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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oh, the details and the reality


This morning Francis is on the downside of Mountain Top. He says, on FaceBook, it’s a gradual descent into DC. In spite of the mud, he seems intent on sticking to the towpath trail. It has been muddier than he expected. He spent eleven hours on the trail yesterday, the majority of it walking, and fell short of his goal of connecting from the GAP trail to the C&O Trail.

France is on the C&O this morning. He said he would start early, perhaps 2 a.m. It seems he did. He expects to be in DC Friday evening. He can just track his sister’s GPS from Cleveland to DC, all day Saturday. Knowing France, he will spend Saturday biking the National Mall, so he can tell the girls where to go. I’ll let you know if he conquers the road and arrives before we arrive.

I wonder when I emerged from spontaneity? When did I abandon “Get dressed; road trip.”  It doesn’t seem that long. But steering two youngsters and myself through a weeks’ getaway required planning. Looking into visiting Monticello, Mt. Vernon and Montpelier was an education.

Perhaps we paid a small admission fee back in the eighties; I don’t recall. Now you pay the fee and get tickets in advance. But, there’s more. You don’t just show up; you schedule a time. So much for spontaneity. I did some juggling and added extra driving to visit all three Presidential homes in two days, to accommodate George Washington.

The area temps will be in the sixties for the duration of our stay, but rain in the forecast, so I made sure everyone has a raincoat. I already learned the circulator bus for the National Mall is a dollar every time you get on, so I will bring a lot of dollar bills. Then I thought of the regular bus line that will get us to the mall, and made the call. It is $1.75, exact change only. I’ll add a roll of quarters. I think I’ll get hand warmers, too.

Laura and I need to think about efficient packing of the car, since I’ve added the push chair to the luggage. She is charged with getting audio books at the library Wednesday night, while I am at the trustee meeting. Laura and Caroline exchanged texts about the book selection while she and I drove home from shopping last weekend.

Suddenly Laura burst out laughing. “Caroline just gave me a list of books I can’t get. The sexual scenes are too explicit for Grandma.” I laughed, too, and had trouble keeping my eyes on the road, for wiping my eyes.



May, 2007. Bekka, blowing bubbles. Uncle Walt on the ramp. Caroline in pink; Laura in some of her clothes, and France, who couldn't catch all the bubbles himself, commiserates with his father.

28 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    This will be an extra-special memory-trip for all concerned. I know what you mean about the spontaneity (or lack thereof), but at least it is happening. There will still be room for a surprise or two, I am sure. Safe travels dear pals!!! YAM xx

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  2. I am sure you will have a wonderful time. I lived in DC for 17 years and paid a long awaited visit 2 years ago. Lots had changed and lots had stayed the same! On that visit I visited Mt. Vernon for the first time and enjoyed it very much -- the view from the mansion is spectacular! I hope the weather cooperates for you -- it can be the loveliest time of year. In the summer the heat and humidity are unbearable. I never have got to Monticello -- funny thing when you live in a touristy place you tend to miss out on a lot of the sights unless accompanying guests! Wishing you all a wonderful time...

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  3. Sounds like a great event! Isn't it funny how no one thinks 'Grandma's can handle it!" Oh, if they only knew!

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  4. Such a cute picture from the past! Sounds like such a great time planned in DC. My fondest memories of vacations were the ones from when we visited it back in 2005.

    LOL about the audio books :)That could have been a bit of an awkward moment or two when listening to the books together in the car :)

    betty

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  5. So looking forward to your trip reports. I remember visiting those places in the early '80's, too. No traffic, no waiting in lines, and one price to step on and off the bus in DC. Gone are those days😩Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  6. I was never (and will never be) spontaneous. I pack like a Boy Scout. Always Be Prepared. For Everything. It's a curse.

    And, yes, we wouldn't want to embarrass Grandma :)

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    1. It's inherited through the maternal line. My mother was always prepared, and I can hit a drug store or a hardware store and find what I forgot in a heartbeat.

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  7. No wonder you laughed. Unshockable eh!

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  8. France is made of sturdier stock than I am. I do not enjoy "roughing it" the way he is doing. I hope you all have a good time. My favorite thing was sitting in one of the rockers on the porch at Mount Vernon. They overlook the Potomac. It is so peaceful.

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  9. When we went to Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier during the '90s, it was a matter of showing up and buying tickets. Oh, the times they are a-changin'. Watch out! Those girls will try to slip in some Fifty Shades of Grey to see Grandma blush.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. I am a planner. And a preparer. I cross bridges before I am sure there is a river.
    Love that final photo, and snickering at you being protected from the dangers of raunchiness.

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  11. So much goes into the planning of a trip. I'm sure you will all enjoy.

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  12. spontaneity - great until you end up sleeping in the car on the side of the road because you can't find a room.
    BTW I find DC a great city that more people should visit.

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  13. Ready by the sound of it! Have a great trip, safe travels and enjoy!

    Lol about the book choice!

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  14. Oh that Francis. Definitely not a man afraid to make a commitment and see it through.
    Love the bubble blowing.

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  15. I am sure you and the girls will have a wonderful time on your adventure. France is an awesome kid to make that long a journey. Hoping for good weather for you all.

    BTW, when you pass by the White House, could do me a favor and thumb your nose at it's occupant.

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    1. I think we intended to turn our backs. How about an over the shoulder nose thumb.

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  16. France has sure come a long way from lamenting about bubbles to riding his bike alone for miles! I do hope you have a happy time in DC.

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  17. You better hurry, by the time you get there that big house might be painted gold. Just saying.

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  18. Wow, you are organized. I wish I was going on the trip with you with all of these things anticipated and prepared for ahead of time.

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  19. all the little details that make things easier. I would never have thought of finding out how much the bus was in advance. I did try to think of everything I might need when I went to Scotland last year.

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  20. The audio books made me laugh, too! I listen to audio books all the time and thank goodness for ear buds. Some of the authors I like tend to get a little too detailed and I can't have a customer overhear that!
    My son set up my library account on line and I don't have to go to the library any more. Our library is very small here, so he set me up with the library system in St. Paul/ Minneapolis. Lots more to choose from. Have fun on your trip!

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  21. France is an enterprising young man. More power to him...I loved the video!

    As far as spontaneity goes, I always wanted to plan more, but my husband just liked to play it by ear...That's why we almost had no place to sleep on our wedding night. But we finally found one. It usually worked out wonderfully, but we did plan more when we had kids...And then we went away for nine months at a time. Different.

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  22. I think that people might have more leisure time now, or perhaps they're less patient about queueing up for hours. I too am much less spontaneous than I was, and have been wondering why.

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  23. I like to schedule a local tour wherever I go, because it's hard to buy tickets to the sites and glean some information, too. I am not traveling this year due to poor health.

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  24. I know that many of you are wondering about Joanne's adventures in DC. Her daughter Beth called me on Tuesday, and she had an accident while in DC. She's up for a full recovery, but is stuck in DC in the hospital until she can travel again. Good thoughts and sparkly wishes and a speedy recovery to her.

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  25. I have been out of play for the past week. Blame it on the weather and a throbbing head. DC is a fabulous place of so much history.

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