I was going through photos the other day, and came across a bunch from the few days Swede and I spent in the Shenandoah Valley before our friends’ wedding in Baltimore.
I’d completely forgotten about the fearless deer we encountered when we took a four mile looping hike through the woods. Swede got close enough to reach out and touch the animal (though he did not actually), as the deer didn’t seem perturbed by us or any other hikers in the least.
While Swede was mildly disappointed that we didn’t spot any bears or other vicious creatures, I, for one, was grateful that this was the only wildlife we encountered.
Two words you don’t normally hear in the same sentence are “beautiful” and “Gary, Indiana.” (Okay, that’s three words.)
Not these days, anyway.
In its heyday, even before it became known as the hometown of Michael Jackson and his bevy of siblings, Gary was a pretty good spot, full of life and industry and bustling with activity, and far from today’s more common word association of “crime-ridden armpit.” Driving through the city, it’s sad to see how depressed it has become, the grandeur of the old buildings not just faded but boarded up and left for dead.
There are a few signs of life, one of which is the 18th Street Brewery, which opened in Miller Beach a couple years ago. Since its opening 18th Street has gained quite the following, and people who would have scoffed at the idea of venturing to the Gary area are instead shrugging their shoulders in happy defeat while they sip stouts.
That gives me hope for the area that this brewery is really taking off. It gives me hope for any town that was once great to become great again. It might take awhile, but awhile is often better than never.
So I told you about the ice cream we had in Door County, but I forgot to mention that the creamery grounds also featured farm animals. Because why not? And what a life these animals lead—they’ve got three square meals, a spectacular view, and even a jungle gym just for goats.
We should all be so lucky.
There is a lengthy number of items on my summer To Do list, and in the past couple of weeks I’ve managed to cross a few of them off, thanks in part to a recent trip to Door County.
God Bless Wisconsin!
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a terribly long list, more like a handful of items, but still. But they are Very Important Things. Like eating from a food truck (still need to get to that), eating an ice cream cone (another post for another time), and riding the lakefront path (I’ll do that as soon as I find my helmet. Which is probably somewhere in one of the damn boxes). The point is: I accomplished something! I got to cross something off my list!
And that thing was picking fruit. Originally I was thinking blueberries, but when in Door County, do as Door Countians do. And that? That means cherries.
After driving up and down the main road that runs through all the little DC towns, stopping at various and sundry wineries and cideries along the way, we came across Carlson’s Island View Orchards, and were shocked to find that we were the only ones there. Why? Why weren’t other tourists and Door Countians out picking tart cherries? I don’t understand this! They were only $9 a pail! I kind of want to drive back up there and get more! Right now! $9 a pail! That’s a steal!
We picked two pails and most likely a goodly portion of these cherries will be turned into cherry bounce, which, we were informed 17,695 times, is just what you do with all those cherries.
But you’ll have to wait until December to see how the fruits of our labor turned out. Which is kind of annoying, because practicing patience is not something I ever put on my To Do lists.
Swede and I toddled through the Presidio while in San Francisco, where we learned that when you walk down, you must walk back up. Mainly because we kept missing the busses that would take us back up.
But at least we got to stroll along this little route, sun-dappled and lovely, sweaty legs and all.
Everybody always talks about finding balance in life. It is apparently so elusive, this balance, that people spend their entire lives seeking it out.
Why they haven’t just turned to the Irish, or more specifically the streets of Galway, for some tips on how to get it, I don’t know.
Swede and I were out in San Francisco in October for Smell and Jeremiah’s wedding. I am not being full of myself when I say that I was an essential part of this wedding. After all, I was the one marrying them. Without me, the show would not have gone one.
Well, I guess it would have gone on eventually, but it would have taken a couple of hours to round up a judge or someone to unite them in wedded bliss. But it wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as a service as I gave.
Now I AM being full of myself.
What else is new?
ANYWAY, in between wedding weekend events, which included eating, drinking, watching football, more drinking, copious more amounts of eating, Swede and I did get in a little bit of sightseeing. The first day we were in town we hopped a bus from our B&B and headed to a distillery Swede wanted to check out.
The distillery, it turns out, was not at the location as listed on the Interwebs, which was a total Bummer for Swede. On the plus side, though, we did get to walk through San Francisco’s infamous Chinatown, certainly a sight to see, smell and experience.
Chinatown was the first of many neighborhoods we trolled that day, definitely the most vibrant. Gray and clouds banked the sky that day, but Chinatown was anything but dull or dim.