And I'm back. It was a whirlwind week, that was for sure. I'm not exactly clear where it all went, but I remember being home and seeing everyone, and I remember flying back, so clearly I had a vacation in there somewhere.
The flight home on Friday was uneventful. Both parents were at the airport to pick me up, and then we went over to see Grandma. Who was happy to see me and hear about Virginia and give me the third degree about the boyfriend. And then, of course, we went out for fish, meeting up with Mr & Mrs. Lemery and Lily, better known as the bug in some circles. She is the perfect baby. Charming, always ready to pose, crying only when she is hungry, sleepy or when Grandpa stands between her and a red cut glass candy-dish. At the restaurant she attempted to help herself to Grandpa's beer when he wasn't looking, only to have ever-vigilant mom take it away from her. "It's okay," I said consolingly, "When I take you to England we'll make up for it." I don't think her dad appreciated that.
Saturday my folks hosted a family picnic at their house. It was cooler than we would have liked, and occasionally drizzly, but the pool is heated, so I spent most of my time in there, playing with my younger cousins. It was wonderful to see everyone, and catch up with everyone, and I'm so glad that most of the family managed to make it--we had thirty four people all told, coming and going.
Sunday...I honestly can't remember what I did Sunday. Oh yes, dinner with the family again, only this time salmon and salad, and two very needy chocolate labs snotting up the window as we ate.
Monday I was thwarted by the EAA in my attempts to rent a car, so I left GB nearly three hours after I intended to. I drove down to Fort Atkinson, picked up Laura, and we met up with Sam in Madison. The first time the three harpies have been together in over three years...it was wonderful. Cackling away and swapping stories we've heard in the news and rumors about old classmates. Laura even commented on how "quiet" Sam's fiance is, and I had to gently point out this was probably due more to the fact that he couldn't get a word in edgewise. Sam had to go back to work on Tuesday, and Laura was working on the organic farm co-op, so I drove up to Wanaukee and caught up with yet another bride to be. (for those of you keeping score, this'll be my fourth stint down the aisle...as a bridesmaid) Laura and I caught up with Sam in Spring Green that night, by watching the American Players Theatre production of A Comedy of Errors. It was hysterical, even with the occasional rain. REAL Shakespeare geeks stand out in the rain, because we're HARDCORE INTO THE BARD.
Wednesday--Sam was working again, so Laura and I did Spring Green, where the theatre is located. Spring Green is small, but fascinating. Lots of cool little shops and galleries and organic stores. But, eventually, you've seen all the arty jewelery you care to see, so we headed over to that Wisconsin standby, the tavern. After being carded (more for being outsiders than looking underage) we proceeded to order Leinies and then rail loudly against guns and Republicans which, I'm guessing was probably not really appreciated in a small rural Wisconsin tavern. They did not, however, have cheese curds, so we went around the corner to the bar where the theatre people hung out, and proceeded to repeat the process of ordering beer and railing. This time with a huge basket of curds. "There ought to be a road movie," I said, "through Wisconsin, and the whole time one of the main characters just keeps saying 'Man, we gotta stop and get some CURDS, man.'"
Then we picked up Sam and whizzed back to Madison to see the sixth Harry Potter movie. Even though none of us confirmed it with the others, we all knew we'd be seeing it with each other. Oh, and Sam's fiance, of course. Oh I cried. I cried so hard. Even knowing was was going to happen, I cried so hard. Definitely a good movie--I don't know if I'd say it was the best movie, but definitely in the top three.
Thursday I had to say good-bye to the girls and come home. It took a lot longer than I had planned, but then again, I wasn't really looking forward to saying farewell either. Got home around six and was immediately taken out for more food at Pasquale's, despite my protests that I wasn't in the mood for more cheese. (Cheese curds for an afternoon snack, movie theatre popcorn, Burger King at midnight and cheese curds for breakfast do not a happy tummy make)
Friday was a shopping day: stopped at the bank, got a new cell phone and raided Lane Bryant for some new jeans and tops. Then I got to see the fabled Lenny's, the tavern where my dad will spend the odd hour watching sporting events. Dinner was fish again. 'Cuz its Wisconsin. And that's just what you do on a Friday night.
Saturday was supposed to be the boating day, but it was (you guessed it) drizzly and windy again. So we ended up going to the Outagamie County Fair, where we wandered amidst the prize calfs and hogs, admiring the skills of the local four-aitchers. And had some more cheese curds.
Packing up and leaving was incredibly sad. I miss my family a lot, especially right now. But getting home was wonderful--it was nice to step off the plane and see unadulterated sunshine for the first time in a week. And Kismet has been amazingly well behaved ever since I got home, probably because he's afraid I'll ditch him again. Not forgetting of course, coming home to boyfriend kisses. There's nothing I wanted to do that I didn't get to do. Except next time I come home, I wanna take a boat ride.