Friday, August 26, 2011

From The Big Easy to Big Bird

by Nancy

This blog might also be called "What I Did on My Summer Vacation." Who else had to write that at some point--show of hands? Yep, I thought so. I hated those essays, maybe because going to the beach with my family for a week or visiting my cousins didn't sound very interesting. After all, we did both of those every year, with nothing unusual or noteworthy ever happening.

This year, I started my summer with a first (and only) for me, by going to college orientation with the boy. He chose a school in the Deep South, so we detoured by New Orleans, the Big Easy part of this blog's title, and the French Quarter. It was hot and muggy. (To which you probably responded, "Well, duh!" or words to that effect.)

I'd been there in the summer, just not in a very long time. I had forgotten how muggy it can be, but I remembered quickly as we roamed the French Quarter during our very short visit. The shop pictured above made me think of several banditas and buddies, though it's not the sort of thing I usually think of when someone mentions the French Quarter.

Did you know there's really no place in the French Quarter to just sit down, aside from bars? There're some benches outside the cathedral in Jackson Square, but those benches are metal. This was June. Did I mention it was hot? We all know what happens to metal out in the sun, right? Sitting on those benches was like sitting on a cookie sheet fresh from the oven.

There were some shaded benches in the actual square, but those were occupied by people who didn't appear to live anywhere else and might've been prone to forms of social interaction we don't really favor. Good thing the cathedral is not only open to the public but air conditioned!

Pictured below is another shop that made me think of banditas and buddies. I longed to poke around in there, even though I figured most of the merchandise was out of my price range and even if I found anything affordable, getting it back on a plane seemed unlikely.



The next month, we took our official family vacation. We did something we've never done before. We treated Atlanta (aka The Big Peach. Yes. Really.) like a tourist destination. The dh, the boy and I have often been to Atlanta for specific things. We've gone to Dragon*Con, Moonlight and Magnolias or other conferences, I've gone to GRW meetings, and we've visited friends. But we've never seen the sights. So this year, we did.

We started our official vacation with a Saturday evening at the Shakespeare Tavern, where we saw a hilarious play within a play about three guys trying to perform The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. It was the boy's idea, and we all enjoyed it. We also had our dinner there. The place is, after all, a tavern, even if it is the headquarters of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company.

The next day, we checked out the Georgia Aquarium, something we'd been wanting to see for years. DragonCon has a special evening there during the con, but we never seemed to make it. I may try to this year. There are two huge, beautiful tanks of fish from different oceans, and there's a passage underneath and through one big tank. It's just gorgeous and offers a fabulous view of the various fish. I don't think I'd ever seen a whale shark before. Those babies are BIG. And they really don't look all that shark-like.

The highlight of the visit for us was Dolphin Tales, which just opened in April. It was great though it could've done with less hokey narrative and more dolphin action. I assume the hokey narrative and effects are supposed to keep little kids interested, but judging by the squeals of delight from them and the gasps from everyone else every time a dolphin jumped out of the water, I think the dolphins could carry the day on their own.

I've seen dolphins in the wild, in Roanoke Sound. We took a half-day trip a few years back with some marine biologists and got lucky. The dolphins were all around the boat, diving under it, swimming by it. I've also seen them in the water from afar.

But I've never seen them up close in a way that gave me a really good look, maybe because they're incredibly fast, and the wild dolphins showed little interest in interaction.

The waiting area for the aquarium show is beside a big tank occupied by the day's non-performing dolphins. As they swim by the glass, visitors can see them clearly. It's easier, at least for me, to appreciate both their size and their grace when I see them that way. They're a lot bigger than I'd realized. Watching them in the water was pure delight.

Monday, we went to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. They have a huge dinosaur skeleton in their rotunda. I took three photos of it to get it all in. Couldn't step far enough back in their rotunda to get the whole thing in one shot.





By happy coincidence, they were hosting an exhibit we saw and loved in New York years ago, one about mythic creatures. We spent more time in there than anywhere else in the museum. My favorites were the dragon at the front of the exhibit, the unicorn, and Pegasus. Unfortunately, I managed to cut the dragon's nose off in the photo, but we have the unicorn and Pegasus and a griffin here, along with the dinosaurs from the museum's entrance.
















