A Long Vacation Post

Well, week #2 of our vacation has begun! We are now in Virginia (after an excruciatingly slow drive down I-95 on Saturday). We weren’t sure why it was so stop-and-go, but apparently the traffic around here is like that 24/7. I guess you would get used to it if it was your reality, but…wow! I don’t think I could handle this congestion all the time.

Our week in Vermont with Grandma and Grandpa was lovely. We enjoyed meandering around the beautiful town of Stowe. There were a lot of games of Uno played, a lot of popcorn popped and movies watched. On election night we stayed up way too late to watch history in the making, much later than the average Canadian did I’m sure. C-Bear and I had a great time our last day exploring a stream bed on our walk down to the village centre at the resort. There were so many different rocks than we see at home. C-Bear was especially intrigued with the ones that glittered gold and silver when wet.

Made me smile this week:

  • Little Mister calling every hotel room or accommodation a “cabin.” (I guess we’ve spent a lot of time at family camp in his short life.)
  • The manager at a Vermont dollar store who offered me a job and said he was “livin’ the dream!” When I smiled and said I was just a tourist passing through and he found out we were from Canada, he wrinkled his brow and said, “But you don’t have the accent.” When I asked him which accent he was referring to, he replied, “Well, most folks I meet from Canada have a funny accent, like a French accent or something.” It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. I had to explain to him that most Canadians he has met must have been visiting from Quebec which is mostly French speaking. But that we speak English where we live and I only know a little French. I giggled all the way to the car. That conversation made my day.
  • Belle “preaching” in the backseat. I don’t think she knew I was eavesdropping. It started with the story of Adam and Eve, then Noah and the flood. I thought we were going all the way from Genesis to Revelation for awhile, but then she skipped to a “woman named Mary and a husband named Joseph.” A few wires got crossed; Adam came from Eve’s rib, the flood lasted only twelve days and twelve nights, and they lived happily ever after when “Jesus sent a rainbow which meant I will never get a flood again.” Meanwhile Little Mister mimicked every phrase until finally he had had enough and exclaimed, “Amen! Let’s sing a song,” and broke into his version of Jesus Loves Me.
  • Reflecting on our visit to the Natural History Museum today, Boo said, “I can’t believe we even saw a real live mummy!” We all had a good laugh when we realized it was actually a real dead mummy.
  • Eating supper last night at Chik-Fil-A for the first time ever. And, yes, it is just as yummy as our southern friends have raved. I enjoyed my meal with a cherry Coke. What a treat! Haven’t had one of those in years!

The resort we are at this week is about an hour outside of D.C. We drove into the city today and walked and walked and ooohed and ahhhhhed over the sights. I still cannot believe I saw some of these things in person. Washington isn’t really a city I ever desired to visit, but once you’re here it is pretty amazing to see and experience the rich history. We haven’t covered much American history in our homeschool yet. C-Bear will be touching on it next term though as she learns about the American Revolution so this is a good appetizer for her. I decided to replace the American history spine that our curriculum uses (a book called This Country of Ours) with books on Canadian history instead. But our family adores audiobooks on road trips so we’ve been listening to a few chapters from This Country of Ours, and it has been quite an education even for PJ and I in the founding of this nation. It really was begun for different reasons and in such a fundamentally different spirit or attitude than Canada was, and you can see in hindsight how it was destined to rebel against the crown from the beginning. We are all getting quite an education on this trip!

the Hope Diamond

Speaking of audiobooks, our ears gobbled up the first book in The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright, The Saturdays. What a delightful story! It is on Boo’s free read list for this school year, but we are all getting rather attached to this family and enjoying their adventures. I only wish I had downloaded the other books in the series for this trip. But I didn’t so we’ve moved on to one of Belle’s free reads, Peter Pan. The audio version we have is narrated by Jim Dale and what a treat! His voices for all the characters are superb! Sometimes it really is worth it to splurge on one of the Audible versions.

From my journal of thanks:

  • The gift of being guest worshippers on vacation – how refreshing!
  • Hot herbal tea on a cozy evening
  • Our whirlpool tub and steam shower at Smuggler’s Notch – ahhhhhh!
  • Breathtaking mountain sunsets
  • An afternoon to wander around IKEA – such fun!
  • Safety on these crazy busy roads
  • The illusion of time travel as we move southward – back to the leaves on the trees and the colours of October
  • A roaring fire and a deep bath after walking and walking and walking some more around Washington – a gift for my aching feet
  • Our wilderness retreat – I could live in a log cabin like this!


    From my commonplace this week:

    Our last night at the resort in Vermont I discovered a beautiful book on children’s author and illustrator Tasha Tudor. The book belonged in our condo so I had to copy all of the amusing and inspiring quotes into my commonplace that evening. It was a coffee table type book with lovely photographs. What a delightfully eccentric woman she was! The following quotes are all from The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown. (I sure hope I’m not overstepping my bounds in quoting so profusely; so much of what she said resonated with me. I think I would have liked to have known this woman!)

    …I loved The Wind in the Willows…Walt Disney should be sued for cheapening it as he did. Imagine it, Mickey Mousing all those nice characters. I’m surprised he didn’t do it with the New Testament.

    Another appeal of my drawings, I think, is that they are done from actuality, not imagined. I know which side a cow is milked from…The people in my pictures are my own grandchildren and friends…The flowers are growing wild in my fields or are from my garden. People who come to visit say, “Oh, it’s like walking into one of your illustrations.”

    I feel so sorry for those mothers who are devastated by loneliness when their children fly the coop…They feel lost, but look what exciting things can be done. Life isn’t long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive…how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year, think what you would think. The wonder of it!

    Gardening has untold rewards. You never have to go on a diet…I’ve never been depressed in my whole life and I’ve never had a headache. They must be awful. I attribute it to goat’s milk and gardening.

    I’d rather use a thing and have it broken than hide it in a box and never see it. That’s why I wear my old 1830s frocks; most costume collectors would turn white with horror. But why have something and not enjoy it? Life is too short not to be enjoyed thoroughly.

    I enjoy doing housework…Whenever…they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It’s an admirable profession, why apologize for it. You aren’t stupid because you’re a housewife. When you’re stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare.

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    2 thoughts on “A Long Vacation Post

      • It’s all a little overwhelming when we only have a week to take in the plethora of free museums and historic spots. Makes me wish I had done more planning and research. Tomorrow we are hoping to hit the National Gallery of Art and the Air and Space Museum. We’ll see how it goes!

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