Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back from Vacation

I have been all over the place these past 2 weeks, so I thought I’d fill you in on what I’ve been up to:

I started off my travels with a business trip to fabulous Wausau, Wisconsin where I spent 3 days “scrubbing” data for a new software implementation. And yes, it’s as fun as it sounds. The most interesting part of the trip was traveling through the tiny Central Wisconsin Airport. It had 1 terminal and 6 gates, and there was only 1 parking lot for the whole place, including the rental cars. I have found that the size of the airport and the thoroughness of its security are inversely proportional, and CWA was no exception. Trust me – no terrorists are ever going to get through there.

I landed back in Charlotte at 10:00 on Friday night, got home around Midnight, packed up, and left for Kiawah Island at 9:00 on Saturday morning. On the way down we went to the Charleston Museum, which turned out to be one of the best ones I’ve ever visited. Charleston culture greatly values history, (especially its own), and that made the museum very unique. Most of the items were donated by the original families that owned them, so almost every display had some sort of personal story attached to it. The highlight was a special exhibit they had on dyes. They had these fabulous vintage designer clothes, shoes, and handbags on display, all arranged by color. As I was salivating over the clothes and pondering the feasibility of stealing a gorgeous pair of 1940’s peep-toe wedges, my husband (the Chemistry teacher) enjoyed reading about how different color dyes were created and how the technology has advanced over the years. It was a win for both of us!

The time spent on Kiawah was great too. One of the highlights was a bike ride out to Rhett’s Bluff, where we sat on the dock and watched dolphins swim down the channel as the sun set in the background. It was such an amazing scene, if you saw it in a painting you’d think it was too beautiful to be real.

Oddly enough, we only saw 1 deer, and we didn’t see a single alligator. It’s a sign of the times – the luxury houses are moving in and the wildlife is heading out in search of a less crowded island. Fortunately the ocean is still teeming with critters. One of our favorite things to do is swim out past the breakers and see what kind of animals my husband can dive down and find on the ocean floor. This year, along with the usual live sand dollars, hermit crabs, and conchs, he came up with a horseshoe crab the size of a dinner plate! The crab was not particularly thrilled about being rousted from his hiding place, and he did his best to make my husband pay for disturbing him. But when we were done examining him we buried him back in the exact same spot, so he was none the worse for the wear.

I did have to take one morning to check in with work. We went to a new shopping complex just off the island and I headed to a coffee shop with wi-fi while the others browsed the shops. The place was filled with other vacationing businesspeople, and we all commandeered tables for ourselves where we could spread out our laptops and briefcases. I had to laugh, because for me it felt like I was in that segment from Sesame Street, “Which One of These Is Not Like the Other.” They were all white males in their late 30’s and 40’s wearing preppy khaki shorts and polo shirts, and I was sitting there with my pigtails, flip flops, and bright green laptop case. I’m sure I didn’t look nearly as important as them. Oh well!

On the way back from Kiawah, stopped at Magnolia Plantation. It was very beautiful, but boy was it HOT! The tour guide said it was 90 degrees in the shade and well over 100 in the sun, and the humidity must have been at least 80%. I have never sweated so much in my life! We really enjoyed it, but we decided we’d go back in the Spring when more flowers were blooming and we weren’t in as much danger of collapsing from heat exhaustion.

So that was my trip. I had a lot of fun, but it’s also good to be back home, sleeping in my own bed and loving on my animals. I should be back into the swing of things and blogging regularly again soon!

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