Anyway, there was Nature's Majesty and good weather and s'mores, and not to put too fine a point on it but inside the cabin was a TV that got both The Cartoon Network and Spike TV, which should, in my opinion, be renamed "The Star Wars Network" since that's basically the only thing it plays in the evening. Not that anyone here is complaining. (I'm outnumbered, obviously.)
Oh, the weird chemical salt crystals that we got to throw into the fire to make it all rainbow and mystical worked very well, by the way--the kids were impressed. We just had to make sure that we were done with any fire-based cooking before we threw them in, because I'm pretty sure that eating foods cooked over copper salts and whatnot is probably not the healthiest thing in the world. Then again, neither are s'mores, so whatever.
And whatever, I know that looking at other people's vacation-y photos is mostly boring so I'll spare you the entire set, but OK, just a few more.
Here Cal found a bird feather and was like, "Look Mom! Like Harry Potter!" And I was like, "Oh, that's nice, what a pretty fea--AUGH! DROP IT! WASH HANDS! WASH HANDS!" when I noticed the rest of the bird carcass, mostly picked clean but still with very readily identifiable calcific anatomy scattered clustered in a heap, about three feet away. Nature's Bounty indeed.
(No, I didn't take a picture of the bird carcass.)
I read a bit about tubing on the river before we headed down, and I kept wondering how exactly it is that you get back to the starting point after you're done with your tubery. I mean, isn't it far to walk back? And isn't it unweildy to have to carry your tube overland all the way? My more outdoorsy sources tell me that most people either plan a ride or have two cars, one for the starting point and one as a pickup vehicle downstream. Which seemed...complicated. Also, more planning than we were willing to put into the endeavor. Our solution, therefore, was to just tie a rope to our tubes and drag the kids around in the waist-deep water like we were walking the dog. A little labor intensive, but it worked fine, and we were able to recover 100% of our children at the end of the day. Even the spare child.
(WHICH ONE IS THE SPARE? I'll never tell you.)
Anyway: the Blue Ridge Mountains! You are very nice, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter! If it also looks like this little getaway fulfilled my major criteria of taking vacations in places where seemingly no other people are, your perceptions are largely correct. I mean, I'm not exactly sure where all the people all were--it was a holiday weekend, after all, and it's not exactly some remote secret getaway spot (it seems, in fact, like the default weekend getaway spot for a lot of people because it's so close by--kind of like the Hamptons is for New York except more rustic and with 99% of the snobbery and exclusivity excised) but with the exception of hearing our neighbors once in the evening and seeing a few kayakers hurtling by, we hardly saw any other people the whole time we were there. Which, to be clear, was fine with me. Interacting with humans is very taxing, you know.
(And no, as usual, we didn't actually catch any fish. That said, it didn't seem to detract from the experience at all, so who cares. Live on, little fish.)
* * *
I'm posting pictures anyway, so here, this thing:
I would describe pregnancy at this point as inconvenience and discomfort tempered by impatience anticipation. People keep asking me how long I'm going to keep working and I tell them all that I'm going to keep showing up to work all the way up until this baby deplanes, because really, it's the fastest and most interesting way I know to pass a seemingly interminable span of time. Getting through the third trimester at times is like the graph of y = 1/x. As x approaches zero, time approaches infinity.
So what, like, four to six more weeks, right?