Afterword: Huzzah! We Made It Through all 40 Days!

One of the houses in Oak Park, Illinois, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo: Jenny Williams

I’m finding it both easy and surreal to resume my life as normal, now that we’re home. I have picked most things back up where I left off, and I have had no trouble readjusting to my manual transmission car. I’ve gotten to see the good friends we left behind when we left in June. But I’m hoping that some of the things that I’ve taken away from the trip will stick and become integrated into my old routine. Here are some of them.

Seen on the sidewalk in Madison, Wisconsin, this symbolizes the geek we experienced and sought out on our trip. Photo: Jenny Williams

One, quality food is important (and delicious). We ate magnificent meats and cheeses on this trip. For some reason I didn’t think I could get such things at home. That holds true for the many fantastic Wisconsin cheese varieties we found in Wisconsin, but for the rest of what we ate, it should be available somewhere in town.

Two, cooking from scratch isn’t that hard and it is usually worth it. (Though handwashing all the dishes afterward is hard, which is usually what keeps me from cooking. We have no dishwasher, see.)

Three, it’s really nice to live in a tidy home. I haven’t lived in my own tidy home since being married. Even if we manage to get our place tidy, it seems impossible to keep it there. Something has to change, for my own sanity and for that of my kids.

The home I lived in as a small child in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Photo: Jenny Williams

Four, and probably most importantly, I learned that whatever it is, I can do it. I’m a capable, responsible person. Being the only adult around for a long period of time is a telling and rewarding experience.

The trip was a marathon, not a sprint. I usually get really sick of traveling after two weeks, and this trip was no exception. But I knew I had four more to go at that point, so I just went with it. The kids were great to travel with, and they actually fought much less on the trip than they do at home. They were willing to put up with a lot before complaining, probably because they were engaged in an activity almost constantly. They took a lot away from the trip that I’m sure will spout from their mouths for some time to come.

The Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin. Notice its resemblance to the United States Capitol. Photo: Jenny Williams

I also learned some lessons for future major road trips. One big lesson I learned the hard way. I wish I’d found a way to have a street GPS or to borrow someone else’s, or to borrow a smart phone, or something. The directions I brought with me failed in a few locations, and I had to scramble. Ed helped me a couple of times by cell phone, with him using Google Maps while I followed his directions. He wasn’t always available, so my mom had to help once, too. I was really wishing I’d gotten the iPad with 3G.

There were many easy lessons, too. I call them easy because they were things I tried that worked really well. Extended portable computing was fantastic. I grew to love being able to pull out my netbook and look things up anywhere in the house/apartment/hotel room. The small screen, underpowered CPU, and limited battery life were the only things that caused me trouble.

The United States Capitol Building. One of my favorite pieces of architecture. Photo: Jenny Williams

Another easy lesson was using IMAP for email, Dropbox for files, and Flickr to share photos. I had IMAP set up some time ago, but it was vital for my purposes on this trip. For those who don’t know, you use IMAP instead of POP to synchronize your email across all of your access points. The email folders I see at home are the same as those I see on my netbook and on my iPad. Dropbox was perfect for my needs for writing and other files. All those files were synchronized among my devices, and I also knew that they were safely backed up on the Dropbox site. Flickr was a great way to share photos with people, though I really don’t know how many people looked at them there.

Fallingwater in Western Pennsylvania. Photo: Jenny Williams

A very important easy lesson was nutrition. Experience told me that our usual road trip food of salty and sweet carbohydrate food wasn’t going to cut it for 40 days. I knew we’d have to have plenty of protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables in addition to a few snacks. In the end, the only place that was a challenge was meat. We managed to eat meat occasionally, especially when staying with people, but on the go, it was harder to work in. We had plenty of cheese and chocolate milk; carrots, bananas, and apple sauce; and various other things with longer shelf lives, though. One of the most useful things to have around was V8 Fusion juice. (Not V8 Splash. For some reason they put artificial sweetener even in the non-Light version! What’s up with that?) V8 Fusion is half vegetable juice, half fruit juice. It tastes great, and each cup is a serving of both vegetables and fruit. And… here is the key… my son loves it! It’s always a challenge to get enough healthy stuff in him, but here he was drinking fruits and vegetables that he wouldn’t go near in regular form. I credit the V8 Fusion (along with taking breaks along the trip as needed) with keeping us from getting the least bit sick on the trip.

