Good morning friends! This is one week that seems like it has lasted a lifetime. It started with the long Memorial Day weekend. We celebrated Memorial Day with good friends and a BBQ at our house. We threw some ribs on the grill, cracked open some fine wine, and remembered those who died for our freedom. One of those who was celebrating with us is a Vietnam Vet, which adds to the impact. I also decided that this would be the perfect time to read what has been called the ultimate Vietnam novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O Brien. True to its reputation, it left me speechless and breathless. I still have not been able to write the review.
This was also the last week of school. Finals were last week, so this week was an easy slide, with just some locker cleanup required. While our last official day was Friday, June 4, we played hooky the last two days and started our vacation.
We flew to Flagstaff (with a pretty serious flight delay out of Orlando, but that topic will only get me ranting and raving so I won't go into details) and spent what was left of our decimated Thursday and the whole day Friday ogling the Grand Canyon. We even experienced the majesty of this natural wonder via helicopter, which I would highly recommend. We also did some pretty strenuous hiking, which left us all happily exhausted. We left Sunday morning knowing we would have to come back again. Next time, we want to see it all from the bottom...maybe a raft trip?
Saturday we flew to Fresno, then drove to Yosemite. We stopped along the way to buy groceries for the week (more than I spend in a month at home!) and headed for our cabin. And a gorgeous cabin it is. It has a huge wrap-around deck, two stories, plasma TVs, fireplaces and a dumb waiter. But no cell phone service, no land line, and Internet access labeled "25B Free - don't abuse". I felt bile rising in my throat! For some reason, I cannot send outgoing e-mails with this service, but I can text, so my loved ones will be receiving a message soon with instructions on how to contact us if there is an emergency! I agree, this will be good for us as a family. It is just something that I needed a little extra time to get my head around! Thank God I was able to still post my Sunday Salon! The world would end without it! Oh, and hey, this cabin has hundreds of amazing books on the shelves. Everything from Elizabeth George, William Faulkner, Ruth Rendell...how will I keep my attention on my current reads?
Here is some exciting news. While we were driving around the Grand Canyon, we finished Harry Potter 7! After 10 months and one week, it is finally over. What I did not plan for is what we will listen to on the rest of our drives, of which we have significant miles to accumulate over the next week and a half. Audio books are not a must have, but they sure do help entertain. So I asked a few blogging friends for their opinions, and mined my iPod content, and decided perhaps we might listen to Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show. Unfortunately fate stepped in and made the decision for us...the new car rental does not have a USB port in which to hook up my iPod to the sound system. So it comes down to Pandora on the iPhone I guess. That and the kids acting out parts of Twilight (ad nauseum).
I also started and finished The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel on my Kindle. What a wonderful book! I'm going to have to put my thoughts on a back burner and see what comes out of my fingertips in the form of a review. I really enjoyed her writing! I also started Dave Cullen's Columbine, per his request! I'm not sure how much reading I will get done on my vacation, but I'm going to try.
Before we left for vacation, I finished "Belong To Me" by Marisa de los Santos on audio. I had a little wrinkle in the finishing, but will leave that story for the review. Suffice it to say that I LOVED it. I started "This Body of Death" by Elizabeth George on audio, and again, don't know if I will have my earphones plugged in much but will work away at it slowly. I love her mysteries!
So please expect that for the next week and a half, I may be strangely silent out on the web. I will check my e-mails, but I'm going to chill out and enjoy our vacation. Have a great week!