Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vacation and Other things.

I've been negligent again. Life is chaotic like that. Work, work, and more work. Even if I'm not at work I feel like I'm working. Laundry, dishes, pets, yardwork, all gets in the way. is sooo hot here..I'm ready for fall! We've had a bit of a reprieve here the past week where it's only been in the 80's, but the sticky Carolina air still makes it unbearable to be outside for long. I can't wait for fall and some Hokie football! On to the updates!

The last week of July we took our annual vacation to Fontana Dam, NC. It's in the southern part of the Smoky Mountains near the TN border and it's Heaven to me. Every time we go we see something we've never seen and do something we've never done. It's remote and secluded, yet there's a never ending list of stuff to do in the area. We go for the Miatas at the Gap gathering every year and this year, we took Milo. He's such a small dog and we didn't want to have the expense of boarding a 4th dog knowing we had his surgery to pay for. Milo did great in the car! He either stayed in my lap or perched on the arm rest.

Hmm..let me rephrase and expand on the car trip. He was fine on the highway but once we got
on curvy mountain roads, it was another story. He was ok most of the time, but after a spirited run back across the Dragon, he threw up. I can't blame him..318 curves in 11 miles..I'm surprised I don't throw up every time we go across. I at least planned for this and had a towel in my lap. Shew!

We thought Milo would be a bit of a burden since we're usually on the go during our vacations and there's little down time, but most places allowed him in. We went hiking for a day and got caught in the rain. I wore the wrong shoes, so my foot was in severe pain and I stopped while Jeff ran with Milo the mile or so back to the car. He was worn out that night! As timeshare members, they came to us saying they wanted to discuss some changes, etc. and they'd give us $50 for our time. It was a sales pitch to upgrade our ownership and was the weirdest meeting I've ever had. I'm pretty sure the guy was high. He kept saying he was going to cut through the b.s. and get to the point. After an hour, he still hadn't told us how much or what we'd be gaining, so we left. We used the money to rent a bass boat and went out on the lake. I don't know that Milo necessarily enjoyed it, but he tolerated it very well as he does most things. He doesn't seem to like water very much and I don't see him being a swimmer which is disappointing, but I can't force it on him. We did dip him in the lake a few times to cool him off and he was ok with that! Side note: I didn't catch any fish. Again.
This is a short video where we tried to get Milo used to the water before we went out on the
boat. didn't work. He's not afraid of it..he just doesn't like it.

We drove across the Cherohala Skyway at sunset one night and it was amazing!

After the sun went down, the sky was so clear you could not only see multiple layers of stars, but an entire arm of the Milky Way. It's breathtaking! Sadly, my camera couldn't capture that and we couldn't stop for pictures anyway because we had to get back to the cabin to meet Jonathan and Candi. Candi is a good friend from college that I never get to see as often as I'd like, so knowing I had a weekend with them was fantastic! Mentioning my camera reminded me of something. Let me back track to the beginning of the week, before we left for Fontana.

The evening before we left, we were cleaning out the car, polishing the inside, cleaning the windows, etc. No wait..let me back up further..several months back I noticed a horrible smell every time I got near the porch. I couldn't put a finger on it..kind of like stinky stagnant water and maybe sewage. Jeff said not to worry it was just water under the porch from rain. I poured bleach and it went away for awhile..but would always come back. So..forward to the night before Fontana. Jeff comes back in and asks how much more laundry do I have to do because there's a break in the water line and the laundry water is just dumping under the house. Lovely. That would explain the stagnant water smell. Then it hit me. Sewage. That whole end of the house is connected to one MONTHS of laundry, shower, sink and toilet water were just ending up under the house..not into the septic tank. Crap. Literally. It kind of put a damper on vacation knowing we had to come back to have that fixed. Just another expense. back to why the camera reminded me of all that. After we got to Fontana, we had my delicious Fajita Lasagna that I invented out of thin air and then Jeff goes to pick up his bag. The bottom half is for a camera and lenses, the top half for a laptop. The camera portion was open and his nice Canon Rebel XTI fell out and hit the floor breaking an $800 wide angle lens. He was LIVID. SO..that's why we don't have pictures of the Milky Way. The week didn't start off well.

Alright, back to vacation goodness. The day after Jonathan and Candi arrived, we went on a winery tour to Calaboose Vineyards and Valley River Vineyards with a rather large group of Miatas. Both were very hospitable, had great wines and it was a very fun way to spend a day.

Miatas at Calaboose Vineyards

The day after the vineyard tour, the men went to the Miata picture at the Dam while Candi and I stayed in the cabin. After that, some relaxing by the pool and lazy river while the men went running and did Miata stuff. They joined us at the pool later for awhile and then it was off to shower to get ready for dinner and the wine/beer swap. We met some great people who brought some home brews. One was like an orange wit-beer and the other was a pink hibiscus wit-beer. It was to die for! Floral, light and it was pink! But, if you mixed the two beers tasted like ruby red grapefruit. I have no idea why because it doesn't make sense given what was put in them..but it was like the 4th of July in my mouth! I tried many wines and was tipsy. Maybe more than tipsy. Possibly drunk. Yeah, I was drunk.
Beer table. You can't even see the rest of the selections. There was a LOT!

The day after was a yummy breakfast and the trip home. Fantastic week that just solidifies my love for Fontana. It's not only the place, but the people too. It feels like home to me. I made new friends and got so see some old. My soul was smiling. After returning with some tan lines and great memories, we did get the pipe under the house fixed and for cheap..even if Jeff did have to crawl through crap to reseal the joint. Turns out the support hangers in that area were attached to the plastic and insulation instead of to the the pipe fell. Easy fix..just a hassle. The lens is still broken and I'm still peeling from the sun I got. SPF 30..and I didn't get hardly any sun. SPF 50..and I'm burnt. ?? Milo had his surgery..but that's another post. So now you know what I've been up to the past few weeks! =)