Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spontinaitty Baby

I need to apologize for my sever delay in posting. I began this post the night we returned from our "spontaneous weekend". A dying dishwasher, a start up business, and the dark doldrums of Winter have all gotten in my way. So with no further delay:

How far would you drive for a good sledding hill? We went all the way to Connecticut.

Someone in Connecticut didn't want us sledding on their hills. They just knew we would try and sneak across the Mason Dixon Line and come ride their hill. Even though this private golf course had a fantastic hill, I am talking world class Free Style Hill here, it was off limits. Fortunately not everywhere we went, they had their noses so far in the air.

If you have never been to Connecticut, it is very picturesque. It was also blanketed in close to 2 feet of the white stuff. Beth has been wanting to go sled ridding since the first dusting a few weeks back. A spontaneous decision was made to head North, visit the Collimores, and to get the sledding fix filled. A long weekend was here and we were off to have some fun. The entire plan went from thought to reality over night.

The best part was visiting the Collimores. They had their walks all cleared off for us. Within minutes we felt like we were home with family. We met Don and Amanda very early in our Airstream life and they have been like family ever since. A great friendship that began with a "hello."

It is winter in Maryland, but it was really much colder just a few hours North. The fire was crackling in the fireplace, the spirits were flowing, and we were so content being home. We had however, come with a mission.

Donal was more than happy to take us to his favorite hill.

Very quickly I was an eleven year old boy again. Unfortunately my 44 year old body does not bounce like it did, when at eleven, I fell off the sled going over "the real jump".

Beth never got down to my eleven year old level, but she did have a great time.

Ava, she will never go back to eleven. She is twelve going on a solid Twenty one.

She wipes out like a five year old though.

Speaking of acting five... Halle is going to be five. She swings a knock out like a twenty five year old. She is deadly with the left hook.

She is even deadly when she isn't looking at her match but at Sponge Bob instead.

Speaking of left hooks, look what Don fixed for us. Prime Rib.

It got smoked.

Then baked at 7000 degrees for a little while. Then it got eaten with zeal. We ate and drank a good deal all weekend with zeal. I am so grateful for such good friends. It is rare that I relax. Most people that know me will tell you even when I am physically at rest, I am still working a mile a minute in my head. For the entire weekend, I relaxed. What a sweet luxury it was just to be relaxed. Amanda and Don thank you for the 48 hours of peace. Donal, thank you for helping me grow the confidence to go over "the real jump". It will be a fond memory until I am a very old man.

To all my friends all over the World, thank you too. We need to see each other soon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Where Did 2010 Go?

So much has happened in the past two months since my last post and not one mention here on my blog. It was the gentle reminder from Tom in Alabama that got me feeling guilty enough to post.

I should have posted when we got our first snow. In typical Maryland style, the forecasters had us all whipped up about a possible blizzard. Instead of a blizzard we only got a dusting. Had they forecast a dusting, we would had gotten dumped on. I bet if my business had not moved indoors, we would had been dumped on too. With three more months of Winter, I am sure it will happen.
I probably should have posted about our trip to Washington DC last month...

I often have a huge problem with how our Government spends my tax dollars. However an exception to this is the Smithsonian Museums. If I were King of the USA, I would triple the funding to this wonderful public institution. If you have never gone to Washington DC and taken in the numerous free museums, you really should put it on your list. I am not talking your "bucket list", I am talking your "right now" list. I also suggest that as you pass one of these boxes, you drop in some dollars. Euros, Pounds, Yen, and Kugerands fit through the slot too. The fact that these museums are free to all it a great asset to everyone.

We went to the Museum of American History to see an exhibit of pop up books. Both Beth and I love pop up books and felt it was a good excuse to spend the day in DC. Unfortunately the show was rather poorly lit and only contained a couple dozen books. Fortunately, it was only one of many exhibits in just this one building.

There is an exhibit dedicated to Julia Childs the French Gourmet. Even as a child, I watched her with fascination as she made crepes, creme bruele, and so many other French dishes. Julia instilled a confidence in trying something new even if you had never done it before. She always made me realize, if it did not come out right, you could always start fresh. Her kitchen is a permanent display. I would love to sit at that table and have a cup of coffee with her.

In the lower level is my favorite exhibit. This is the history of transportation in America. It covers every form of transportation from horse to iron horse.

What I love about the exhibit is that the displays are interactive. This gigantic locomotive has speakers and plates around it that give you the feeling it is alive. The floor rumbles and vibrates making a very realist encounter.

Part of the exhibit is this incredible 1936 Prairie Schooner. The skin of this trailer is Leatherette over Masonite. She is such a beautiful trailer. I sure hope to find one of these in the woods someday.

I wouldn't mind finding an old Dodge like this either.

Or a Buick Dynaflow like this one. "Hey, there Sailor, don't be eyeballin my Buick".

These life like figures are so realistic it is scary. They all tell a story about the exhibit they are part of. I think this boy is telling how excellent that Country Squire would pull a vintage Airstream.

This traveling salesman is waiting for a train. I think Ava bought a Hoover from him.

I love the Fresnel lens in the Shipping and Navigation section. What a work of art they are. It would also be very cool to find one of these laying out in the woods.

After four hours our feet were so tired and we had only walked through half of this one museum. Good thing we live less than an hour away.

Then there was Christmas. I should have posted about Christmas. My favorite thing about the Holidays is all the train gardens that pop up. Perhaps it is the little boy in me, but I love going and seeing these.

This one even had some trailer trash in it. I think that is a Eribe Puck hiding in the woods. I better go back and see if I can track down the owner.

If I did not already do so, Merry Christmas. Happy New Year too.

And what Holiday would not be complete without a dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies? Halle tried her hand at Ballet this year. She was very graceful and had a great recital. I am hoping she is rounded out for working on my trailers, she can dance her way around the rivets.

Hopefully in the New Year I will post more often. Hopefully in the New Year I can do more camping...