Tag: traveling

Babymoon, Day 1

Come February 2023, I’ll be Bubbles (my grandmother name) to a third Sprite! I’m calling her Junior for now ‘cause she’ll be named after me, though my daughter doesn’t plan to call her Jeanne. In case you’re wondering, I’m named after an uncle I never met.

New parents apparently celebrate upcoming arrivals by dedicating a weekend to a babymoon- a play on “honeymoon” – enjoying a last fling of freedom and gaiety before a life of diapers, feedings, and sleep deprivation begins. Since Alison is a single parent, I get to enjoy this special weekend with her, and it started yesterday. I’m telling you about it in past tense because by the time we got to our hotel room last night, I was too tired to open my computer.

a reserved space!

We kicked the day off with a 2-hour glamor shot photo shoot (a.k.a. sonogram) because to date, Junior insists on refusing to give the medical professionals the views they desire. They want to see her cleft palate, and she insists on putting her foot not in (that’ll come later), but in front of her face. They want to see her spine, she lays on her back. You get the, well, picture. Frustrating as it is, I can’t help but be a teensy little bit tickled by the early signs of Junior’s independent streak and authority issues. I sense her arrival will be more of a “buckle up” than birth event.

 

After photos and a bite of breakfast, Alison and I made our way to an old Charleston building now serving as offices for several attorneys. On a car-ined street, there was one available parking space right in front (and I do mean RIGHT IN FRONT) of the building. We we made our way to the back of the building, I enjoyed the old, old bricks and the determined green plant life – mostly ferns and dandelions – poking their heads out of tiny little nooks and crannies.

The conversation on the drive went something like this . . .
Alison: Mom, you know to be quiet, right. Don’t say anything.

Jeanne: Alison, you don’t have to worry about me. This isn’t my first psychic reading. Every September in the Way Back When, Mrs Fincher and I would buckle you, Kipp, and Blake up on the merry mixer at the Kiwanis Club Fayette County Fair, and go have a reading done by the woman with a card table set up in the parking lot.

Yes, my friends, behind the door we entered was the most delightful, inviting room where the most delightful Andrea conducted our psychic reading. The first word out of Andrea’s mouth was “mom”, and I felt it was wrong not to tell her that Alison is pregnant, but she’d gone to such great lengths to hide her pregnant belly, I knew things would go badly if I so much as looked in Alison’s direction, so I zipped my lips and let Andrea focus on me as the obvious mom. Daddy came to call first, wanting me to apologize to Mother for something, and honestly, y’all, I silently whispered to him that since I was paying for this, I’d sure appreciate it if he’d talk to and about me. He must’ve heard me ‘cause he shifted to another lane and talked a good long time about how he trusts me and how I’ve taken such good care of somebody (who is obviously Mother), that now it’s time for me to spread my wings and fly – spread my wings, he said multiple times, always with Andrea doing hand motions –  to work on something that’s important to me – which I choose to interpret as this book I’ve been writing on for umpteen plus one years now. He said he trusts me implicitly, and Andrea offered that he meant that it’s okay for me to take intuitive leaps in whatever it is I’m working on (cause thought i might have thought about the book, I knew better than to say anything about writing a book)!

The Engineer’s mother shocked the stew out of Alison and me by coming in with great fanfare (that’s not the shocking part. That she came at all is the surprising part.) She seems just as excited over Junior’s birth as she was over Alison’s birth. Andrea rather emphatically conveyed to us that there is something Grammaw (Mrs. Chambers’ grandmother name) really wants Junior to have – something she made or purchased, something that has been handed down. [She bought Alison a christening gown to wear home from the hospital when Alison was born. I’d never heard of such a thing or such a tradition, but Alison wore that dress home as did my son Kipp as did Kipp and Marnie’s 2 children who were born in Colorado. And that christening gown is in a box somewhere in the chaos that is their new and almost-remodeled home in Colorado. Amid everything else they’re doing, they’re searching for that little white gown and bringing it to  Alison at Christmas.] Yep, gotta be the christening gown.

