Monday, August 25, 2008

A little R and R

Although I've been back for a little over a week, it's time to do the vacation post!

The weekend before there was much planning. Who was making what on which night, what supplies would be needed, what type of beer would be most appreciated. All crucial things. On Sunday Travis and I decided to stop by Whole Foods to pick out some cheeses for our wine and cheese night. Honestly, I was most excited about this aspect of the trip. I have a serious weakness for a delicious cheese and a properly paired wine. After about an hour of sniffing and thinking, we decided on three: Roncal, a generic peppered goat cheese (also Spanish), and some other Spanish goat cheese whose name totally escapes me (although its floral and earthy flavors do not).

After making the wine selections (Tempra Tantrum, a Tempranillo/Shiraz blend and a Sauvingnon Blanc from Dyed in the Wool), Travis and I began our trek to Lake Raystown Resort. We left an hour or two later than we wanted, but felt optimistic about the drive. I couldn't really remember the last time I drove more than 1.5 hours, which is the exact amount of time it takes me to get to my parents' house. Well, I can. It was the 8 or 9 hour drive we made to North Carolina in the summer of '05. But if you know me then you should know that I hate the car, especially when I am in it upwards of 2 hours. But I just let the image of cheese and wine and a lake take over, and suddenly the 3.5 hour drive to middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania did not seem so bad. Oh yes and not to mention the good times that were about to be had. That helped too.

I remembered the route, as I had traveled it with my family about 10 years ago. My cousins live in Roaring Spring, PA which is about 10 minutes from the lake. Not much really stood out to me about the drive, aside from DRIVING THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS! Well, maybe that's how enthusiastic I had been at the age of 12. I was still (somewhat secretly) excited about that part of the drive. I have a quiet obsession with mountains. When I see one, I just feel at home. I think I'll probably end up on a mountain top. As much as I love shopping and dining and civilization, I might just run away one day.

After getting lost once (the signs are very small in this neck of the woods), getting directions, and another 20 minutes of winding roads we found ourselves at the lake. It was a relief to be out of the car, and to see our lovely accommodations. Travis's parents had rented out 3 villas, which were located right on the lake. We were staying with Travis's oldest brother, his wife, and their 3 kids. As long as I had my own room I didn't care. This wasn't really the sleeping in type of vacation. Every morning at 6:30 Enno would wake up the die hard water skiers. This did not include me, and I would sleep to about 9:00. Just enough time to feel rested, and everyone would just be getting back from the morning run.

This was my first lake vacation, but I had been told many times about the schedule. There was always a morning run. Scott would like to go out around 7:30, but Enno would insist on 6:30. It was a constant struggle. But either way there was a run too early for my liking. This is the best time for water skiing, though. There really isn't anyone else on the lake, so the water is like glass. After the morning run everyone would have breakfast together. There'd be some time for resting and then probably another run. By now, though, the lake would be pretty choppy from the tubers and people on wave runners. I liked going out then because no one would expect me to ski and I could just enjoy the scenery.

Or go tubing. As you can see in the photo above. That was after a long night of drinking and an even longer morning of headaches and uncertainty. I must admit that tubing didn't do much for the headache. Luckily it was later cured by a hot dog, ibuprofen, and a nap.

So there were many water skiing runs made each day. I just liked to go along for the ride. Everyone had a really lovely time. There wasn't really any drama. Nothing that I would give a second thought to, anyhow. It was really nice to see everyone together and having fun. Oh and we jumped off a cliff. Travis said it was a little cliff, but I thought it was a big deal. I have vertigo so being up there was pretty intense. You can watch Travis's brothers jump if you'd like. They're in the red shorts. I was already in the water, and Travis was tossing me my sunglasses.

On the last day Travis was pretty sad to go home. Neither of us had received any job offer calls, and we really didn't want to make the long drive to our empty apartment. But before we left the lake, we took a drive over to the marina where the carp live. I'd never seen a carp before and Travis wanted to let me have that experience. The little shop at the marina was selling dog chow for $0.50 under the name of "Fish Food" so we bought some to really enrich my carp time. I never knew fish were so crazy. I touched one, although Travis told me not to. I just couldn't help it, but I sort of regretted it later. I learned that carp are slimy. I have a little video of their craziness on YouTube just in case you'd like to relive my first time with the carp.