Tuesday, we checked out the High Museum in downtown, and the Center for Puppetry Arts. The Center for Puppetry Arts has a number of Jim Henson's puppets and a big display for Labyrinth. Henson and Kermit cut the ribbon to open the center, and a Jim Henson wing will open in 2014. A lifesize Big Bird stands in a case outside the Henson display. I would've taken a photo, but it's a no-photography zone.

The center also showcases the history of puppets and different forms of puppets from around the world. The shop sold finger puppets of famous artists, writers, and public figures. One of those is in today's prize package.

The High Museum has a nice collection of works from various periods, including some Frank Lloyd Wright furniture. They also have one of Georgia O'Keeffe's flower paintings. It's similar in style to the later ones, but the lines don't flow as they did in her better known works.

We came home for a few days, saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 as a family (fitting since we've seen all of the HP films a a threesome), and then visited the boy's cousins in Raleigh overnight.

As you read this, the dh and I are once again somewhere in the Deep South, carting the boy's belongings toward his college. He's already there, but we have the bulk of his stuff. We'll take him to dinner tonight, move his things into the dorm tomorrow, and then hit the road for home on Sunday. Meanwhile, our house sitter is in charge of the dog. Or should be. The dog may have other ideas since she tends to regard humans as servants in need of constant training.

At one point during the boy's orientation earlier in the summer, I was standing on the balcony of the student center and saw him below me. A girl from his high school came up to him and hugged him, and then a girl we'd met that morning joined them.

Watching the three of them talk, I got a bit of a heart punch from the realization that this was his world now, that he'd be spending more time in this place over the next several years than under our roof. It's going to take a bit of getting used to.

So this vacation will end very differently from those of the last 18 years. The dh and I will come home to an empty nest. It's going to feel very strange. So will going to Dragon*Con without either of my guys. I've gotten used to having them there with me, but the schedule doesn't fit for the boy, and the dh will be stacked up with work because his classes start earlier than the boy's. We're squeezing the property delivery in between the dh's Thursday and Tuesday classes.

Dragon*Con will officially end my summer, and we'll try to recapture what life used to be like, long ago (or so it seems) when we were just two.

Of course, I close a summer vacation blog without a food reference. My favorite parts of summer meals are fresh peaches and fresh tomatoes. On the way back from Atlanta, we stopped and bought South Carolina peaches, which were great. Eating them reminds me of my childhood and my dad's frozen peaches.

Our tomato plants died, so I haven't had fresh tomato sandwiches as often as I'd have liked, but there's been a lot of watermelon, corn, and cantaloupe on our summer table. I hope you've been able to enjoy the foods of summer.

I have a goody package for one commenter today. It includes a Jane Austen finger puppet, the last of my freebie books from National, and a jazz hot mat. They come with a pretty New Orleans totebag I found on Royal Street in the French Quarter.


Did you ever have to write essays about your summer vacation? How did you feel about them? What's the best summer vacation you ever had, and who was with you? What's your favorite summer food?


64 comments:

Kaelee said...

do I get the rooster and who is the rooster

Nancy said...

Kaelee, yes, you get the rooster! He's the imaginary and mischievous Golden Rooster, or GR. He's yours until the first commenter tomorrow posts. He'll eat all your chocolate if you don't watch out, and he'll, er, court any female birds in the vicinity. He's a bit of a lech when it comes to human females, too. *sigh*

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, am I eligible for the prize? Pretty please? Smiling with a big Aussie grin!!!

Kaelee, you get the rooster! The rooster is a rambunctious pest. You might be sorry you won!

Nancy, what a fun post. I envy you all your traveling. I've had a much less travel-wrought year this year. No America. And originally I was planning a European trip and it went west too. I went to Melbourne for a couple of days about a week ago but even that was curtailed because I'm on a terrible deadline. Sigh. Hopefully next year will be a little more exciting. My postcard buddies are all whingeing.

Oh, I hated those essays about what I did in my summer holidays. I'd much rather write about pirates and horse nappers and girls getting lost in Tudor London. Yeah, you can see why I grew up to write romance. Nothing exciting EVER happened on my summer holidays. I think even the teachers must have been bored stiff with 25 kids talking about going to the beach!

