Boot Fail

No posts in September, slacker.

Over the weekend, we took the Nieces on a hike in the George Washington National forest. The past couple of weeks have been brutal with rain, rain, rain (go the freak away). As it happens, the sky was ominous and then suddenly it wasn’t:

We took a break on the top and this is the “good” boot:

The other boot broke down in a spectacular way as we started down the mountain. The sole started coming off and flapped with every step. We tried tying shoe strings around the sole, but that proved unsuccessful pretty quickly and the better-half lost half of one of his laces in the process (we cut one of his laces in half to help hold the sole to my boot upper).

Then I decided the only way this was going to work (2.8 miles down to the parking lot) was to sacrifice my brand-new socks. When we got to the bottom of what felt like a never-ending trail, I removed the boots. You’ll notice in the video that the end of the boot and the sole are clearly nowhere near in the right position–this made the trip down slow and uncomfortable. But, it was better than a bare foot on rocks.


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Beautiful Portland

Yesterday we took a loooooong walk and ended up at Rising Tide brewery. They had a band and a couple of food trucks. I had originally hoped to go to Allagash brewery, but there are tons of craft breweries in Portland. Rising Tide was quite tasty and the band was talented too.

On the way we got to experience the Portland Wastewater Treatment plant. There’s a part of the Bayside trail that goes right past the aeration tanks. Talk about motivation to walk a little faster.

Late yesterday we took a sunset tour to check out the lighthouses in Casco Bay.

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Humid in Portland

We flew into Portland, ME, and in spite of our expectations, we made it here with all luggage intact. Richmond’s American desk was a cluster yesterday as it is wont to do. Seriously, get yourselves together.

Yesterday was a day of travel and eating. Basically, the basics. Today will be more about exploration. We ate a late lunch of oysters and split a lobster roll at Eventide. Holy cats!

Then we contemplated this view for a bit:

Fore River

We walked to Montjoy Hill and then up the hill. For dinner we ate sandwiches at Front Room and when we walked in, I couldn’t tell if we had walked into hell or I was just that hot from walking up the hill. No A/C, y’all. What in the hell. That is one thing Southeners know and that’s how to cool off. A ceiling fan is just a joke when it is 82 and humid. Trust me. Of course, I had sweated like that at 6:30 am when I watered plants so I guess humidity was yesterday’s theme. Here’s hoping today is less humid because we traveled north to get away from that crap.

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Quick trip to Texas

We are eating ZZQ BBQ, drinking Ardent’s Virginia Common and listening to KSYM. We waited over an hour in line for the Q in a thousand degree heat. It was like we were in Texas and it only took us 10 minutes to get home.

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To DC and back again

We took the train to DC to see Billy Joel perform. Taking the train has distinct advantages to the craptastic strip of 95 in the summertime.
Flawed Amtrack deck
Playing cards with a messed up deck. Turns out some decks have more than 52 cards.

We finally had burgers from Shake Shack and declared them tasty. The quality of the ingredients make those burgers a step up from the usual fast food fare.

The view from our room was pretty awful until you looked up.
mayflower hotel outside

As far as the concert was concerned let me start by saying Billy Joel really has it going on. However, last night was not our best concert experience. There was a helluva thunderstorm that made us all (35K+) huddle in the concourse for an hour while the bulk of the storm raged past. The people on the field were soaked. Those of us in nosebleed had an advantage-the roof. Which was good because the rain continued for quite a bit.
stage at billy joel concert

Because of the woes of the metro system, or at least that’s our assumption, the Jumbotron reminded us to get on the train earlier than the show would probably let out and don’t drink too much. Beers were $10 so no worries with that second point.
jumbotron nationals park

By leaving early, we caught all our trains and got back to the hotel for an expensive nightcap. I guess that’s what happens when you lead such a glamorous life.

Still, riding the train home was so much better than sitting on the highway. Last time we were in DC it took us 3 hours to get home. That’s ridiculous and so the train it is. We go back to DC in October and will likely take the train again.
seat back

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

We went to see the Kehinde Wiley exhibit last night which was super amazing. It has been awhile since an entire exhibit has thrilled me. Every single piece was striking.

Then we moved over to see the new Gordon Parks exhibit. I saw this photo:

As you can tell, I cobbled together a photo with the date/title information. That photograph was taken in 1963. It could have been taken a week ago. Why are we still struggling with this?

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Lovely evening

Last night we went to Flowers after 5 at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. This awesome garden is minutes from our house and we only go at the holidays. It’s a shame that we corrected last night.

We bought a membership and then plunked our chairs down in the garden and listened to the Elbe-Musikanten band, drank wine and ate cheese and fruit. I’m not going to lie it was hot and humid, but if you didn’t move it was survivor-able.

They have multiple more shows at the Garden through the summer. I think we’ll be sweating on Thursday nights for the near future.

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Getting Caught Up

On Thursday, June 9th a straight-line storm raged through our neighborhood destroying some cars, tossing trees into houses and generally freaking people the heck on out. We were without power for four days.

We checked out this crane one afternoon picking up trees off of houses:

I spotted the crane in the neighborhood today. It’s still clearing 100 year old trees off houses and out of the streets 15 days later.

We pulled the generator out of the garage where it has sat since we moved in 2013. The better-half had to coax it into life but then it ran our freezer and refrigerator:

It’s so nice not having to worry about water and hot water like we used to do in the boonies. I like being able to flush the toilet without having to ask permission to run the well pump.

We took a quick trip to Washington last night to go to this amazing show:

The trip home started off pleasantly:
jefferson and washington monuments

Then we sat so much on 95S that as soon as we got home, I bought train tickets for the next time we go to DC (in July).

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In April, I worked like a dog to make a 22 minute video about ABO verification in the OR. We’re not talking filming a live event and then editing. We’re talking about making every single moving piece and syncing up 10 voices. It was delivered on May 4th. May 5th I helped to host a town hall webinar and then I started working on an interactive e-learning module.

It is the biggest module I’ve ever single-highhandedly worked on. I had about 3 weeks to finish it. It did give me the opportunity to work from home for 3 whole days in May. That’s never happened to me at my current place of employment–working from home for total heads-down time. That module went to Production today. It’s in a pending status until Tuesday when it goes live. Three weeks is a ridiculous turn around and helps explain why I feel like I have not had one break in forever.

That vacation in early April? Was that an actual thing or did I just dream it?

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Catching up

Turn around for a second and May is gone.

I made Simon have ears:

I went out for drinks with folks from work. This cocktail had gin, mead and scotch…

I worked from home three (3!) times this month. One day the cat melted:

We took the Nieces to an Asian-American thing. And there were crafts:

There were also jaunts around town for Niece #1 to take some snaps:

Niece #2 did my hair:

We hit up the farmer’s market. In addition to pie, we also picked up these from our favorite farm:

And then the cat got into the bag:

For a brief 5 days the sun was out and I actually spent time in the hammock:

I’ll be glad when we switch to a different weather pattern because weeks of rain is the pits. Just saw this and we were all correct–it did rain too damn much:

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