Clearly things are moving way too quickly for me to keep up. Let’s take a look at the past three weeks.
The trip to Iowa was awesome, and it moved us deeply. The last time I attended an event with that much family was probably our wedding in 2002. It certainly didn’t hurt that the setting was perfect: Late Summer in the most fertile region in the Universe. High temps in the upper 70s. Farmland and gardens bursting with all manner of produce. One late night rainstorm to freshen things up. Everything was perfect. My family hails from Waucoma, but we made numerous trips up the road to Decorah, and fell in love. Case in point: I was standing in the local food co-op holding two bottles beer brewed in Iowa. An attractive hippie chick (see: food co-op) walked by and said, “That Peace Tree IPA is really good.”
I responded, “Do you carry any other Iowa-brewed beers besides these two?”
“Have you been over to the brewery here in town?”
“This tiny town has a brewery? Of course it does. Where is this brewery?”
“Couple miles that way. It’s called Toppling Goliath.”
Naturally, we rolled over to TG and had a couple. Picked up a growler for the shelf (also because the beer was really good). Atlanta, you are on notice.
I could write a lot more about Iowa, but THERE IS NO TIME. After one trip, I would definitely call myself an RV enthusiast. I have always enjoyed really long road trips, and an RV is obviously an excellent way to really formalize the whole experience. I will say though, trying to cover long distances on a schedule kind of ruins it. RVs are big and slow and meant to be enjoyed. Trying to keep the needle pegged above 70 so you can cover 900+ miles in fewer than 15 hours takes what should be a relaxing meander and makes it just another large task that has to be completed on a deadline, psychological slowdown be damned.
The reason we had to bust it back in a hurry was that I had to be on a flight the morning after we got back. Fewer than 12 hours after arriving at home, I was en route to the mid-Atlantic region. I happened to be driving a rental car on I-476 in SE Pennsylvania when the OH MY GOD EARTHQUAKE hit the area. Because I was driving, I didn’t feel anything, which can only be because I am such an excellent driver.
I was able to shorten that trip from 2 nights to one, which led to 7 full days at home, a welcome respite.
Last Thursday, the Simons and the Vonks piled into the Vonks’ Honda rocket ship and raced down to the FL panhandle for some sort of beach trip [FORESHADOWING]. The six-hour drive with two two-year-olds went as well as anyone could have hoped. They each had brief moments of being totally over it, but, for the most part, they sat in their seats, ate their goldfish, drank their juice, and actually slept for a good chunk of the trip.
Oh, you’re going to the beach this weekend, they said. Yes, we said. You know there’s a Tropical Storm in the gulf right now, right? Yeah, we’ve heard that, but I’m sure it will be fine. How will a trip to the beach be fine with a Tropical Storm bearing down on you?
It was not fine. The rain had not rolled in on Friday morning, but it was cloudy and windy. We made our way down to the beach to discover that the beach smelled horribly. It was like thousands of tiny fish had taken their leave of this Earth, right on your upper lip. We toughed it out until nap time and headed back to the ranch. Then the rain rolled in and did not roll out. Ultimately, we decided to pack it up a day early and head home. Having two toddlers trapped inside on a rainy day at home is bad enough. In a [smaller] vacation residence is way worse. We opted for, uh, less worse.
As I type, I am 38,000 feet up, headed to Texas. After this, I’m home for a couple weeks before three weeks in a row on the road starting at the end of the month.
I haven’t brewed in months, and there are still some semi-important tasks to complete on the deck. And football season is on us which equals weekend evaporation.
That’s it. I have no witty conclusion. It just keeps going. WHEEEEE!!!