Helen said...

Well done Kaelee I am sure you are going to enjoy having him at your place LOL

Nancy

I loved this post it must be hard taking your son to College I only have one of my 4 children still at home but the others live close by and visit often with my grandchildren.

Yes I remember having to do essays on our summer holidays as well but here in Oz they are at Christmas time so there was lots to discuss like all the presents LOL. My Mum used to take us away when we were kids after Chrissy for a couple of weeks to the beach or my grnadparents hobby farm and we always had fun then hubby and I used to take our kids to the beach for the last 2 weeks of the school holidays loved it.
As things are starting to warm up a little during the days here I am starting to think about all the wonderful salads and stone fruit that will be available soon I love nectrines peaches and salads but I will miss my cosy soups and stews that have kept us warm this winter.

Have Fun
Helen

Kaelee said...

The Chook is traveling right now from Fiji to Canada ~ I can keep him busy.

I love your vacation tales Nancy. I'd love to see any of the sights you've seen this summer.

I never had to write an essay on what I did on my summer vacation.

I had to think about what I considered my best vacation and it would have to be the time my husband and I took my parents with us on our way to a convention in Las Vegas. This was in 1984 or 85. We started out by driving all day to Eugene Oregon from the very southwestern corner of Alberta. We had breakfast the next day at a wonderful bed and breakfast place we found a little further down the road. Made plans to go there and stay some day but that hasn't happened.

Some of the highlights of the trip follow.
We saw the Redwood State Park and got our picture taken trying to put our arms around a tree. Loved Cresent City and Eureka all the beautiful buildings in both places. got to visit our first ever winery, Parducci, in Mendocino county. Also visited Christian Brothers in Napa Valley and Sebastiani in Sonoma. Drove across the Golden Gate bridge, rode a cable car, drove the bay tunnel twice and the twisted street. We saw seals on the piers.
One of the sights we will never forget is seeing the sea otters sleeping in a bed of seaweed floating in the Pacific. Loved Monterey with it's ice plant lawns. Got to Moro Bay and headed inland because we heard there was a college homecoming or something like that in San Luis Obispo. Spent a night in Bakersfield. somewhere along the way my mother used a ladies restroom and she was complaining about there being nothing to dry her hands and realized that just being in the dessert dried them before she got to the car. We parted ways in Los Vegas as my parents stayed at a different hotel than we did as we were attending my husband's convention. My Dad had a couple of thrills as his first dinner show was a showgirl one and a young lady dressed in feathers slid right by him on a wire. We later took my parents to see Liberace. My Dad just loved him and agreed it was worth slipping the head waiter a generous tip as we were right near the stage. On the way home we got to swim in the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

BEST SUMMER FOOD `vine ripened tomatoes. i'm sorry your plants died.

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats Kaelee! Now you can write an essay about getting the GR. His life is just one long vacation!

Sounds like you packed A LOT into your summer vacation, Nancy. Which is as a last vacation with The Boy as an at home resident should be.

My most recent favorite summer vacation has been any of the four RWA Conferences I've attended. San Francisco is probably my favorite as it was my first RWA conference and I got to meet so many of the Banditas for the first time. It was my first trip to the West Coast and I LOVED San Francisco.

Although I did not see it that way at the time, those years of summer vacations driving to see my Dad's family in Pennsylvania were really idyllic for the most part. My brothers and I just reconnected with some of our PA cousins via Facebook and it has been fun to revisit those memories.

My favorite summer food? Ice cream! Nothing beats a tall vanilla ice cream cone in the current heat. LOVE it!

And I envy you your trip to the Easy! One of my favorite places on earth! I haven't visited in a long time, but I feel the city calling me. I spent many mini summer vacations in New Orleans when I attended grad school at USM.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy,

Isn't the Atlanta Aquarium FANTASTIC?!?! When RWA was in Atlanta in 2006 (OUR year!) my BFF lived there and I stayed over a few days after the conference. The first place we went once the conference was over was the aquarium!

I hope you enjoy your brief stay in Big Easy. It's one of my FAVE cities too! Esp. the French Quarter. The DH and I haven't been there since Katrina, but we're going next month and I can't WAIT!