There were many other things that came through via Andrea, including one female wearing a hat who died and traveled across the Atlantic before her death. Alison and I have an idea of who that could be until we get to the part about traveling across the Atlantic. Thank goodness we recorded the entire session.

 

After hugging Andrea good bye, we needed to walk (something Grammaw encouraged Alison to do via Andrea), and there were 20 minutes left on the parking meter, so we started walking, and what do y’all think is the first thing we saw as our feet hit the Charleston sidewalk?  Right: our first found heart of the day!

Not knowing the area and having nowhere in particular to go, we just walked straight down the sidewalk, stopping at the first shop that caught our eye: the Old Whaling Store offering the most aromatic handmade soaps and lotions for sale. We left with lotion for me and lip balm for Alison. As we pulled away from our front-row parking spot, there was a line of cars waiting to take our place – ha.

Y’all look at this tree we parked beside and tell me what you see. At first I saw a tear because I have a thing for tears and see them as reliquaries. Then in a literal blink, I saw a womb cradling a cherub.

We then made our way to the Bye Bye Baby store, our first shopping spree, which turned out to be mostly a looking spree, though Alison found more things to add to her gift registry and  y’all know I found a few things . . .

a few must-have gifts for Junior, and

a little something to remember what Daddy repeatedly told me through Andrea. Oh wait. I thought those black lines were WINGS. Only now do I see them as eyelashes. Well, here’s how it’s gonna’ go down in the history books: those are wings, and wet macular degeneration or no, I absolutely love my vision. I mean Vision.

Moving on . . .

In the house between shopping and our next step at Urban Nirvana for facials and massages, my daughter-in-love Marnie called to tell Alison that she wants to host a baby shower for Alison and Junior! Alison is so touched and so excited, she actually cried a little bit . . . then got right to work on the invitation list.

 

I haven’t had a massage since they added an “e” to the word, and let me tell you, it was wonderful. Okay, it was beyond wonderful. Ditto that for the facial. (And it was 25% off thanks to the early Black Friday sale, so there’s that!) I want some of the cute and comfortable little sandals we wore at the spa, and i might actually want to go back to wearing robes after a multi-decades long absence. (Silly me, a former version of Jeanne decided that robes take up valuable closet space and besides, I need to get up, get dressed, and get to work ticking things off my (always massive) to do list. Jeanne 7.0 thinks Pfffft on that and will be shopping for a luxurious soft, fluffy robe in the Relative Soon time.)

We kicked off the weekend with Storm Hair, we closed out day one with Massage Hair.

Spying a Chili’s restaurant, we turned in, parked, walked up, and were seated promptly at a larger table for four instead of one of those tiny little tables for two. When we left the restaurant, the line of people waiting was way down the sidewalk.

Straight back to the hotel we came, donning our pajamas and climbing into bed lest we fall asleep standing up. It was a day filled with the magic that comes from laughter, love, wonder, and loving, gleeful anticipation. What better way to spend Junior’s first all-girls three-generations outing, right?

~~~~~~~

Want to see more? Let’s get together on Instagram and Facebook.

It’s Friday, so It Must Be Merry Olde

LondonSky2

London sky as a portrait of life.

Despite a delayed takeoff
and a delayed landing
and yet another lengthy delay caused by the tour guide not being at the airport to meet us,
we find ourselves in London today.
In the few hours of daylight we had left after all the delays,
we packed in plenty of steps and sightseeing.

LondonKensingtonGardensDuck4

We walked to Kensington Gardens
where we walked a lap around
the heavily populated Round Pond,
home to big ducks

LondonKensingtonGardensBabyDuck

baby ducks

LondonKensingtonGardensDucksInARow

pretty ducks all in a row

LondonKensingtonGardensSwan1

and even a swan or two.

LondonCorgiNamedBiscuit2

Got my Corgi fix in Kensington Gardens when Biscuit’s person let me pet him.

LondonSunflower2

LondonSunflower4

LondonSunflower7

Got my flower fix when we strolled past the flower shop.

LondonTiledSteps2

LondonTiledSteps6

LondonTiledSteps5

LondonTiledSteps4

LondonTiledSteps1

And I got my cloth fix
walking past the black-and-white tiled
steps and stoops.
Actually, this one is more like an itch than a fix.
Good thing I brought and bought some cloth.

