Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Salon: Majestic



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!



25 comments:

Mystica said...

Have a wonderful time

farmlanebooks said...

I would love to go to the Grand Canyon - especially with a helicopter trip - sounds fantastic!

I haven't heard of The Things They Carried before, but I'm almost buying it now, without having seen your review. I'm sure that I'll have my money out as soon as I see it - I look forward to it!

Nymeth said...

What a gorgeous picture! The scenery is stunning. The cabin sounds lovely if a bit isolated, but like you said maybe limited internet access is not a bad thing in the end :P Have a lovely, lovely time, Sandy!

Beth F said...

LOL!!! Not what I was envisioning when you said "cabin"! When we rent a cabin, we're lucky to have electricity.

I did the canyon in a small prop plane once -- both my mom AND grandmother joined me.

You must take the time to hike or ride down to the river. Enjoy California!

Julie P. said...

Sounds like an amazing week. We still have a few more days of school and this is actually our insanely crazy week. We have dance (and I mean about 4-5 hours a night) five nights this week. But then we are done!

C.B. James said...

Oh my goodness....the children acting out scenes from Twilight as you drive. I have a feeling that would be something to dread as it was happening and then become a memory to be treasured.

Sounds like a wonderful vacation so far. I love the Grand Canyon myself.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

There is so much to see and do in this country. I have got to get to the Grand Canyon at some point. I have always been what they calla good flier, but still I don't know about the helicopter ride!.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Sounds beautiful. I hope the weather is okay for you - it's getting pretty hot in these parts! Glad to hear you loved Belong to Me. I am ready to start a new book today, so I will hit that one up!

bermudaonion said...

Wow, what a great vacation! I'm wondering what your son is doing - is that a "Hook 'em Horns" symbol?

The cabin sounds wonderful - enjoy your time away.

Book Bird Dog said...

REading and traveling! A perfect vacation. Have a good time. Here's
My Sunday Salon

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Glad you enjoyed the helicopter ride! I've got The Things They Carried on Kindle and am looking forward to it. I would give my right arm to be that isolated in a cabin.....why, oh why, did you NOT take me with you????? ;)

Trisha said...

Going without internet is like getting your teeth cleaned. A bit painful but ultimately good for you. :)

Gavin said...

Beautiful photo. Have a wonderful vacation in a stunning location.

Frances said...

Happy vacation! It all sounds lovely (except for maybe that connectivity issue). Happy reading too of course!

Darlene said...

Have a great vacation. The picture of the Grand Canyon is amazing - it would be awesome to see it from a helicopter. The cabin sounds like a piece of heaven to me. Ours doesn't even have a bathroom. lol. Enjoy!

The Bumbles said...

I totally love your son's pose in this shot - too funny. Good to see the family road trip is fun and not like the Griswalds ;0)

Enjoy being unplugged and tuned in to nature.

Jenners said...

Enjoy your vacation ... that Yosemite cabin sounds super cool. I've always wanted a dumbwaiter.

And I just finished "Columbine." SO AMAZING.

Alice Teh said...

What an amazing week you've had! Enjoy your vacation, Sandy, and come back and tell us all about it! :D

Melody said...

Have a WONDERFUL time, Sandy!
I'm awe by the scenery at the Grand Canyon! I'd love to go there given a chance!

Ti said...

So at one point, you were about 90 minutes from me. So close, yet so far away.

The cabin sounds nice. We are going to Yosemite this summer too but I believe I will be able to stay connected. If not by wi-fi then by my Blackberry.

Enjoy your vacay!

Zibilee said...

OH wow! It sounds like there is a lot going on with you and the family right now! I hope that you have a wonderful time on your vacation and that you take lots of pictures to share with us. Enjoy the time away with your family!!

Kathleen said...

Enjoy the beauty of Yosemite and the serenity that comes with being "unplugged".

Iliana said...

Have a wonderful time on vacation! Can't wait to see more pictures :)

JoAnn said...

Enjoy your vacation and family time - the cabin sounds perfect!

Susan said...

I'm so envious! Wow, you guys do a LOT of traveling! Yosemite is one of my favorite places. I went there six years ago with my high school friend who lives near Carson City. Haven't been to the Grand Canyon, but it's on the bucket list.

Maybe being away from the tech world for a little while will help recharge your brain. That cabin doesn't sound like you're roughing it too much. Sounds like my kind of place!

Hope you're enjoying the trip!