Congrats on the GR, Kaelee. He can be a handful. Guard your liquor and chocolate!

AC

Sheree said...

The one and only time I had the assignment to write about my summer (4th or 5th grade), I forgot to do so. Then I had to stand in the back of the room with the other delinquents (all boys) and we were given the make up assignment to write an essay as to why we did do the assignment. I was the only one who turned in an actual one-page essay (the others had more-than-50%-of-one-page essays). I think that was the last time I didn't turn in an assignment on time (until college, anyway).

This summer, aside from salads, I've been enjoying fruit salad (stone fruit in Jell-O). Cool and refreshing.

Jane said...

Hi Nancy,
I so want to visit New Orleans someday and just eat until I burst. I'm craving some beignets right now and maybe a po-boy for lunch. I do remember having to write about our summer vacations in school. One of my favorite vacations was when we went to visit my uncle and his family in Germany. It was fun to meet our cousins for the first time. My favorite summer food is fresh corn.

marybelle said...

I think every child has at some time had to write about a Summer vacation. I remember one year the teacher was so unimpressed that no-one had done anything terribly exciting. Like it was our fault.

Summer is cold watermelon. My Grandfather used to grow them. My sister & I had a brilliant holiday on the farm when we were little.

Sonali said...

Hey Kaelee, Congrats on getting GR, i couldn't wait to get rid, i mean hand him over to the next person...lol. He ate all my chocolates (my favourites), scared everyone of the beach and got tanned.

Nancy, i remember those essays. I hated them with a passion. I remember every time we returned from the summer holidays, our english teacher would set our 1st english essay writing about what we did over the holidays.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I had to write essays but our vacations were to visit family in Maryland and the only exciting thing we did was go to a park in Hagerstown and eat a huge picnic meal packed from home. Needless to say you can only write about that so many times and well, you're done.

Favorite summer food is any melon including cucumbers. Not a big berry and veggie person, (allergic to strawberries)but I love any type of melon.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

What I did on my summer vacation: we didn't go anywhere but to a friend's home a state over for a mini vacation... Had fun antiquing & playing some golf [badly]. Favorite summer food is cantalope which hasn't been very good this year in our part of the country due to the heat/drought... Sounds like your Atlanta Vacation was the real deal!! Great job on sending your boy off to college!! Time does fly by! But he'll do well and it will be because of your parenting skills!! Congrats on that!

EilisFlynn said...

I'm one of the rare few who never, ever had to do an essay on how I spent my summer vacation! I was wondering how you were dealing with the empty nest syndrome (or at least the emptying nest syndrome), so it was good to hear. Onward, Nancy!

EilisFlynn said...

Of course, the one and only time I was in Atlanta, I found out that Cerridwen Press had made offers for two of my books, but I wasn't going to say anything until I got home and confirmed everything. It was during RWA's National Conference, so I will always remember that year with great fondness!

Nancy said...

Anna, I hope you get to resume your travels next year!

I agree, imaginary worlds are often more fun than the real one. It's like that Styx song "Come Sail Away," only the vehicle is imagination, not a boat.

Laney4 said...

Oh my. Yes, I did the usual summer vacation essays in school - and hated them. I never had much to say, as (I learned much later in life) our family was quite poor, compared to most in our town, so we didn't go anywhere special (at least until later in high school).

I didn't write very well in public school. I could always put a sentence together, but they were boring sentences. Watch out for my projects/assignments, though, as they were filled with "big words" as often as possible, LOL!

My best summer vacation was when my big sister (15 years my elder) invited me and my brother to stay with her, her husband, and their newborn for our entire summer vacation, 2000+ miles away from my (elderly) parents. OMG, I thought I died and went to heaven, being with "young people" constantly - young people who laughed, who moved my speed, and who actually enjoyed spending time with me! It was the best.
As for fave summer food, anything not good for me (which, technically, would be my fave food all year long). When we go to picnics, I keep ending up with the potato chips, cheese, and brownies (and I wonder why I'm not losing much weight these days, LOL!).

Nancy said...

Hi, Helen--

Christmas would've been a much more fun topic! We went to Florida to see relatives one Christmas, my only warm one. I remember eating Christmas dinner at the picnic table while I was wearing shorts. Your holidays sound wonderful.