~~~~~~~

To read from the beginning of this great adventure, click right this way.

The Alphabetical Dublin

Thursday, August 28. 2014.

DublinA

DublinArchitecture3

Dublin has beautiful and varied Architecture.

DublinB

DublinBicycles28Aug14

Bicycles are a dominant means of transportation.

DublinBlueSky28Aug14

And today we had blue sky! (At least for about 15 minutes.)

DublinC

(A makeshift C
because sometimes we have to take our C’s as we see them.
Created by cropping off half the opening to a sidewalk trashcan

then rotating it a bit.)

DublinCaptainAmericaJeanneAndyPhone1

DublinCaptainAmericaJeanneAndyPhone3

Happy birthday, Kipp!

YOU are our Captain America.

DublinD

DublinDragon28Aug14

He’s a Rescued Dragon
brought home to live because the little girl
loved him at first sight
when they visited the home for Orphaned Dragons.
The fact that he has a heart condition
just makes her love him more
’cause blue is her favorite color.
He’s a scrappy thing, this Dragon.
though some might call it appreciative.

DublinE

DublinDoorInTempleBar

Eunice was bad to paint
after she’d had a Guinness
Or fourteen.

DublinF2

DublinNightDeposit

The night deposits are so Fancy here,
you just want to drop money in
as you pass by.

DublinG

DublinTreeOfGoldAtTempleBar1

The tree of Gold, they call it.
(Sculpted in 1991 by Eamonn O’Doharty)

DublinH2

DublinHidden

The older she got,
the more she realized
that staying Hidden
was not something imposed on her.
It was her choice.

DublinI

DublinStreetArtist1

DublinStreetArtist2

DublinStreetArtist4

Missing her empty nest,
in the worst possible way,
Inez put her hands on her hips
and told that boy of hers to clean the garage
so she could park in it again
then go find himself a job.

DublinLetterJInSidewalk

DublinRedPaintPlant2

Then one fine morning,
she opened her window
and tossed out a bucket of red plant
and right about then,
the breeze happened along,
Just like she’d hoped it would . . .

DublinK

DublinSidewalkMusician

Kirk simply didn’t have room for all that furniture,
so he repurposed it into music.

DublinL

DublinLookLeftSign

Because sometimes you need a Little help
after 26 pints.

DublinManholeCover4

DublinMollyMalone3

Molly Malone was a feisty thing,
they say,
selling her fish in the street
to make a living.
Fish tale or no,
I like a self-reliant woman.
(Sculpted by Jeanne Rynhart. Cast by Dublin Art Foundry)

DublinModernArtMuseum6

DublinTinyChurchDetail1

A knockoff Noah’s Ark, perhaps?

DublinO2

DublinOttoDog

SOMEbody in Dublin needs this Otto dog we saw today.
I just know it.
And he needs you, too.
(I call all border collies Otto dogs
cause my granddog is a border collie
named Otto. But you knew that.)

DublinP28Aug14

DublinPurpleFlower1

Purple is Nancy’s favorite color
so that makes it my happy color.

DublinManholeCoverQ

DublinTheLightInside

As they approached the house,
he said, “I’ve told you umpteen times:
Quit leaving the light on inside.”
Something she heard both literally
and metaphorically.

DublinMakeYourOwnLetter

(This is a DIY R)

DublinReflections3

Reflections happen,
sometimes when we least
expect them.

DublinS

DublinSidewalkSign28Aug14

Because She loved ravens
as much as he despised them,
She Seriously considered following the directions
on the Sidewalk Sign.

DublinT2

DublinWeirAndSonsSign

“To Tell you The Truth,”
she said at The end of this day,
“I’m a little Weiry.”

