was just a lovely day all around.
Since you have to be out by 11 and can't check in until 5, it leaves a bit of a gap. Of course, they try to work the priorities in your favor, but there's a lot of time sitting by the phone waiting for them to call. Fortunately, that phone is the cell phone we had by the pool, so it really wasn't bad.
We went to a flute orchestra concert yesterday. What, you may ask, is the difference between a flute choir and a flute orchestra. This beast had 12 alto flutes, 5 bass flutes and 2 contrabass flutes. The whole group was fourty-one flutists. What an amazing sound. I can't believe their spring concert fell right in the middle of our vacation and only 1/2 hour from where we're staying.
Anyway, off to another week of being lazy.
Last night, Monique and I went out to a restaraunt we'd never tried before. It's called the Sunset Ocean Front Cafe and it was absolutely delightful. Most of the restaurant is on this huuuuuge porch overlooking the Banana River. Of course, the Banana River isn't so much a river as an inlet, so it's essentially ocean front. The rest of the tables are on the docks and you are literally within 4 feet of water. We were fortunate enough to get one of these tables. From where I was sitting I was able to throw food to this swarming horde of giant catfish, not that I did that constantly throughout my dinner or anything.
There was a guitarist singing and playing. He was playing stuff from James Taylor, John Denver and all sorts of artists from that same rough time period. He was excellent.
The food was primarily steak / seafood and was plentiful, delicious and well priced. And they had pecan pie (Monique's favorite) and authentic key lime pie (my favorite). The whole evening was a total win. We will definitely revisit this one.
Today was the first time I actually set foot on the beach. As I've said before, for me the ocean is all about the senses. I love to see it, hear it and smell it, but if I can touch it or taste it, I'm too close. However, this morning I had an urge to go walk the beach. I spent about 45 minutes all told. It was really quite lovely and I will probably do it again.
Have fun all at your various LARPs this weekend (Ravenholt and Endgame, I think). I will be thinking of you.
Remember Shirley, our waitress from last vacation at the Denny's across the street from our condo (http://kumir-k9.livejournal.com/2007/04/
Internet connectivity has been an interesting issue. We have it sporadically at some places in our unit. Down by the pool it's pretty solid, except for yesterday afternoon when it got windy. The front desk has been less than helpful in this regard. The first time I called about problems, they told me that several guests had already reported intermittant connectivity and that they had called a tech. Now I of all people shouldn't have let a vague answer like that go by and assume anything at all. I called them the second day when the same issue was occurring only to find out that guests had been reporting this issue for months and that they were looking at replacing their system entirely and that it could be weeks before this issue was resolved. I guess I'll just have to keep working and IMing and doing LJ updates from the poolside. Oh, the tragedy. ;-)
Oh yeah, yesterday when the wind kicked up and the network locked up and wouldn't let us back in, I went in to the front desk to talk to them about it. We talked briefly about wireless access points and how many were around the grounds and why it might be locked up. They told me it was down because of the wind. I told them that I do tech support for a living and even *I* wouldn't use that lame an excuse to get rid of my users. They said it's what *their* techs had told them. I was highly amused.
Other than that, we've been reading, watching West Wing and sleeping in (if you call 7:00 sleeping in, which I do). Not much else to report. Vacation is going along wonderfully. Take care all. I'm going to go catch up on LJs. I think I still owe some of you answers.