You make a good point wbout the pleasures of soups and such in cold weather.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

Helen, yes, it's hard letting the boy go. We'll miss him terribly. At the same time, we're proud of him for striking out on his own. The distance is considerable, but it isn't daunting him. And it's closer than Japan, where he spent two weeks last year.

Of course, he's staying more than two weeks. . . .

Nancy said...

Kaelee, thanks! I've never explored much on the west coast. I'd love to see the giant redwoods. When RWA was in San Franciso, I didn't have time. Your trips sound wonderful. I'd love to see the sea otters, too.

Yeah, it was sad about the tomatoes. We had a long dry spell, and we forgot to ask our house-sitters to water them while we were away. We've had some from farmers markets, but it isn't the same.

Nancy said...

Louisa, yes, the GR's life IS one long vacation. *sigh*

I've reconnected with a couple of my FL cousins via Facebook, and that was nice. You're right, ther is something to be said for a peaceful family outing.

Meeting you and others was a highlight of RWA in San Francisco for me, too.

I wouldn't mind chasing my tomato sandwich with ice cream. :-)

Nancy said...

Cindy, I love the GA Aquarium. If you go again, be wure to see the dolphin show. Despite the hokeyness, it's pretty amazing. The dolphins enter through a hatch that's mostly submerged. We happened to be sitting in line with it, and when it opened, it let daylight into the darkened theater, which is what drew my attention. I looked over and saw three of the stars swimming for the hatch shoulder to shoulder, as it were. Just awesome! I think they must dive as they come through because they disappeared as they reached the hatch.

I hope you enjoy New Orleans. it probably won't be as hot in September.

Nancy said...

Sheree, you forgot?! Oh, no! Too bad hanging with the guys didn't involve actual fun.

I like fruit in jello, too.

Nancy said...

Jane, would you believe I didn't have a beignet that day? The Cafe du Monde was crowded, and we had very little time. I do love them, though. I love po boys, too. The boy had never had one before, but he liked it.

Nancy said...

Jane, I hit send too soon. I wanted to say a trip to Germany sounds great. Much cooler there than in the South!

And I love fresh corn. Too bad the season is coming to an end.

Nancy said...

Marybelle, I love watermelon, too. My grandfather grew up on a farm, and he talked about eating watermelon out in the field, just dropping it so it broke open and then scooping it out. That sounded so fun!

Nancy said...

Sonali, too bad about the GR scaring people at the beach! We just can't trust him ANYwhere. :-/. I hope you had fun anyway.

I don't think I would've hated those essays so much if I'd done something unusual. The boy never had to write that essay, so maybe it's less popular with teachers now.

Nancy said...

Dianna, I know what you mean about those essays!

I love melon, too. It's harder for me to find a ripe honeydew than cantaloupe or watermelon. Sorry about the allergy!

Nancy said...

Girlygirl, thanks for the good wishes and for your faith in our parenting skills. We did our best, and now we see if he flies.

Sorry the cantaloupe hasn't been good there, but antiquing sounds fun. So would golf if I could actually drive the ball. :-)

Nancy said...

Eilis, getting an offer sounds like a pretty good summer vacation! I have all your books, it probably doesn't surprise you that Sonika is my favorite.

Nancy said...

Laney4, your vacation with your sister sounds great! My parents didn't have a lot of moneyeither, but this was before the age of designer labels, so I ddin't realize that until I was an adult, looking back.

Yeah, I love brownies, too. Unfortunately, they love my hips. *sigh*

Donna MacMeans said...

Kaelee - Congrats on the rooster! Watch out though, I think Nancy may have given him a praline fromt he Big Easy and now he's hyped on sugar.

Nancy - I swam with the dolphins in Honduras...or rather they swam and I stood in the water. The trainers bring the dolphins in so you can "pet" them. Apparently you aren't supposed to stroke a dolphin. "They aren't dogs," the trainer kept saying. But they do love affection & hugs. They're wonderful animals.

I've written a few essays in my time (grin). I'm from a large family so our vacations - when we got to take them - were camping sort of things. No money for fancy touristy affairs. I don't think I appreciated them then as much as I do now. Time changes everything.

