Sunday, December 09, 2018

Vacations, and whatnot

Took a much needed break from the jobplace this week.  2018's been an asswhipper.  And this is coming off of 2017, which was an asskicker.  It was good to get out of Dodge with Shyam for a few days.  And get to see the family for a couple things, too.

We'd originally planned to wander up to Washington, DC.  Neither of us has visited the Smithsonian in several years (I'm probably past two decades, at this point).  We'd made initial plans, but life throwing curveballs like it does (veterinary issues for Mr. Mongo, who's getting along nicely now, and a schedule change for me mean postponing the Washington trip until 2019.  That was probably just as well, since the death of George H.W. Bush probably would have snarled and snagged things up for us traffic-wise, and all that jazz. 

We ended up just taking a few days at Cumberland Mountain State Park, which is just outside of Crossville, TN. 

A couple pictures: 

Cumberland Mountain's a state park we hadn't visited before.  Relatively close (maybe an hour away), it was quiet and secluded, yet only four or five miles away from Crossville, so wandering out for a meal or diversion, or to Dollar general to buy coffee and a new leash for Mongo (we left his sitting on the porch), wasn't an issue.  A couple recommendations:

Dublin's Crossing is a neat little Irish-type pub we hit for lunch.  Good food, and was able to partake of a Scotch egg, which hasn't been on the menu the past couple of times we've hit Honest Pint down in Chattanooga.

Also gotta recommend The Book Cellar, a cool used bookstore we'd never been too.  Good selection, and excellent prices.  Really made me jealous that a town the size of Crossville has a used bookstore to wander through, but Athens can't seem to get its act together in that regard....

Also:  We found a couple cool things at Simonton's Cheese in Crossville.  Try the Gouda.....

We wandered home in the latter half of the week.  Helped Mom pick out a Christmas tree for the house.  Bought some Christmas cards.  Took in Creed 2, which is a messier flick than its predecessor, though it was satisfying enough.

I apologize for burying the lede here.

But Friday, I saw the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

Every now and then, I start thinking that, at 41, I'm a little too cool for school.  And then I see a vehicle shaped like a hot dog, and I scream "Weinermobile!" to my passengerless car, and whip a U-Turn so I can snap a photo. 

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of snapping this photo as it passes the Vegan Cafe in the background.....

So.  Weinermobile.

My nephew's started playing basketball.  It kinda came as a surprise to us all.  He enjoys playing baseball and soccer, but those have always been parental choices.  He asked to play basketball.  His Dad and Grandpa are huge basketball fans, so that may have been part of that decision making process.

I went Saturday to watch him play.  I was impressed...he played aggressively, and seemed to have a pretty decent grasp on the game.  I was also impressed with the uniforms.  When I played at his age, we got a PTO Basketball T-Shirt.  We had kids playing out there in blue jeans, so looking the part of a basketball player wasn't as big a priority in 1984, I'm guessing.

 Early on, he was paired off against a kid with a mohawk.  My family loyalties were tested.  Because, c'mon!  Mohawk!

As my buddy Jimmy pointed out:  It's Fro vs. Mohawk....

It was a defensive battle.  Lookout Valley beat my nephew's squad 9-3.  Refs didn't seem to have the best grasp of the league rules (no defense was supposed to be played outside of the three point line, and no fast breaks were supposed to be allowed, but the other team did both multiple times).

Afterward, we ate pizza!

A good vacation. 

Not really keen on going back to the jobplace, as we're now 15 days and counting until Christmas.


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