DublinU

TempleBar3

What trip to Dublin is complete
without a little Ulysses?
James Joyce may have exiled himself,
but Dublin still loves and takes credit for him.

DublinV

DublinAlisonsCostume28Aug14

He might’ve worn that stupid little hat everywhere he went,
but she was Very glad he didn’t wear these.

DublinManholeCoverW

DublinAlphabet28Aug14a

DublinAlphabetBooks

EveryWhere We Went today,
We saW alphabets.

DublinX3

DublinTempleBar6

A possible case of Xanthocyanopsy?

DublinY

DublinDoorYellow

When he installed those bolts and locks
and mounted the burglar alarm keypad outside the Yellow front door,
she knew her mama had been right all along.

DublinMemoryTheMadHatter28Aug14

I looked and looked,
but I couldn’t find a Z anywhere.
So, just the Ztory . . .
After another full day in Dublin,
i go to sleep tonight
remembering The Mad Hatter.
Not this one, of course,
the one in Underground Atlanta
where I met the man I’m traveling with some 41 years later.
(Oh, and that Mad Hatter, it wasn’t a haberdashery.)
ZZZZzzzzzz . . .

~~~~~~~

To read from takeoff, go here.
To read tomorrow, go here.

This . . . and Other Things

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014.

Today I spied things you just don’t see everyday . . .

DublinElephantInWindow

like an elephant in a windowsill

DublinGargoyleGuardingHeart

and a gargoyle fiercely guarding a heart

DublinMemorialFountain

and the Dublin Garden of Remembrance

DublinMemorialFountainMmoreFlowersthanSitting

. . . where there’s more room for flowers
than people.

DublinModernArtMuseumVasarely1

Today I saw a painting by Vasarely
(Lane, 1968),

DublinModernArtMuseumSign

something that made me laugh,

DublinModernArtMuseumGardensAndyWalingOffPath

and The Engineer going beyond the end of the path.

DublinModernArtMuseumSelfisInToilet

Today I saw me,
snapping a selfie
in the Ladies Toilet
of the Ireland Museum of Modern Art.

DublinModernArtMuseumLight2

delicious holes that let the light in.
(Or maybe I saw delicious light coming in through holes)

DublinModernArtMuseumGardensTreeRoots1

DublinModernArtMuseumGardens10

and tree roots that beckoned me to come, sit a spell
and conjure up some stories.

DublinModernArtMuseumBowls1

I saw bowls.
beautiful, colorful bowls

DublinModernArtMuseumBowls2

that thrill and delight
(once you get close enough and have a look inside)
and make me think of my nephew Drew
and the piece he gave me
called The Improbable Pot.
(They also make me think of people,
but we can talk about that another day.)

~~~~~~~

DublinModernARtMuseumStoneExhibitMyStone5

DublinModernArtMuseumStoneExhibitMyStone4

Today,
in an exhibit at the Ireland Museum of Modern Art,
This stone whispered to me:
Choose me, because I am
old . . .
(tho new to you.)
Because I can be a bullet
or a border
or a doorstop
or a tongue depressor
or a flower
a tombstone
or even a golf ball in a pinch.
I can hold napkins down
and tell a story
and break a window
and hold my worries for me.
I won’t ever tell secrets
or roll away when I say something it doesn’t like
or add inches to my waist
or make rude noises.
Choose me
because I don’t hold grudges
(I have no pocket for them)
or sing off key
or pass judgments.
Pssst. Choose me
because even though I have a tendency to
mirror the temperature of my surroundings,
I don’t ever try to be something I’m not.
That would be silly.(br>
So I chose this rock
for all these compelling reasons and one more:
I chose this rock because it has weathered storms
and hardships
of unimaginable proportions.
It has endured
and survived
and has had absolutely no choice about anything
yet it still doesn’t act like a victim.

~~~~~~~

DublinModernArtMuseumWhatSomePeopleSee

And once today,
I saw what some people
see all the time.

~~~~~~~

Today I learned that . . .