Enjoy these days with the boy. They do grow up and leave the nest - but one day, he might return with a grandchild in his arms and you'll fall in love all over again.

traveler said...

I love summer and summer vacations were spent at a lake. Nothing special but simple.Fishing, swimming and just relaxing. Way back then it was a getaway and very rustic. We wrote about it and enjoyed these memorable summers. Strawberries are summer.

petite said...

When we did get away it was rare but we loved every minute of it. No matter where it was we looked forward to summer vacation. Nothing fancy but pleasures that summer brought, berry picking, exploring small towns, visiting relatives. Ice cream and marshmallows on the fire.

Donna MacMeans said...

Forgot to mention favorite summer food - hands down, summer means ice cream - and lots of fresh fruit. I'm about to scarf down a tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella sandwich - one of my favorite summer delights.

But you Nancy are in the city of fabulous food! Mentioned pralines earlier and now my tongue is just fantasizing about the rich sugery sweetness. Hope you indulge while you're there.

Minna said...

I think I had to write essays about my summer vacation. Can't remember how I felt about them, since I just don't remember ANY of the essays I had to write. They are ancient history now. My favorite summer food? Do ice cream and home made parfait count as food?

PJ said...

What a wonderful Atlanta adventure, Nancy. Sounds like everyone had a great time. Best wishes to the boy for his first year of college!

I've been lucky enough to have had many wonderful summer vacations (and loved writing about them in those back-to-school essays). One of the most memorable was a four week road trip taken with my parents and two of my younger brothers the summer I was ten. We drove the northern route from Michigan to Seattle, Washington then down the Pacific Coast to Los Angeles, took the southern route to Amarillo, Texas then came north through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and back home. It was a wondrous adventure of discovery and fun. This was back in the "old days" before there were many interstate highways which meant we were introduced to small towns, and their unique treasures, all across America. We visited the Badlands, the Corn Palace, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Yosemite and more. Saw our first rodeo in Cody, Wyoming, got the surprise of a lifetime when we arrived at the lodge in Yosemite minutes before President Kennedy, rode our first monorail at the Seattle World's Fair and visited Disneyland (another first - this was before Disney World was built). One highlight (though we didn't know it was a highlight at the time) of the Disneyland visit was stopping to listen to a quartet of young boys singing in a gazebo as we made our way toward the exit. We thought they were incredibly talented. Apparently, we weren't the only ones. It was the Osmond Brothers! (pre-fame and pre-Donny)

PJ said...

Forgot the summer foods. ;-)

SC peaches (love them!), freshly picked blueberries, fudgesicles, banana popsicles and vanilla ice cream cones!

jo robertson said...

What a delightfully pleasant post, Nancy. I love how the three of you have so many traditions you've kept together.

I've only been to Atlanta a few times and I didn't get to see much of it other than flying in and out of airports!

I can just see that seminal moment when you watched your son and his friends below you. It's funny how you get that uplifted and sad feeling all at once.

You've passed the baton on, mama!

catslady said...

Other than taking a few long weekends a couple of times, my family didn't do vacations so I rarely had much to talk about. We kids were on our own but it taught us creativity and how to keep ourselves busy.

One of my favorite vacations after being married was a Carribbean cruise. I loved having our luggage in one place but being able to explore a different place every day.

Pat Cochran said...

This past weekend, Honey and I did the
sitting! DS2 and his bride drove our
eldest granddaughter to Indiana for her
junior year. We stayed in their home
with a clutch of young Cochrans. Next
year, I think I'll suggest we trade
places and we'll drive Ashley to her
college. I love my "babies" but I think
I'm getting too old for this!

BTW, It's a toss-up between watermelon
and tomatoes for my fave summer food!

Nancy said...

Donna, I would _love_ to swim with dolphins! They're just so cool.

As for the grandchildren, I'm hoping so. We have a nice, big back yard. Meanwhile, we get him back for dinner tonigt.

Nancy said...

Hi, Petite--

I love marshmallows over a campfire, and I haven't had that in years. Sometimes simple trips are the best. They tend to be more relaxing.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

Traveler, my friends and I used to play bridge by a lake in high school, just hanging out on a hot, lazy summer day.

I love strawberries. My dad always had a small patch.

