I guess I didn't recap... we went on vacation last week. I've been so busy this week that it seems like it was in the distant past. We spent about a week with my in-laws down in North Carolina, near Asheville (the less gay-hating part, in town at least). They have a wonderful little "mountain house" there, which is one of the most comfortable places I've gotten away to in a long time. It's where we spent Christmas as well.
We didn't really have any objectives for this trip, other than to get out and give Simon some time with Nana and Papa. I've been itching to get out and do as little as possible, and not think about computers. For the most part, that's what I got. It's hard to say if I came back feeling "rested," but driving trips (nine hours each way) are like that.
Diana and I got out for dinner and a movie. It's such a fundamentally simple kind of date, and not particularly creative, but I miss doing that on a regular basis. It's nice to relax and cuddle in a movie theater (provided they have make-out seats, with the arms that lift up) and some popcorn. It's nice to sit and be able to just talk and eat, without having to worry about the well-being of your offspring. Don't get me wrong, we love Simon dearly, but sometimes he obscures the relationship that led to his creation. It's getting easier, fortunately.
We also went and played some tennis, or at least, Diana kicked my ass. It got a lot of frustration out for me, at least, but it's still painfully obvious that I've only been playing for about three months.
One of the highlights was going out to Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic. It would've been better if it was sunny, but it was still a pretty neat place to go. It reminded me a lot of Washington, sans the snow caps. Scenic as it might be, I can't see driving long portions of it... the turns are exhausting.
We went to the Biltmore Estate and toured the house. To be perfectly honest, it's a little expensive for what it is. In a 250-room house, you're only seeing 10% of those rooms, and of those there are really only five that are exceptionally interesting, from an architectural and decorating standpoint. I'd honestly find it more interesting if they'd let you see the rooms that are not restored or kept up, because it challenges your imagination to think about what might have gone on there. More museum-style exhibits, photos and artifacts would also make it better. Oh, and what are they really protecting by not allowing photography inside?
The trip almost went without incident (no car wrecks, at least), but then we had Simon's fall and the subsequent ER visit. He turned out to be fine, but we just weren't willing to take chances once he hurled. No regrets on that decision.
Diana also did a little local shopping, and got a pedicure. I got some quality Simon time, walking around the house and climbing stairs and such.
The last hour home was kind of tough for Simon, but in the general sense, he has been an excellent traveler. We haven't done much of it the last six months, and after his initial 20 flights in his first two months, he's been pretty local. We still roll with the low expectations, not knowing how he'll be, but I feel like we're able to push him a little more in terms of his flexibility. The day we went to the Biltmore was clearly too much for him, but it happens.
We ended the week with the trip to Dollywood, which was about an hour and a half away. I already wrote about that trip. I definitely need to remind myself not to wait so long to take time off. You really forget when you work from home.