Guinness2

The original Mr. Guinness signed a 9000 year lease
and had 21 children.
(I think I know why they sell so much ale.)

DublinStPatricks2

Jonathan Swift, who had an inner ear infection
diagnosed long after his demise,
wrote Gulliver’s Travels
(here at St. Patrick’s Cathedral)
not for children
but for adults.

DublinModernArtMuseumBodyResemblesFace

the naked body resembles
a face
(Standing Nude by William Scott, 1954).

~~~~~~~

It was another good day
governed not by a to do list
but a see / feel / be list.

~~~~~~~

To start at the beginning of Another Great Adventure 2014 and read yourself current, go here.
To go forward to tomorrow, go here.

Things We Now Know, Things We Still Don’t Know

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014

We now know that . . .

DublinDoors1

DublinDoors2

DublinDoors3

DublinDoors5

Dublin has doors that are to die for.

DublinDrinks2

DublinJeanneAndyInPub2

Guinness and a Jameison-and-7
make for a fine way to close out the day.

DublinFacesInTrees

Dublin is home to faces in trees

DublinFaeinSidewalk

and faces on the sidewalk.

DublinGraftonStFlowerStall

Flowers being sold in stalls
in the middle of the street
is a fabulous thing to happen upon.

DublinJeanneAndyOnBusFromAirport

DublinJeanneAndyStStephensPark1

Jeanne’s arms need to be longer,
to snap better selfies.

DublinLifeStatuesGraftonStreet1

There are (other) people who will
paint themselves from head to toe
and pretend to be somebody else
in public.

DublinTheLiffy1

We now know what The Liffy looks like

DublinSnugSign

what a snug is.
(It’s a small, closed-off room in a pub
reserved specially for the ladies.)
(Is, too. My new best friend Deidre
told me so. I’ll introduce you to her later.)

DublinTheClothShopSign

DublinTheClothStoreFabrics2

DublinTheClothStoreFabrics1

DublinTheClothStoreDeidre1

that Liberty of London fabrics exist.
It feels and drapes like silk,
but it’s 100% cotton.

DublinTheClothStoreLoot

(Souvenirs)

DublinTheClothStpreJeanneDeidre2

(Jeanne and her new best friend, Deidre)

~~~~~~~

We still DON’T know . . .

DublinSidewalkMystery3

what these marks stamped in the Dublin sidewalk mean

DublinSidewalkMystery2

or how to solve this sidewalk mystery

DublinMarkOnFence

or what this mark on the fence means

DublinNest

or what this Dublin nest is home to

DublinSidewalkMystery1

Why this spring-with-a-handle looking thing is embedded in the sidewalk

DublinTinyLittleChurch1

or the name of this tiny little church.

or (and i have no photo of this one)
what we did to make us lucky enough to attract
the attention of Don, the Irish fella
who invited himself to sit with us
then engaged us in the most interesting conversation
of the philosophical variety.
He gave me his address as he took his leave to go to work,
asking if I’d send him the book I’m currently working on.

~~~~~~~

DublinGaietyGraftonStreet

Oh, one more thing we DO know:

This, this right here is what we had today: Gaiety.

~~~~~~~

Signing off with something we haven’t seen for eons:

DublinTvTestMode

(Hint: It’s a television test pattern.)

~~~~~~~

To read from the beginning of Another Great Adventure 2014, click right this way

or

To go to forward, click right this way

Wheels Up!

Monday, 25 Aug 2014.

IrelandFromUpHere1

It’s striking how much the sunrise looks like the sunset from this high up. I’d show you a picture to prove my point, except I can’t get my damn camera out of my new pink bag that’s under the seat in front of me in time to snap the sunset because the woman has her seat reclined to the maximum quarter inch allowed. We paid Delta $69 each for 3/4 inch more leg room . . . but we didn’t get it on account of an equipment change. How do I know? I asked the flight attendant. But not until we were in landing mode, knowing that I would spend the entire 8 hours worth of flight time fuming and feeling even more claustrophobic. “Will the extra fare we paid automatically be refunded to our credit card?” I asked.