NASA Goddard. Awesomeness. Photo: Jenny Williams

Throughout the trip, there were many common threads and themes that kept popping up. Great conversations with friends. Visiting GeekDad and GeekMom writers. Bad directions. Bad or missing signage. Cemeteries. Not finding what we’re looking for in the cemeteries. Frank Lloyd Wright. Museums. Government. History. Board games. People named John or Jonathan. But I loved seeing the landscape slowly change from west to east, north to south, east to west.

The Korean War Memorial. Very moving. Photo: Jenny Williams

While every part of the trip was memorable, and most parts were interesting and enjoyable, there are some moments or days that stand out. I hesitate to list them because so much is and so many people are excluded, but I wanted to share this, so… here they are in the order we did them. I tried to narrow it down to five, but I just couldn’t.

1. My half-brother’s wedding in Wisconsin. We had many days of food, festivity, conversation, and visiting with people we don’t get to see very often. Some I hadn’t seen in 26 years. Some I hadn’t ever met before, and was glad to get the chance. This wedding was the impetus for this trip, and it did not disappoint. And the marching band and the polka were the highlights of the reception.

Picasso from his blue period. The angle of the photo was to prevent glare. Photo: Jenny Williams

2. Conversations with my friend John Booth. Sometimes you just click with people, and conversation never lags. You could spend months in each other’s company and continue to come up with new conversation topics. John is one of those people for me. The board games, shuffleboard, and firefly catching were fun, but were merely a backdrop for more talking. I look forward to many more conversations in the future.

3. Our tour of NASA Goddard in Maryland. My friend Brian McLaughlin works there, and graciously gave us a tour of many interesting locations inside the buildings. I love space and astronomy, so this was particularly special for me. We got to see things that will go up in space! We saw places that are important in regard to Hubble and other space-thing operations. We got to see gigantic machines.

This life-size diorama is from the Milwaukee Public Museum. It's just as dramatic as it was when I was a kid. Photo: Jenny Williams

4. The National Archives. At first I wanted to go here to have the kids see the original documents that shaped our nation: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. Little did I know how much else there would be to see. Among the documents were other (mostly facsimile) papers and letters from the time of the founding of the United States. They helped paint a more complete picture of the time. Those were almost more interesting to me than the “big three” since they were new to me. The Archives also had an exhibit that I hadn’t known about ahead of time, called “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” about how the government shaped our diet. It was advertised all over town, on the Metro, and in the stations. That solidified my desire to go to the Archives, and I’m glad we didn’t consider skipping it. I learned much, and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

The Printing Press in Colonial Williamsburg. We learned much about many Colonial trades that week. Photo: Jenny Williams

5. The National Gallery of Art, West Building. The West Building of the museum has all the paintings and sculptures you’d expect to find in a classic art museum. But there were so many of them. It was a bit like a sampler platter of western art, but only if the platter itself was as big as a football field. I saw many artists that interest me, such as Vermeer, Picasso, Monet, Cassat, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, and even Da Vinci. I think this spot makes the list because the paintings were so breath-taking, beautiful, and old, and because we rushed through it so quickly. We rushed because the kids were obviously not interested, and because we also wanted to see one more museum that day. I wish I’d planned more time for this one.

A painting by friend Jonathan Liu that I like very much. Photo: Jenny Williams

6. Colonial Williamsburg. I’d been excited for our time in Williamsburg for years. I knew we’d be going out east this summer for a long time, so both my daughter and I were anticipating it with great enthusiasm (though originally I thought the trip would be for my high school reunion, now scheduled for Thanksgiving, and not the wedding (who wants to travel away from family at Thanksgiving?)). The incredibly hot and humid weather made the whole thing less enjoyable, unfortunately, but we didn’t let it stop us from doing most of what we wanted to do. We were fairly immersed in Colonial culture for three whole days, and loved it. Colonial Williamsburg remains one of my favorite places in the world. I’d love to come back sometime in the not-too-distant future, but in the fall next time!

Bobby Kennedy's grave, Arlington National Cemetery. Photo: Jenny Williams

7. Time spent with my friend Natania Barron. I could count on one hand the number of women that I connect with that I am not related to. Natania makes that list. She’s the right combination of spunk, geek, and common sense. I really wish we’d had more time together. Fortunately, I know our physical paths will meet again in the future.

All along our trip, we lived each day to the fullest, though sometimes that meant taking time off for resting and relaxation. The time did not fly by. Even when we only spent four to five days in one place, it seemed like a really long visit. Even when we had two days in one spot, it felt much longer than two days does at home.