All in all it was a really fun week. Travis and I both could've stayed two more days, but oh well. We did wind up driving down to the shore the next day for some quality time with my parents, and to go to my cousin's bbq. But no trip would be complete without some kind of ridiculous event. So we got a flat tire. No biggie. Travis had changed one on my car a few months ago and he was pretty fast. BUT Travis did not have a jack in his car. What?! How could this be?

Needless to say I was pretty furious. Well, my Dad pays for AAA for a reason. I call. And I get transferred about 5 times, wait on hold for a total of 45 minutes, and have a fight with a dispatcher. Their customer service was not at all what I expected. They wanted an exact address for my disabled car, but I was on a pretty desolate stretch of road. I didn't know what exact township I was in. Am I supposed to be psychic? If I was I wouldn't have to subscribe to their service because I could predict any future road hazards. Eventually a man came with a jack and put on the spare. Then we had a lovely drive going 55mph on a road where you would normally do at least 65. Travis liked waving people around, but I just wanted to get home.

When I did finally get home I chugged a Miller Lite and hopped in my mom's Beemer. Ahh the luxurious life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Birthday Saga + My Mega Wish List

Things have been pretty good since my birthday. Well, except my birthday (at first). So I predicted stormy weather, and was greeted by the apocalypse. I called a friend who lives in Wilmington and she told me that she couldn't come up because the weather was a serious monsoon, but I foolishly laughed and said, "It's not even drizzling up here!" About 25 minutes later the rain started, then the thunder and lightning, and then the 1000 mph gusts that turned our umbrellas inside out, more thunder, followed by some lovely birthday hail, and topped off with a few buckets of water. I found myself soaked from head to toe in front of a mysteriously closed falafel restaurant. I decided to head into the Starbucks to meet up with my friend (and attempt to dry myself off) when I realized that my arms were stained bright blue. Oh yes, the cute little thrifted electric blue clutch I was carrying got wet and leaked its dye all over my torso. And a little on my face. The torture did not stop there. There were no paper towels in the bathroom, so I had to wring out my clothes and try to dry out a little under the hand dryer. Oh and it was too late to even think about buying some dry clothes, as all the shops in Center City close around 8. Oh and I left my cell phone in the bathroom. A nice man found it, called my dad, and then Travis went and got it. Happy Birthday to me.

I wound up hanging around Jimmy's apartment for a while (although his girl did not own a hair dryer, and that was my main goal in going to his place). Any restaurant that might be open after 9pm (and would accept sopping wet patrons) was closed due to "flash flooding," and I resorted to eating Sunshine Trail Mix for dinner. I did also go to Dirty Frank's and drank a large quantity of beer. I don't remember getting inebriated, but I did have fun.

So maybe I should get to the goodness of my life. I had a job interview last Thursday for a seriously real job. It might not be exactly what I was looking for, but I think that I could be happy there for the next year. The interview went insanely well, and I should hear within the next week if I got the job. It's actually an hour away from my apartment, but it would be worth it. Plus if I get it, I'm going to buy a new car and I think I'd like to be driving it a bit. I've also picked out the new couch I want. Not to mention my very large Google wish list. There are just so many things...

Travis also has a promising job lead. He had an interview on Tuesday and hopefully we'll hear about that by the beginning of next week. If we both had jobs... there would be so much new furniture... and probably a flat screen TV. And definitely a new car. Oh and the new iPhone. Oh and a vacation. We wouldn't be poor college students anymore!!!

Last Friday Travis had his birthday, and we went to see Ariel Pink at the M Room. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect of the bar as I heard mixed reviews. People said it was pretentious, but I just think those people are too self-conscious. I like $2 PBRs, fun friends, and crazy times. I'm glad I was drunk otherwise I would have been annoyed by the assault on my cutely sandaled feet. The next morning we went to Honey's Sit n Eat and had a delicious brunch. Love it. I think we'll go back tomorrow night for dinner.

Ariel and Jimmy

Next week is the lake trip. It will be me plus all of Travis's family plus Enno. It will be interesting. I'm bringing a lot of busy activites. They like to go water skiing, but I don't care for it. I have books, beads, guitars and keys, paints and pens, and magazines. I think that will be a few days worth of things to do! When I say there will be pictures, I actually mean it.