Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 33 - My Fun Vacation

It’s always a good week when I wake up at Carolyn’s. I really needed this break after what felt like a stressful year end. Reminder to self for next summer, don’t fly out directly from work the day after the books close.

Having spent the entire day Sunday in the house avoiding the heat, Monday was a catch up day. We had a leisurely breakfast and eventually went shopping – mostly for food but we stopped at a couple of my must shop stores and I scored some stocking stuffers. Once everything was put away, we headed south to East Matunuck Beach, which has BIG waves! Aaron and I played in the water for an hour, riding the waves, and I got beaten up – skinned knees from the sand as well as generally getting based around – and laughed like a loon. It was wonderful! Then it was on to Matt’s store, where we changed clothes (there was so much seaweed on the floor of the bathroom that I had to vacuum and yes, it was all inside my suit.) Then Aunt Carrie’s for steamers, clamcakes and chowder. Yum! Such a nice end to the day.

Aaron had a doctor’s appointment Tuesday morning, which meant I had another nice morning lingering over coffee and knitting. When they got back, Carolyn, Matt and I headed to Boston to go to the JFK Library, which I’d suggested before coming in an attempt to do more than just hang out. It also counts as my culture for the month (remember that resolution?) The library was good – lots of news footage showcasing what a great speaker Kennedy was – but didn’t hold a candle to Bill’s library in Little Rock, which is full of interactive displays. It was a gorgeous setting too. After a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts (we’d had a late breakfast and no lunch) where the girl said “We don’t have any of those weird donuts” when I asked for my fave lemon filled chocolate covered donut, it was back home to change and drive to Narragansett for dinner with Deanne. We ate at the new Plum Point Café, where the pasta was yummy. It was good to catch up with Deanne and hear all the Capotosto news.

Wednesday was lunch with Auntie Margaret and a stop at the Hack and Livery. It was wonderful to see her, as usual, and I got my belly clams. More yum! Carolyn was taking Aaron go carting with friends that evening so I met Janice for dinner. But by then I was done with eating out so just had a tuna sandwich. Again, it was good to see old friends. Deanne and Janice are my 2 oldest.

Thursday was the much anticipated pizza open house but that wasn’t until 4:00 so we hit Job Lot (another RI must shop that’s like Big Lots but RI based) in the morning. I was restrained in my purchasing. Then it was time for the open house. Bob came with Daisy and Maruta and Sharyn arrived together from Brown. It was a small gathering but we got lots of visiting in and the pizza from Don’s (not the most Italian sounding pizzeria but the best) was delicious. Do you see the trend here? I’d been eating constantly but all good RI food. Good friends and food. Perfect vacation so far.

On Friday morning, I met Cornelia for breakfast at our favorite little café. What a nice start to the day. That afternoon Carolyn and I were doing a culinary walking tour of Providence on a groupon she’d bought this spring. Since that didn’t start until 2:00, we decided to take advantage of the 20% off deal at the new local nail salon and got pedicures, which was so much fun. We headed to the city with rain threatening so we took umbrellas. We started at the XO Café, where the chef is British and from Devon. He made us unbelievably good blueberry crème brulee. I’ll say the YUM now and just apply that to the rest of this tour review. Then we walked to Heminway’s, which is a seafood place. We got to go into the kitchen and they served us striped bass. Then Prime Steak and Sushi for a mojito – my first and I thought of Sam Axe from Burn Notice – and a tempura crab roll. I haven’t drunk rum since college but the mojito was delicious and I may have to find a good one locally. The last stop was The Dorrance, which is in the old Federal Reserve building and so has incredible architecture, which they left completely intact. We had a daiquiri (another delicious run drink), duck rilletes and chocolate ice box cake. I SO want to eat at XO and The Dorrance on my next trip. Carolyn is celebrating her 50th birthday early at XO with her friend Karen this Friday. I’m jealous.

By the time we had finished the tour, it was starting to rain and was pouring before we got back to the car. Luckily we had umbrellas or we would have been even more drenched than we were. But we stopped and got lobsters and sweet corn on the way home, getting even wetter. I went home to a warm shower and we ended the day eating RI delicacies again. Good thing I was leaving the next day or I wouldn’t fit in the plane seat.

I packed first thing on Saturday so that wouldn’t be hanging over my head. I didn’t have to be at the airport until after 4:00 but still felt better when it was done. I had to borrow a bigger carry on from Carolyn but otherwise fit everything. I’d have to pay to check a bag but it was worth it. I’d found lots of stocking stuffers and some clothes too. We had originally planned to go blueberry picking but bagged that – too hot and no room in my luggage– so we went to the movies to see Moonrise Kingdom, which was filmed in RI and was dark but enjoyable. Then it was home for hotdogs and the wait for the plane. I tried to knit but couldn’t stop watching the clock. I was ready to go when Carolyn suggested I check to make sure the flight was on time. Damn good thing because it was 2.5 hours delayed, which meant I wouldn’t make my connection. I got on the phone to explore my options and they weren’t good. I basically had to take that flight or I wouldn’t be able to leave RI until Monday. Let me tell you, it’s not good to start a return trip this way but at least I got to wait it out at home and I was double booked so would be home early Sunday at the latest.

Other than the delay, the flight was uneventful. When they came on the PA with connections, Omaha wasn’t mentioned so it looked like I’d have to face either finding and paying for a hotel for only a few hours of sleep or sleeping in the terminal. But when I checked the monitors, there was my Omaha flight, also delayed 2.5 hours. I was never so happy to see a delayed flight! The gate was full of unhappy people but I sat and knitted and was on the plane by 11:00. Unfortunately we didn’t push off from the gate until midnight and I was completely antsy on the flight, actually getting up twice just so I could stand in the aisle. All the airport staff must have gone home already because it took ages to get our luggage onto the belt. I drove into my garage at 2:45 a.m., tired but thrilled to be home. But what was that smell? There was clearly something dead in my garage. Add that to the list for Sunday.

I only managed a few hours of sleep but felt fine so got busy right away. I unpacked, put everything away and started laundry before sitting down. Damn good thing because around lunch time, I took a step, something in my knee popped and I almost hit the floor. I couldn’t put any weight on my left knee. Crap! At least it waited until I got home but this wasn’t going to be pretty. I was in lots of pain and so was done. I called Anne Marie to borrow some crutches (knew she’d have some) and got on the phone to Connie, who was due to arrive that evening, to warn her. There’d be no supper cooked and I’d be useless while she was here. Sheesh! I cast on some new socks to pass the time and waited for Connie and Gordy to arrive. We had a nice dinner of super market fried chicken and visited until I headed to bed. Despite the knee, it had been a wonderful week. I wasn’t surprised my knee gave out with all I’d done on vacation and I was grateful it didn’t happen at O’Hare. Now to heal.

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