Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Stay-cation" vacation

Returning back after five days away from the office, all of my colleagues have the same question: "Where did you go?"

Being an avid traveler and thrill-seeker, I am somewhat embarrassed to say "nowhere, just stayed home." Though, according to my mom, taking a "stay-cation" is all the rage.

Here's the synopsis of events:

Day 1: Heat in the Kitchen!
In preparation for our housewarming party, I spent the most of the day in the kitchen. From brownies to veggie dip, and loose beef sandwiches to gallo pinto, I put a lot of work into the housewarming party menu. Also, I went to an a.m. pilates class and got a manicure. Not bad!

Day 2: Party-time!
The party turned out great...small and intimate. My rum punch concoction was the biggest hit; the deviled eggs were a close second. Though I told invitees that gifts were not necessary, we got a sage plant, a beautiful floral arrangement, a 50$ gift card to home depot, some cash $, booze, hand soaps, a bowl, and, my favorite, a hand-me down mongoose mountain bike. Anyway, this was a great day....beautiful weather, good company and some nine hours of steady drinking.

Day 3: What time is it?
Nine hours of drinking....seemed like a good idea at the time. Then, I woke up around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, barfing my guts up. After an hour of unpleasantnesses, I went back to sleep and did not stir again until, what time.....3:30 p.m. : 0 I spent the rest of the day watching such quality movies as Love Guru and Brother from Another Planet.

Day 4: Sticky Floors...
Ahh...they'll be there. Instead of tending to the sticky floors or writing thank you notes for the lovely housewarming gifts, I took my new (used) bike out for a spin. I peddled over the hills and through the city streets to Patterson Park. What a great public space....rolling hills, tress, a pond, sports fields, historical structures and paths galore!45 minutes of peddling later, I made my way home for a shower. Clean and refreshed, I took to Eastern Ave to explore the shops. Mostly crap. Some notable places include, a sneaker shop, Cinco de Mayo grocery and, of course, Docs. Finally, I went for cranial sacrum therapy at Studio 1 Pilates. CS is somewhere between massage and energy work--throughly relaxing!

Day 5: Final Frontier
I woke early to go for a nice bike ride, which I started on the Canton Promenade. Bikes are not allowed on this trail. The path leads through a marina and past other high-priced amenities...boring. Then, I went back to Patterson Park. An hour and a half later, I had to get showered and ready for a reiki session at Studio 1 Pilates. The session was great, very relaxing and enlightening. The reiki master told be that the energy at my knees and feet is very active, apparently meaning that I am an open and grounded person. However, according to her, the energy at my head and heart are quiet, meaning that I am emotionally guarded. Who me? I can't imagine why...Anyway, with my energy in balance, I spent the rest of my final day off wrangling the laundry, cleaning the house and cooking some food.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kayaking on the Antietam

Or, should I title this posting, "irrational fear?"Or, maybe, "Rain, and lot's of it."

For the 4th of July, I planned a kayak trip for my boyfriend and I on the Antietam in Boonsboro, MD. We arranged for a kayak shuttle with Antietam Creek Canoe, a one-man operation currently housed in a gravel lot across from Devil's Backbone. Greg (the one-man mentioned above) was very nice and the service was reasonably priced ($25), but the description of the run on his Web site is totally inaccurate.

This is where the irrational fear comes into play.

The Web site describes the dangers of the run...strainers, rushing water, fallen trees, rocks, exhaustion, insects, pollution.....DEATH, DOOM and DESPAIR!!! This Web site's hyperbolic, extremely exaggerated description of what may have been the tamest creek I've ever paddled, had me totally freaked out.

All in all it was a fun trip--a nice combo of calm, but fast moving, water and a few mini-rapids. The water is kind of dirty, I suppose that's thanks to Hagerstown being upstream. Also, there is a lot of traffic--canoeists, kayakers, fishermen, etc. on the water.

Total, we did eight miles, the last three of which it poured down rain. Between the stinging nettle lining the takeout spot, and the buckets of water that splashed us each time a car went by while we tied the kayaks up on my car, this trip required some good humor.

Tired and wet we headed towards 70, kayaks full of water atop the Honda. Just before reaching the highway we saw a Sleep Inn with a liquor store next door. We took that as a sign, and stayed the night.