Wrapping up a week


When life is so busy with a road trip and days off that one is not near a computer for days so there is no blogging, the hardest part is figuring out where to start.  So a wrap-up it is.

I took three days off last week.  We don’t get any time off once February starts for several months.  That coupled with Lori being on break between semesters it was the perfect time for a road trip.

My brother was a dear and stayed with the cat and in the house so it didn’t look empty.  With one car in the shop and another on a road trip, five days empty is not a good look for our neighborhood.  (Besides whos gonna feed all those ferals)

We left Wednesday, drove up through Santa Barbara to Monterey.  Went to the museum, stayed in a lovely hotel on the water with a fire place that we built a fire and spent some great down time.

Friday morning we drove over to Manteca to stay with friends.  We went to lunch, spent hours visiting and catching up.  Saturday we went to Sacramento and spent HOURS walking around the Crocker art museum.  I was so impressed with that place.  I want to go back this weekend if it weren’t a 7 hour drive.

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast and then home.  Sunday’s are always iffy in LA traffic but we got home in under 5.5 hours without much delay at all.

Now the week is well underway.  We went grocery shopping yesterday, today was trying to get the rest of the to do list processed, laundry, bedding, yard waste.  Tomorrow food prep, yoga and wash my filthy car from the road trip.

Some of my favorites from the museum….  They never look as good as in person.  I was so surprised by the Georgia O’Keeffe “It was a man and a pot”



and Scene

Vacation is technically over. Mostly meaning I go back to work tomorrow,

My friend Viv flys out in the morning. I have an alarm set fo 3:45 to take her to LAX, get her checked in and to the screening line. (Life as a legally blind person). Everything takes more time and care. Getting into the store, checking out at the cashier. Things we all take for granted like curbs and reading signs.

Today was rather low key. Lori gave up a little bit of time and we all went to breakfast. Then I did laundry and Viv packed. She decided she needed another suitcase to make it easier to pack so we went to Kohl’s and she picked one up.

Tomorrow I get back to my routine. I do like company but am always glad to get back to my normal day to day routine. Including the gym, general chores, not worrying about someone else and our 700 square feet back. Simple things like having the bedroom door wide open allows better air flow. I am truly stuck in my routine and I prefer things that way. Maybe its part of the aging thing.

Viv has been very compact, She is sleeping on one of the fold out crouches but folds it up as a couch everyday and had no issues when I asked that she keep her suitcase behind it so it wasn’t in the way of the office. It actually worked out quite well since she was often going through the bag and the light is better for her to see.

At least its a four day week to work back into that (not so great) part of the routine.

4 of 5

This is day 4 of 5 off in a row. We managed to go grocery shopping yesterday and today I did some weeding. Other then that its been a relaxing kind of time off. Some reading, some streaming and some sleeping and getting over colds.

I didn’t take the time off just to have a cold, but it has worked out that way. My colds generally follow the popular theory of a cold is 7-10 days. Since today is day 7 I figure mid week I am done! Mind over matter if I must.

Tomorrow we have some fun planned with family. Looking forward to that since I have been in the house so much this week.

In other 4 of 5 news…..we haven’t even gotten close to the new kitten. It is very very skittish. It reminds me of my first kitten ever when I was a kid. But this one I have been calling 4 of 5. Because the feral cat supposedly had 5 kittens. We took three to the shelter and then this one shows up right after. It camps out behind the big blue agave in the back yard, it it knows it is super thorny and it is protecting it.

Days off for healing

Saturday we headed out to do a little maintenance on the girls house.  Lori fixed a bedroom door that wouldn’t latch and worked on the irrigation.  I worked on two plumbing issues that ended up taking four trips to the hardware store and now an actual plumber coming tomorrow to fix the one I couldn’t fix.

Sunday morning I woke up to feeling like I had swallowed glass.  Seems I caught the cold or whatever Lori has.  Three days later I have just an irritating cough.  One that seems to act up more when I want to sleep.  Because REST, is the medicine I need most.

Lori’s cough turned into another doctor appointment and another chest x-ray yesterday.  We left there pretty sure she had pneumonia, and a new set of prescriptions.  But today when we heard back from the x-ray it is in fact NOT pneumonia just really really bad bronchitis.

Tomorrow starts a 3 day vacation.  We had planned to do some last minute things before school starts.  However it looks like it will be more like a healing stay-cation.  To top off the days of quiet I will be taking a trip to AT&T.  My phone tonight just got the black screen of death and its not turning off.  I can feel that it is on as the ‘home’ key bounces under pressure but nothing happens.  I’ve tried to force it off and held the side and home key down for more that three minutes.