Nancy said...

Donna, I love tomato, basil and mozzarella in a salad, but I'm a tomato sandwich purist, nothing but bread, fresh tomato slices, and a little mayo and salt.

The boy and I did have pralines when we were in the French Quarter. They're always yummy.

Nancy said...

Minna, ice cream always counts as a food! Parfaits sound great, too.

Nancy said...

PJ, thanks for the good wishes! You took some amazing trips. Many of ours were also in areas where the interstate was not yet complete. We go much faster now. Had to laugh about the Osmonds! It's easy to forget they were once obscure. . . .

Popsicles are going to sound great when we're unloading in all this heat and humidity tomorrow!

Nancy said...

Jo, thanks! Yes, the baton is passed. As the parent newletter reminded us, we are no longer "driving this train."

We are, however, still financing it.

Pissenlit said...

Ooh! The mythical creatures exhibit at the museum and the Jim Henson puppets and Labyrinth display(love that movie!) at the Center for Puppetry Arts sound really cool!

I recall dreading the first day back after the summer holidays in grade school every year because of the annoying What I Did This Summer essay assignment. It ranks just below the yearly New Years Resolutions list assignment in my books. I believe every single one of my essays included me mentioning having read x-number of books during the summer.

My best summer holidays were probably the ones that included an interior camping trip in Algonquin Provincial Park. Nothing quite beats camping in the middle of nowhere, paddling around in a canoe on a nice sunny day, dropping a line and leaning back to wait for the fish to bite...of course, after having done the requisite "Heeeeeere fishyfishyfishyfishyfishy!" and seeing if any fish will jump into the canoe first. :D

Popsicles. I love me some popsicles! And slushies! To be honest, even ice cubes would make me happy. LOL

Nancy said...

Catslady, I would love to take a cruise someday! My parents were in the Navy, and my dad loved ocean fishing, but I've never been out on open water. The side trips on cruises sound so interesting.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, the puppet museum was, indeed cool.

Your summers on the water sound great. Some of my cousins had a canoe the took out on the Lumber River in NC. I learned to paddle okay, but I never got the hang of steering.

PJ said...

Pissenlit, your slushies reminded me of smoothies which reminded me of this summer's new guilty pleasure: McDonald's Strawberry Banana Smoothie! I'm in love with these delicious, refreshing delights. Made with two of my favorite fruits, they fill me up for hours and best of all...only 5 Weight Watchers points! :)

Nancy said...

Pat, I love both watermelon and tomatoes!

It was nice of you to keep the kids. Moving all that stuff is a big enough job without little ones around.

For us, the driving wasn't as hard as the unloading.

Nancy said...

PJ, now I have to go get a banana smoothie! I used to love banana milkshakes.

Margay said...

I used to like writing about summer vacations! When I was young, sometimes we would stay on the Cape (Cod) with my maternal grandmother and other times we would stay with my dad's folks in the mountains of southern Virginia. Oh, the stories I could tell with both scenarios!

EilisFlynn said...

I have a certain fondness for Sonika myself, and hope I can get around to writing a sequel to see how she's doing, Nancy!

Leni said...

Every year I had to write an essay about my summer vacation and did not enjoy it at all. My favorite summer food is watermelon.

Nancy said...

Margay, I imagine there was a big cultural difference between Cape Cod and the Virginia mountains, though both are beautiful (I hear--I've never seen Cape Cod). I bet you do have great stories!

Nancy said...

Eilis, I hope you write that sequel, too!

Nancy said...

Leni, I'm with you on the essay AND the watermelon. :-)

Jo's Daughter said...

I did have to write about my summer vacation & I didn't like it cause... "everybody else" (or so I believed) went on a vacation or had fabulous parties with family and friends. I stayed home and read books, drank lemonade and dreamed of all the wonderful places I wished to be. Now that I am an adult I choose to stay home and read, make my own lemonade & have the best time ever. I learned to love what I do have & if I should write another essay it would say: I had the time of my life :D

LilMissMolly said...

Never really started having summer vacations until I was married with kids. Use to love going to Legoland when the kids were young. But best ever was our trip to Ireland, and our tweeners had no phone, no texts and no Ipod. The first few days were rough, but the following week was the best ever!