Ah, Vacation!

I’m road-tripping again, but this time it’s for fun and ONLY fun! It’s been a while since I had one of those trips, and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

My destination was Maryland, where I’m visiting old friends and participating in a fun weekend “conference” of fiction writers. Never mind that I haven’t written any fiction for a few years. :) We spend more time on inspiring creativity than we do on more technical topics anyway, and Lord knows, I need my creativity inspired.

I took a couple days for the drive up. Partly because I had the time, but mostly because I had to stop in E. Tennessee for a visit with my blogging and real-life buddy, Sharon. Spending time with Sharon is always a pleasure, and I thoroughly enjoyed our meet-up. The absolute perfect start to my vacation! (No pictures, because one of us was dressed nicely, and one of us looked like she’d been driving all day.) We’re hoping for a replay on my return trip and–fingers crossed–I may get to meet the amazing Mr.B! Thanks, Sharon!

The second day’s drive wasn’t fun. Rain, drizzle, rain, wind, rain–you get the picture. On the positive side, there were mountains:


I took a break from the rain to visit Heartwood, a SW Virginia arts & crafts gallery and music venue, where I was welcomed with this interesting mural:

Heartwood mural

Inside the gallery were all sorts of textiles, pottery, iron works, and art, beautifully displayed. Heartwoods is located in Abingdon, VA, and is well worth the stop.

The trip continued to the Virginia Highlands and Shenendoah region. I would have had lovely photos, but I was busy driving up and down mountains in the pouring rain and avoiding getting out of my car. Thanks to the numerous 18-wheelers on the road, the weather, and the mountains, there was no opportunity for car exercising. There was plenty of deep breathing going on, though, I assure you.

Fortunately, my hotel-of-the-day not only had a teensy, tiny exercise room, but there were these beauties as well:


I had such a great workout! The space might have been teensy, but I had it all to myself, with plenty of room to lunge and lift.

Believe it or not, I spent most of the next morning crossing Washington, D.C. Heavy rain during rush hour caused big problems that didn’t work themselves out completely until midday. Eventually I made it to my first stop:

ikea flags

Yes, a million-and-five historic venues and I chose Wegman’s and Ikea as destinations. So sue me. :) (In that rain, I wasn’t going sightseeing!)

Once inside the store, my stomach said, “Might I suggest we have some lunch? NOW!”, so I took advantage of the Ikea restaurant to grab a most unusual lunch of fried chicken tenders and french fries. I give you the Ikea kids meal:

ikea kids meal
I can’t tell you the last time I had fried chicken of any sort, but nothing else on the menu that day grabbed my attention. Now, if I’d been there on another day…

ikea menu board

Hey, I was talking about the roast chicken and mashed potatoes for $2.99! (But that cake does look good!)

Anyway, the chicken was good and the fries were fairly tasty. I don’t like to waste food, but most of the fries went uneaten. See?

ikea food tray

Apparently the people who stashed their trays before me enjoyed their meal a lot more. I don’t think there’s a crumb left, which is how I like to leave my plates. (That’s why I choose kids’ meals whenever I can.)

Not pictured were the TWO chocolate-covered marshmallows I ate from the sample table. I almost fainted from the deliciousness, but I resisted buying a box. It was tough, let me tell you, with one side of my sneaking brain suggesting I buy some to share with my friends here and the other half reminding me that they likely wouldn’t make it out of my room. :) I may try to make some at home for Christmas.

The only other noteworthy thing (as if any of this is remarkable) was when I happened upon this display:

ikea bedding

I think I might have discovered my new bedding ensemble. I’ve been wanting to change my current set-up and like the warm colors combined with the lightness of this combination. Since I live so far from an Ikea and a return would be difficult, I’m employing a cooling off period before purchasing.

I ended the day by having a lovely dinner with my local friends and am spending today helping get things ready for the weekend. How’s that for an exciting vacation, so far? LOL I’m happy, and that’s what matters most, isn’t it?

With luck, I’ll be catching up on my reader tonight, but I hope you’ll understand if I get a wee bit behind!

12 thoughts on “Ah, Vacation!

  1. I warned you about those 18-wheelers, didn’t I? Bet there was plenty of mumbling otherwise unprintable words – that’s not an easy stretch of interstate, but oh so beautiful. Sorry it was raining.

    Don’t know which Wegman’s you are visiting, but if it’s the one near Dulles with a Marriott Residence Inn in the the opposite corner of the complex, that’s where I stayed when Tish and I rode bikes earlier this summer. Love that store!

  2. That’s almost pillowhenge there in that display!

    How fun to meet Sharon on your trip up! Too bad you couldn’t be a bit further north, like NY?

  3. Trust me, Lori, I did look at the map to see how much of a northerly swing I’d need to take after the weekend to get anywhere near your vicinity. Too much of a swing, as it turns out, but I can always hope. :)

  4. Glad you got out for vacation! If you had come to CA, we were having a heat wave BUT at least the beaches would have been warm enough to go to & enjoy – crowded though! 😉

    Hope you continue to enjoy…. that 18 wheeler comment cracked me up!

  5. Happy vacation time Cammy. I really don’t like driving in rain on the freeway with semi trucks all around. I have to admit that I would have chosen going to Ikea as well. Love that store and that new bedding would be lovely.

    How nice that you and Sharon could get together again. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

  6. love the “cooling off period”. that’s so funny. I’ve needed a few of those.
    and I really love hotel gyms. Maybe because I feel so good about exercising on the road!
    You take the best roadtrip photos!

  7. Oh, I hate driving in rainy weather. Hope you have some sunshine now. Sounds like a fun conference – I didn’t know you were a fictional writer! Cool. :)

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