“No. You’ll have to call a Delta agent at the one-eight-hundred number when we land,” she says.

This is ridiculous, and though it’s true to my experience with Delta, I remain hopeful that it’s untrue. I spent money texting my sister (a Delta gate agent) asking her to check and make sure we’re refunded. It ought to happen automatically, we both agree. Cross your fingers that she remembers to look into it and take care of it if needbe. For Delta’s sake, I hope to see a refund on our credit card statement without me having to spend an additional thirteen hours waiting online to request something we paid for but did not receive.

I am a firm believer in having those who work in the healthcare field being patients at least once a year, and I now suggest that the CEO of Delta who assured us of Delta’s commitment to service and satisfaction in the little video we were all forced to watch sit in the sucks-to-be-you seats at least twice a year. Without anybody knowing who he is, I mean.

The way the air conditioner blows behind me (no amount of readjustment changes it to blow anywhere near my hot self) and the way my light button turns on not my light but the light of my seat mate makes me suspect that Delta once ripped out all the seats in this plane and squished them together upon re-assembly, giving them a full 15 or so rows of tickets they could sell.

Yes, I am cranky. Not sleeping for 3 nights does that to a girl. I doubt even the sleeping pill would’ve induced sleep sitting straight up in a sardine can.

In honor of going to Ireland, I re-read John O’Donohue’s book Beauty. On page 18 I read about stale ways of seeing that block possibility, so I’m determined to find something, well, beautiful. Right here, right now that has to be The Engineer. Bless his heart, his brain is so brilliant, so simple, so exasperating at times. He sits there with his earbuds in, watching some movie on the tiny little screen in front of him and, when asked if he’d like something to drink, he shouts his answer quite loudly to be heard over the voices only he can hear. Yes, laughter is my beautiful, now and always.

To pass the time, I watch 6 episodes of Game of Thrones – episodes skip me seasons ahead of where we are watching at home, but it doesn’t pose much of a problem, really. Costumes that bring on drooling. Flags and banners that make me want to create one specially for us. Men and women who apparently don’t have enough to do tending to their own proverbial backyard, so they go out into the world and try to create a bigger backyard for themselves through conquest. I don’t think I missed all that much.

One of the documentaries is called Mondays in Racine, and it profiles two sisters who open their salon on Mondays to women who are going through the woes of cancer. “We feel beautiful when we are loved, and to evoke an awareness of beauty in another is to give them a precious gift they will never lose. When we say from our heart to someone, ‘You are beautiful,’ it is more than a statement or platitude, it is a recognition and invocation of the dignity, grandeur, and grace of their spirit.” (John O’Donohue, Beauty, page 15) This . . . this is what these sisters do. This . . . this right here is why I spill a few tears at the sight of the sisters holding the hands of women getting their heads shaved. At the sight of the sisters crying with them at the shock and loss and reality of it all. Yes. Beauty.

SunriseOverIreland2

I work up a sweat, but I do finally manage to wrench the camera from my bag – just in time to see sunrise over Ireland.

RibbonsForOurLanding

And ribbons for our landing.

Ah, beauty.

~~~~~~~

Next installment in Another Great Adventure 2014:
Things We Now Know and Things We Still Don’t Know

1 stitch, 2 stitch . . . and that’s about the size of it

Differentpaths1

sometimes i think a piece will never get finished.

Budweiser

and then I remember how little I’ve been at home in the templum
since late january

Palmtrees

and i can’t decide whether to be
relieved to have an excuse

Ocean

or annoyed that i can’t seem to get
anything done when traveling..

031913d

i like portability.
but just because it will fit in a bag I can sling over my shoulder

doesn’t mean any forward motion will happen.
i have to work on that.

[ ::: ]

today’s post is an excuse
(signed by my mom, of course, because she’s with me at the beach, you know)
(does this little tidbit help you read between the lines of this post?)
explaining why I have nothing
absolutely nothing
to take off the wall
as part of Nina Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.

sigh.

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