And since I have no phone I also have no photos to upload.  Besides it would just be of a pile of lozenge wrappers.

Home sweet home

Well our travel day yesterday lasted about 24 hours.

Now not all of that was on a plane, but more than half certainly. We woke before alarms, probably around 6a.m. By 7:30 we were showered, packed and checking out. We took a taxi to the airport, got checked in, actually checked our luggage so we wouldn’t have to fight for bin space or keep track of them.

We had several hours before we boarded, So we had a coffee and split a sandwich for breakfast, spending the last Euros on a couple of bottles of water for the plane. We are very fortunate that we travel so similarly. We would both rather be at the airport hours early rather than rush or worry about lines.

Once we were on the first flight we had a delay while on the plane, not getting going for nearly an hour. Because the incoming flight was late and we missed the window for the Atlantic airspace we had to wait for another one.

It wasn’t a big deal for us, as we had three and a half hours worked in for the transfer. This was not the case for some who were already complaining and panicking.

About 12 hours later we landed in Washington DC, now with just two hours to transfer but it ended up being plenty of time. We went through customs, picked up our luggage and had to walk it 10 yards away to the connecting flight belt and then on to go find our next gate.

The flight from WDC left on time and we landed about 6 hours after boarding. My dear brother who had stayed with the cat and watched our place also picked us up from the airport.

I had tried not to sleep at all on the flights, my own personal jet lag strategy. I did doze off and on from WDC because it was late and dark. But we were home about midnight and actually quite awake. So showering off the travel day and unpacking took place. I read for awhile and then fell asleep about 2am.

Six hours of sleep and we were wide awake, I got up and started the travel laundry. We had some errands to run, grocery shopping, pet store a few more stops and we washed three weeks of pollen off both cars.

Tonight after I made dinner and the sitting watching TV put Lori to sleep, I was getting sleepy it was just to early to fall asleep so I did some weeding in the back yard until I lost light. Cleaned all the bird feeders and made sugar water to refill them. Now I’m blogging to make it to at least 10pm

I am avoiding looking at the time in Portugal, hoping this jet lag strategy of mine works. Stay awake for 24 hours while traveling and then just make myself conform to the current time zone.

Wrapping Up Lisbon

We are all packed and tomorrow morning we will leave Portugal. We have a long day of travel ahead of us that includes a four hour layover in Washington DC. Figuring we will have to collect our bags and go through customs there, it is probably not as long as it sounds.

The last few days have been packed. Several museums, a historical walking tour, Monuments, Belém Tower, Botanical garden, dinner with a friend from home, and lots of yummy food.

We found a great place for breakfast on our first day here and went through every day except the day we had the walking tour. We made friends with our server, yesterday he gave me is number in case we had any questions or problems finding the Tower or the jazz festival he thought we should go to.

We also met a friend and her sister who happened to be traveling in Lisbon at the same time. We met out for dinner a couple nights ago and had a lovely time, great food, wine and conversation.

We made it to Belém tower which was much more interesting after our fabulous walking tour and the 7,000 year history lesson we received.

Today went to the Botanical garden, wondered through it and took our sketching stuff although we never did break it out. We spent a couple hours there, then we wondered through the city again, toward our hotel and our final packing.

Good Bye Lisbon, you are now on the list of places to retire!

The Rouge Historians: A tour company

Today we were up early and met Ian the owner of The Rouge Historians. We had booked this tour on-line and once we where there and found no one else had booked and we basically had a private tour was astonishing.

This blog just becomes an advertisement for his company! This tour was awesome and paled only to Ian himself. A full three hours long, The Archeologist turned tour guide wondered through Lisbon imparting both its history and changes over 3,000 years.

We started not far from our hotel where we happened to stop yesterday and take a picture of an old juniper tree. What we learned today was that tree is older than the United States at 750 years old. We wondered through the Bairro and onward to the Church of Sam Roque and the most expensive chapel in the world. But he told us how and why it was the most expensive and the amount of history was both amazing and overwhelming.

At some point I kept listening but my brain was overwhelmed with all of the information. I think if we were here longer I would take this tour a couple more times; or just bribe Ian with a few pints to learn even more.

Ian was very informative if not down right brilliant going through all the different periods and rise and fall of Lisbon and Portugal over the centuries. He covered the 1755 earthquake that shook for SEVEN MINUTES and the deaths and subsequent flattening, clearing out and rebuilding of Lisbon.

One of the most fascinating stories was of the fall of Salazar’s dictatorship and the speed and efficiency of which it happened.

If you need a tour in Lisbon or Rome, go with The Rouge Historians. You will not be disappointed.