The National Archives. Since I wasn't allowed to take photos inside, we have to make do with our memories and a photo of the exterior. Photo: Jenny Williams

We stayed in hotels (both the simple and the nice) and the houses of family and friends (from basic conditions to palatial accommodations). We didn’t have any truly bad hotel experiences, though the place in Williamsburg was a bit musty due to no exhaust fans, and the more expensive place in Gettysburg had no included breakfast. And our place in Amarillo was both great (lots of room, a fridge, a pool, a great price) and not so great (missing and dead light bulbs, holes in the sheets, various other broken and worn out things, a disgusting breakfast). Hm.. On second thought, maybe that was a bad hotel experience. Anyway…

Now that we’re home, I’m busy catching up on life: the email I let slide, the writing I put off, the unpacking and dealing with everything we brought home. But at least gas is cheaper in my town than anywhere else on the trip (10-30 cents per gallon cheaper), and I have the upcoming year’s homeschooling to plan for. That’s a task I always enjoy. I also look forward to fall, as I do every year, with the beautiful weather and fun holidays. We’re glad to be home.

This trip would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for the hospitality and great generosity of my friends and family. You know who you are. Thank you!

Posted in Driving, Education, Event, Family, Friends, Games, General, Government, Museum, Sightseeing | 1 Comment

Day 40: Home, Geeky Home

Everything is bigger in Texas. Except the waffles. Photo: Jenny Williams

(Though we didn’t get home late last night by local time standards, my body is still accustomed to east coast hours, so this entry is getting delivered the next morning.)

We are used to long driving days, since my usual gauge for one day’s drive is from our house to the Boulder, Colorado, area, where we have much family and friends. That’s a long way, and usually takes us 15-ish hours. I prefer not to pack so many miles in, but I see that as a limit for what we can possibly do in a day. My memory of how far we had to drive this day was 13 hours so I anticipated a late arrival. It was almost entirely on I-40, except the last 100 miles (for which we didn’t need directions), so I didn’t look at my TripTik .pdf file at all. Until I started doing the math about halfway through the day and was coming up with a much earlier arrival time than expected. I finally looked at the file, and sure enough, it said a bit over 10 hours. It took us longer than that due to some longer-than-planned stops, but we still made it home before 7pm local time. (For those not in the know, Arizona doesn’t do daylight saving time, so it is three hours earlier than Atlanta.) We had time to unload the car while it was still light (though it was sprinkling rain).

We had started our day that morning with the included breakfast at the hotel. It appeared at first glance to be your standard continental breakfast. Except there was no fruit, only fruit juice in dirty pitchers. And the malted waffle batter that I have seen at many hotel breakfasts lately was… substandard. In other places, it was delicious. I expected this to be the same. It was disgusting. It looked fine, though (see photo of Texas above).

So after a very nasty breakfast, we got on the road. We drove, and drove. It was 70 mph in Texas, but once we hit New Mexico, the speed limit went up to 75 mph. So we made good time. The drive was fairly uneventful, except for enjoying listening to the kids playing, singing, and discussing. They have the most interesting discussions. I love realizing that they are actually learning when we do homeschool, or even watching educational television shows. Plus their creativity knows no bounds. Today they discussed different kinds of statements, such as commands/imperative statements, and declarative statements. I reminded them about interrogative and exclamatory statements as well. They also talked seriously about superheroes, then played around. The girl said she had a geek force field around her, and that bacon protected her force field. The bacon also protected other bacon. I love my kids.

Our one fun stop of the day was for ice cream at Dairy Queen. They have a new death-by-chocolate-like Blizzard that was very good. It had chocolate ice cream, chocolate shavings, and brownie bits. Yum.

But now that I’m home, I really need to eat like a normal person again.

We drove up to the house when we arrived home, and saw a couple of neighbors. Neither one seemed excited to see us, which is odd. We live in the kind of neighborhood where community is everything. But we unloaded the car, caught up on email, and stuck a frozen pizza in the oven (we’ll need to go grocery shopping this weekend). We ate it while watching the season premiere of Eureka. It was awesome. Can’t wait to get caught up with the other episodes.

(Sorry for the distinct lack of photos these past few days. It was mostly driving, plus a cool robot tour on which we couldn’t take pictures anyway. And I just wanted to come home.)

I will be writing up a wrap-up blog entry talking about the trip in general, hopefully within the next few days. Stay tuned!

Drove: About 700 miles.

State: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona.

