A Vacation

This past two weeks, or so, has been a whirlwind around my house. A good whirlwind, but definitely different than my normal "slowly sliding through life" kinda thing.

Early in the morning Wednesday, October 10th, the doorbell rang. I hate doorbells, hate them with a passion! Why, you ask, they just tell you someone's at your door! Well, you know that thing babies do when you startle them? They jump and fling their arms out like they're falling. I have a really bad startle reflex when I'm surprised by things like doorbells. Haunted houses don't phase me, scary movies don't either... but for some reason loud, unexpected noises like doorbells startle the shit out of me! So, I jumped, and answered the door.

It was a guy from the local baseball team for developmentally disabled people. Poor kid, his opening lines were, "You may have heard of me, I'm famous! I was in the paper!"

I asked which one, and quickly said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I read the Star, so I missed it." It was the best thing I could think of. After repeatedly explaining that no, I did not want to buy his magazines, and no, I wasn't interested in going with the baseball team to their finals in Hawaii, and no, I'm sorry, I really don't have any cash right now, I finally had to say that I really didn't like baseball, or flying, but I wished him luck.

Whew! I closed the door, and went back to trying to hash out my cast of characters for my NaNo this year. Nope, it still didn't get done, but I have an excellent reason, which I'm getting to. I sat down heavily and sighed. I felt pretty lousy telling this guy that I really didn't give a shit about baseball, but the polite, no thanks, weren't working.

Less than an hour later the bell ran again! "Oh mother of god, what now?!" I thought. I have a window by my front door, with blinds that are closed. I can see the shape of the visitor, but they can't see me. I peeked out and saw a case. My first thought was, "Oh, Gods, not another sales person, and this one brought samples!" This does happen here, quite a bit; it's like our subdivison is a salesman's paradies or something.

So, I opened the door, to say, yet again, I wasn't interested. There, to my left was my husband, his face plastered with a smug grin. This caused my brain to pause, because he was supposed to be working, and why in the hell did he ring the bell. That's when my eyes registered the person on the right: my best friend, Matt! He also had that smug look, and they were grinning like the cat that ate the canary!

I know I stood there for at least thirty seconds, because everything was so out of place, out of the norm, and completely unexpected. Matt and Jeremy laughed at me later, "Your brain didn't just pause, that was a complete stop!" and "You'll have to have that hamster's heart checked!" And they were right, it really was. You know that mental state you get where you see something that is so unexpected that your brains go into neutral? Yep, I was there!

Of course when my brains finished stretching their rubber bands out, and snapped back to reality I hugged Matt tight! He was here to celebrate my birthday, and a fine birthday it was!

Saturday the 13th we went downtown to the Folklore festival. It was amazing! There was food, and music and crafts from all over the world, and everyone involved lives here; Tucson's a crazy-quilt of ethnicities, races, colours and creeds, and it was so fantastic to see them all mixed up and mixed in.

The kids had a Sonora dog, the national hotdog of Tucson. It's a hotdog, wrapped in bacon, quickly fried crisp, in an old-style bun. Then there's beans, peppers, salsa, tomatoes, and I don't even know what else on them. Topped with a little mustard and mayonnaise, and voilĂ ! MAtt said it was really good, and my daughter actually caught herself an instant before she offered me a bite [This is awesome, Mum!!] I figure it's got to be good, if she forgot for a moment that I can't eat hotdogs!

We were able to see what they called "Pow Wow 101"; something neither my husband, nor friend had seen before. My youngest was entranced by the singing, and dancing, his eyes the size of dinner plates. This Pow Wow was unique to the ones I've seen before in that the children of the tribes were intimately involved. The kids danced and sang, doing a beautiful job at both.

I had cheesecake with strawberries for my birthday, with sorbet. For dinner, I had salmon with lemon on the grill, macaroni salad and fried yellow squash. Everyone else had hotdogs and hamburgers, and we were overfull! It was a glorious feast, and quite nice. I turned 35 on Sunday, the 14th.

That Monday started my husband's week of vacation. I had found out that he and Matt had planned the visit for nearly three months. They're very good at keeping secrets, I think!

Monday the kids were off school. They'd been off since the Thursday before. It's called "Fall break", and it lines up with parent-teacher conferences. Only conference I had was for my youngest, on Tuesday. So far, so good, he hasn't done any "Actually" *whew*.

Wednesday the two gents went to the Pima Air and Space Museum. I stayed home and took a nap! We'd been up super late every night since the Wednesday before, and the kids had school, so I was tired out. That's what happens when you get gamers together, though, we stay up late playing, even when we know we have to be up early.

 Friday we went to the Saguaro National Park. We sneaked out while the kids were in school!

 This cactus is probably over 30 feet tall. The arms come out more than 6 feet from the ground, and are about 6-7 feet long, themselves.

This photo was taken looking down into a valley full of these cacti. They're pretty gigantic, and very awesome to look at.

 We three at Javalina Rocks.

I had to take him to the airport Saturday afternoon, and that gave me a sad. He did make it home safely and that made me feel better. I hate flying so much, and I always worry when my loved ones are on planes.

Sunday we took the kids with us, and went back to the Park. This little white thing is a baby saguaro. He's tucked into a little lee and gets shade from what's called a nursery tree. They're very delicate when they're starting out. I thought he was adorable, and so cutely fuzzy!

The tribe. My oldest really about 6'3! My daughter was standing on a little rock, trying to be taller. We took this one at Javalina rocks, too. They're a gorgeous formation, all striated and colourful. There are even several kinds of lichens and moss growing on them.

So, last week was vacation, and it was good. we had good food, good company, and good adventures.

Thank you, Guys, for making my birthday week so wonderful!


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