Saturday, June 26, 2021


I will confess that we watch a lot of TV.  Pandemic, heat, everything can be delivered - even though things are opening up and our whole family is vaccinated, we're very aware that we live by a packed shopping mall (that we walk through to get to the metro) and take an ever busier metro system (where masks are required), work in offices with some folks who still aren't vaccinated, and COVID variants are coming stronger and faster than we're prepared for... so, staying home is still where it's at.  Ian has a new personal project, I have a couple books I'm working on as well as a few projects, Jonathon does his thing, and we all enjoy the view of the outdoors from the comfort of home - I guess it's a lot like reverse winter, huh. Oh right, and we had a cicada season that no one really wanted to be out and about it.  They are quite the fliers, it surprised me that we had them on our balcony 11 floors up.  But now they are gone. Seeya BroodX in another 17 years.

So, TV.

I tried "The Sopranos," I really did, because Ian though I'd like it if I gave it a few episodes.  I gave it a whole season and after just about every episode I reiterated just how much I didn't care about a single character. I watched, I asked questions, but I just. didn't. care. Sorry, Tony. I'm pretty sure I'll never watching "Breaking Bad" for the same reason.

On the other hand, he encouraged me to watch "Deadwood" and I'm hooked.  What a great show to sink into with its scene setting, acting, and stories. The characters are wonderful and several are based on real folks which makes it that much more intriguing.

Jonathon suggested we try "Twin Peaks."  Neither Ian nor I watched it when it was first on in 1990, and... wow, it's weird. Just plain weird.  From the bird in the intro (a varied thrush, we looked it up) to the limited and odd music themes, to the odd cadences of speech, it's just all weird. Thankfully we've finished the first 8 episode season and have now plowed into the second 22 episode season. That's it though, so the weirdness won't last too long.

We've restarted the new "Battlestar Galactica" - always great.  It still holds for acting, storyline and effects.

And our weekly fun, "Loki," now that we've seen "WandaVision" and "Falcon and Winter Soldier."

Which brings me to the MCU... we've tasked ourselves with watching the MCU movies in timeline order from Captain Marvel to Spiderman Far From Home. One movie on Saturdays and one on Sundays, so.... a lot of weeks, and it was a lot of fun.

There you go. Pretty much caught up. 

Stay inside, wear a mask, be safe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

We bought a house in May

It's not a stunner, but as we told Rebecca (who we co-bought the house with since she'll be living in while in Georgia), the outside is a blank slate for upgrades.

I'd put a photo up, but folks can reverse search images so I'd rather not post the address for those who do such things :)

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Last month was our 25th milestone

I'd already written a third of this and then magically deleted it, so that was fun.

All to say that in May we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and it was awesome.

Originally our plans had been to do an all-inclusive in Cancun, but as the time drew near (we'd scheduled back in November) we realized this pandemic was still going strong and leaving the country wasn't a great idea. So after more thought we settled on an area we'd seen on TV for the Outdoor Classic (ice hockey).... Lake Tahoe. Booking our flights there routed us through Atlanta, so we were able to visit with Becca both ways for a bit too.

All during this pandemic we've been up to Maryland a few times to see K, been to NC a couple times to see N, and seen R a couple times in Georgia. No luck getting to the UK to see J, and he didn't make it home even for Christmas, worried about the quarantining both ways or possible last minute country closures. He is scheduled to come home for the summer tomorrow... cross your fingers it all goes well. First on the scheduled... vaccinations.  Ian and I were both vaccinated back in January, but still mask up when we go indoors with crowds (we live next to a mall) because of these highly contagious variants making their way over.  But vaccines still matter, so he's going ASAP.

So we made it to (south) Lake Tahoe on a Saturday, for a week of relaxation. Our anniversary fell in the time between the closure of winter activities and the opening of summer activities - no people! Several things were closed or limited hours, but that's right up our alley anyway. 

Tahoe is not a secret, but it was completely new to us who usually hit the beach for our vacations. On Sunday we checked out the little town that's split by Stateline Road between Nevada casinos and hotels on one side, and a California ski village with shops and restaurants on the other. Monday we drove around the entire lake, with stops at the 1960 Olympic Games village in Squaw Valley (currently undergoing a name change for obvious reasons... which meant that there were no souvenirs to be had that didn't have SQUAW all over them), and then the Donner Memorial Park in Truckee.

Sad remaining snow.

These cones are massive.

Not many countries in the 1960 winter Olympics

When the Donner's were traveling, the snow was THIS high.


On Tuesday, our anniversary, we decided that the weather would allow us to take on what so many people go to the Tahoe and the Sierra's for... hiking.  So we're not real hikers, obviously, but the Eagle Falls hike was nearby and super easy. So easy in fact that we decided to go ahead and take our time up to Eagle Lake, into the Desolation Wilderness.

Desolation Wilderness is beyond the normal bounds of the park authorities, and usually requires registering with the park rangers before entering.  Eagle Lake is a natural and easy destination, but the trails continue on for miles beyond to more lakes and higher peaks and if you don't know what you're doing (like us) you don't go there.  But Eagle Lake had an obvious, if slightly more challenging than Eagle Falls, path and we didn't have anywhere else to be, so off we went. Huffing and puffing and taking breaks, the only person who got hurt was me (on level ground, I might add, and here we are weeks later and my ankle is still a little off), and it was a delightful time.

On the way up...

"Flat" ground

The Lake was lovely and a great place to take a snack break.

We were wiped and ready to get some lunch and return to the hotel. The afternoon was lazy with some time in the outdoor hot tub to proactively treat the sore muscles to come - and it worked.  We weren't sore the next day when we took on a couple escape rooms, played in a casino hotel arcade, and attended a live performance magic show. If you're in Lake Tahoe, check out Puzzle Room for some escapes that are fun and affordable.

Thursday we completed a third escape room before going to an early dinner at Sage Restaurant in one of the hotels. This was our official anniversary dinner and we'd wanted a view of the sunset over the lake. For a number of reasons, it wasn't a perfect dinner, and that included the lack of a sunset due to a snowstorm blowing in over the lake. 

Over the course of the week we had every season and it was kind of delightful to also have snow, even the next day when signs popped up on on our drive out of Tahoe that said the road was treacherous and cars should be equipped appropriately. We did make it over the ridge and the downward stretch towards Reno was completely dry and deserty. Since our flight was early Saturday morning we'd decided to overnight in Reno across the street from the airport, but with time on our hands we checked out one of the local casino hotels and did... yes, one more escape room at the GSR.

Throughout the week we'd grocery shopped for some snacks to keep in our suite, we are not against spending time together indoors watching movies, reading, snacking, and enjoying the fireplaces while on vacation. We did go to a few restaurants. Base Camp Pizza (get the Thai chicken) was good with nice outdoor seating, Kilani's was excellent for the food if not the decor, Sage was fine but for the price it should have been better, Creative Crepes were good (though do plan to give them time as they only have 2 crepe pans and each is made fresh), and a couple times at Joe's Sports Bar to watch the Capitals lose in the playoffs.

It was a fantastic time for both of us, and we're reminded once again how much we enjoy traveling and especially traveling together.

Happy Anniversary, love. Let's do something fun again next year. Or in June.