Weather: There was a bit of rain today, but even while it was raining, the air was generally cooler and drier. I love the west. We may not have the kind of history that excites me, or beautiful fall colors, but the weather can’t be beat.

Kids: They listened to a lot of music today, and slept more, so the ride was a bit less complainy.

Best Parts of the Day: Getting home!

Worst Part of the Day: Knowing how much work I have ahead of me now that I’m home.

Quotes of the Day:

From the girl: “I’m so hungry, I could eat Texas!” She had one of the Texas-shaped waffles as well. She managed to finish hers, so maybe mine was the only nasty one.

From the boy: “They shoot lasers out of their wool.” Said while playing an imaginative game with the girl.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 12.

Posted in Driving

Day 39: “Donuts You Can Trust”

Day two of our driving push home was supposed to start with a bit of sleeping in. My body forgot that part. Despite going to bed much later than planned since we were talking to Anton and family, my body still woke up at 7am. So I was pretty useless for driving today; Ed had to do most of it. After we got ready, though, we joined Anton at work and he gave us a tour. Anton works at Innovation First, the place that makes Hexbugs, does the VEX Robotics stuff, and makes RackSolutions racks. The tour was fantastic. We got to see parts of each of the three branches of the company. We met people, saw machines at work, and saw many areas that are involved with the development of it all. Thanks for the tour, Anton! All four of us thought it was really interesting and fun.

We then started driving toward Amarillo, Texas, our destination for the night. We started a bit later than intended (see above), so we didn’t get here until almost 7pm. We checked into the hotel, and caught up on email and such. Ed went out and ate at Popeye’s Chicken (the rest of us were happy to pass), then took the kids to the pool for a bit, but I stayed in and got ready for bed. I need actual sleep tonight.

Home tomorrow night! Can’t wait.

Drove: About 400 miles.

State: Texas.

Weather: Hot and a bit more humid when we started, hot and more dry when we ended. I look forward to being home tomorrow in the cooler and even more dry air.

Kids: They have no trouble entertaining themselves when they can see each other, play, and be silly together, but we have a wall of so much stuff between them that they were having trouble.

Best Parts of the Day: A tour of the robot factory!

Worst Part of the Day: Driving.

Quote of the Day, From Me: “But not just any donuts. Donuts you can trust.” Here is the context: I said this after we had been thwarted by getting donuts at some local fly-by-night places that looked… questionable. I’d been craving donuts specifically for a day or so, and Ed’s spoken desire to have some for breakfast just made it stronger. I said I wasn’t going to be satisfied until I had donuts. Now, insert the above quote. We did finally find some at the dreaded Walmart, but not the triangle ones I was looking for. Ah well.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 12.

Posted in Driving, Friends

Day 38: Mosquitoes Can Die in a Fire

A cloud shadow over Texas. Photo: Jenny Williams

I thought I was being smart, packing the car this morning instead of last night, to avoid the mosquitoes that come out at dusk. But apparently they party all night and are still at it in the morning, or perhaps they were just at it again. But within just a few minutes of being outside loading the car, I had six new bites, and I killed two mosquitoes on my legs who were trying to get more. I put on some Off! (complete with DEET), and that seemed to help. I don’t think I got any more bites after that. Long live DEET! Oddly enough, the bugs have only bitten my lower legs and left the rest of my body alone. That makes it easy to try to ignore just one part of my body during the time that the itching is maddening.

The corn in the Corn or Not-Corn game today looked pretty dead. Ed said that means it is ready to harvest. It’s been fun watching the corn progress over the past many weeks.

We observed that Mississippi’s interstates are poorly done with lots of humps and dips. Someone didn’t do their job properly.

We made great time driving today, but had a longer-than-planned stop in Ruston, Louisiana, to buy some bread at a Wal-Mart, the only food-selling place we could find. (I hate Wal-Mart and only shop there when desperate.) We pulled off the interstate to get the bread, but it took us at least 15 minutes to figure out how to actually get to the Wal-Mart. There were one-way frontage roads and poorly designed parking lots. We finally got the bread and then made sandwiches quickly and got back on the road. We then enjoyed our sandwiches of whole wheat bread, Boar’s Head turkey and pastrami, and havarti with dill.

In the end, it took us about 13 hours including stops to drive from Atlanta to just outside of Dallas, where we’re staying with GeekDad Anton Olsen and his delightful family. We’d seen Anton a number of times at Maker Faire, and his daughter as well, but we hadn’t ever met his wife and son. It’s great to have the complete family picture, and they are all wonderful to talk to and spend time with. And they plied us with ice cream, which never hurts. That brings my visits to GeekDads/GeekMoms on this trip up to a final tally of 12.

Drove: About 780 miles.

States: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. This was our first and only five-state day.

Weather: Hot and humid when we started, hot and relatively dry when we got to our destination.

Kids: The boy was incredibly bored, and the girl was getting there as well.

Best Parts of the Day: Ice cream and conversation with friends.

Worst Part of the Day: The aforementioned mosquitoes who can die in a fire.

Quote of the Day, From Ed: “Apparently Texas is all churches and donut shops.”

One of Life’s Joys That I Experienced (Again) Today: Hearing my little boy sing songs, loudly, while listening to an iPod. We heard The Beatles, ABBA, and more.

A Proud Geek Parenting Moment: The kids were arguing about absolute zero today. I don’t think I even heard about the concept until high school.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 12.

Posted in Driving, Friends

Day 37: The Calm Before the Storm

Today was a really lazy day, at least in terms of activity and lack of planning. We hung out all day talking with Scott, and later George, and did some packing. I decided that it would be more difficult to pack the trunk halfway tonight and pack the other half in the morning than to just pack the whole thing in the morning. Plus there would be fewer mosquitoes that early tomorrow. So we will have to leave extra time in the morning, solidifying the need for an early bedtime tonight.

We packed up what we could in our suitcases and other bags, and ate a few stray groceries, including some special things we got at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market yesterday (yellow kiwis, guava, sugar cane), and are preparing for sleep.

Tomorrow we start the long push home, driving the long stretch from Atlanta to just outside Dallas, Texas.

Drove: None.

State: Georgia.

Weather: Hot and humid.

Kids: Still pretty well-behaved, but bored. They’ve gotten used to there being daily activities to entertain them and keep their minds active.

Best Parts of the Day: Great conversation with friends.

Worst Part of the Day: Dreading the car packing, since I know it won’t all fit, and not knowing what to do with what doesn’t fit.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 11.

Posted in Friends

Day 36: Food, Glorious Food

The Varsity. Mmm onion rings. Photo: Jenny Williams

Today was a tour of food in Atlanta. Well, a tour of food memories. After a lazy morning, we headed to The Varsity for Round One of our grazing. For those not familiar, The Varsity serves tasty but greasy food in downtown Atlanta. I’ve only had their onion rings and the Frosted Orange, which is what we ordered today. The onion rings are delicious, but they sit in a pool of grease. The Frosted Orange is a bit like an Orange Julius. It’s like an orange/vanilla slushie. Yums were heard all around.

Krispy Kreme. Mmm donuts. Photo: Jenny Williams

Round Two was an impromptu stop at Krispy Kreme, since their Hot Donut sign was lit. I don’t think the kids had ever had a hot donut from there, so it was another page in their education. At this point in our outing, I realized that we should have had a plucky 80s soundtrack playing to accompany our adventures, like it was a buddy movie or something.

Round Three of grazing our way across Atlanta was at one of my favorite places to shop in the whole world. Other than our friends, it is the only thing I miss from when we lived in Atlanta. The Dekalb Farmer’s Market. It’s not really a farmer’s market in the way that most people think of one. It is indoors, and is like a world market grocery store. Almost half the store is produce, with plenty of groceries, meats, cheese, live fish tanks, a place to get fresh, tasty, and cheap pastries, and plenty of bread products. There are things to buy from all over the world, and everyone who works there seems to speak several languages.

The Flame from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when we lived here, but photographed today. Photo: Jenny Williams

We took our time going through the store systematically, rounding up some supplies for trip food and for eating for tomorrow, along with a handful of items for after we get home. We even got a few more exotic items to try (or re-try as the case may be) such as yellow kiwi (which is much better than the green kind, which we learned during our trip to New Zealand in 2000), sugar cane, dragonfruit, and guava. I would have taken pictures inside the store to share with you the bounty that is the Dekalb Farmer’s Market, but they explicitly don’t allow photography. We never did figure out why that is the case, but that rule hasn’t changed in the seven years since we were last here. It’s a great store to go to for cheap spices, quality food, unusual produce, and a wide variety of other groceries.

Later on, I spent some time wandering around our friends’ house, taking a few photos of interesting features. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it shows. Lots of odd features, large rooms, high ceilings, and the smallest staircase ever that goes to a useless attic. There are tree trunks in their basement as weight-bearing posts. You have to lift your foot when changing rooms because of the extremely uneven floors.

The toilet. No, the novelty of pulling the chain has not yet worn off. Photo: Jenny Williams

The day was punctuated by a violent thunderstorm. I was glad the power didn’t go out for more than a second, though, since I had too much work to do! But it did seem to shut down the Atlanta airport for quite some time, which I heard about on Twitter and Facebook.

We capped off the day (and into the next one) with another round of Trivial Pursuit, Genus II. My feat of winning both of the games that Scott and I played last night did not spill over to today. I got creamed. He earned it, though.

My daughter did well, too, again answering questions right that she learned in homeschool. She also got one answer correct that she learned by watching Super Friends! Who said that popular culture never taught anyone anything?

Now off to bed. Tomorrow is the last day before we start the big push home!

Drove: Around town.

State: Georgia.

Weather: Less hot but still somewhat humid. But a huge thunderstorm in the evening.

Kids: Still pretty well-behaved.

Best Parts of the Day: All the delicious food.

Worst Part of the Day: Not being able to buy more food because of space issues, and the fact that we’re nowhere near home to stock up our pantry.

Funny of the Day: My boy didn’t like the smell of the kitchen for a bit, so I told him to turn his body the other way. He said, “I’ll still smell it. Remember, Mom? Molecules go very far.”

Songs Going Through My Head: Everything from our SongBurst game yesterday.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 11.

Posted in Family, Friends, Games | 3 Comments

Day 35: Friends, Well Met

(This post is for July 24, 2011.)

It’s funny how you can not go anywhere but still have a fantastic day. Usually the most fantastic days are spent this way. Our day started with Ed’s best friend George coming over for breakfast, and all of us eating sweet potato pancakes, bacon, and fruit. Scott and George both tell hilarious stories very well, so the morning was easily wiled away with conversation and laughter. George’s mom supplies plenty of humorous anecdotes for him to share, including the time she went to a restaurant and ordered octopus, since he likes it, and then shipped it to him, in only a box with packing peanuts. It arrived five days later. The best story, though, is when his mom shipped six jam jars full of jam along with $1000 in cash, wrapped in foil, wedged between the jars. From Cyprus. All that was needed to complete the image was a nice ticking watch, but that wasn’t necessary to make the delivery people suspicious. When the post office called him to pick up his package, all that was left was shards and goo.

A late breakfast meant a late lunch in the middle of the afternoon. We had a simple yet delicious meal of grilled cheese with turkey along with apple slices, with a chocolate peanut butter thing for dessert. Then more conversation.

And Song Burst 70s/80s edition. I just barely beat out Scott. It was interesting to hear which songs he knew and I hadn’t even heard of, and vice versa.

Dinner was Indian lamb hand pies that were awesome (we are being so spoiled). They had the biggest raisins I’d ever seen. We also tried them with some of the fig jam that we had with our pancakes, and that was lovely, too. As a repeat from last night, we had a veggie side of sauteed kale with garlic, salt, and parmesan. I’m not a greens type of gal, but wow, those are good. I need to put those into my repertoire. We also had lychees, carrot/apple/red bell pepper juice, and ice cream.

And then we played a game of Trivial Pursuit Genus II. The girl, Scott, and I played. The girl did very well (answering things she learned in homeschool, which was very satisfying to me), and was in the lead most of the time, until she got tired. Scott and I finished up, and I just barely beat him. This was a real accomplishment since Scott has, in the past, been famous for being incredibly hard to beat at Trivial Pursuit. He still is.

Our friends were nice enough to play some games with the boy, too, who loves games and wants nothing else but to play them all day long. Fortunately, they games they played are just as challenging for adults as they are for kids (i.e., City Square Off, Entanglement).

No photos today, sorry. Tomorrow I hope to go around the awesome house we’re staying in and take photos of some interesting features. One interesting thing about the house is that every time you change rooms, you have to lift your feet. This is for two reasons. One is because most of the doorways have small thresholds sticking up. The other is because each room is at a different elevation. Old houses are nothing if not interesting.

Drove: None.

State: Georgia.

Weather: Hot and muggy I assume. I didn’t leave the house!

Kids: They were pretty well-behaved and they played nicely with our friends’ son.

Best Parts of the Day: The food! And Trivial Pursuit with one of my very favorite Trivial Pursuit opponents.

Worst Part of the Day: The occasional complaining from the boy.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 11.

Posted in Friends, Games