Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowpocalypse! (x2)

So, y'all probably heard about the tremendous snowstorm that happened nearly three weeks ago, right?  That mighty 2 inches of snowfall that shut down Atlanta, trapping thousands of folks on the interstate?  (Yeah, there was a joke or two made at our expense...)  for those of you interested in the "what happened with the weather forecast" side of things, here's a blog post from the awesome Alabama metereologist James Spann.  He talks about the botched forecast, and how that little bit of snow can cause such catastrophic results.

The philosopher got stuck in it for 9 hours, and it took him a mile walk plus two different rides with strangers to make it home.  But we persevered, and thought we'd finished with winter.

But NOOOOOOOoooo.....

Round two hit us late last Monday night.  We got just less than a quarter-inch of ice.  Then we got 3 inches of snow Tuesday night.  And things looked like this:

But the sun finally came out on Wednesday, and brought blue skies and hope for a thaw...

 And then I discovered the best hope of all.... daffodils braving the cold and peeking their heads above the earth, the real signal of a warm spring to come.
(And I gotta say, it won't be here soon enough!!)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

California Dreamin'

So, later this year the philosopher and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary.  Hard to believe, right?  I mean, we're only in our early 30s or something..... 

Anyway, we've been talking for a while about what we'd like to do for that momentous event.  Bungee jumping is right out, as is skydiving.  We're not on the wealthy side of things, so as much as we'd like, a month in Greece and Italy won't work, either.

So we picked California.  We've got our plane tickets purchased, round trip from the airport down the road to San Francisco.  We've got our rooms booked, and our travel guide is starting to look dog-eared already.  (What? I'm a librarian.  Of COURSE I did research!)

Specifically, we picked here:


Yep, we're headed for three days of hiking in Yosemite National Park! Now, y'all know I'm not crazy.  We may be shipping in a box of hiking boots and poles and packs, but I'm not roughing it.  We're not camping.  Ain't no WAY.  Instead, we're staying here: The Blue Butterfly Inn Bed and Breakfast, just outside the park boundaries.


If this is roughing it, then I am ALL in!  So we'll spend three days in Yosemite, acting like the southeastern tourists we are. We've got a whole host of places we'd like to see, so we'll probably take the park shuttle to maximize our time there.  But there will be at least one for-real hike - probably to Yosemite Falls or in Mariposa Grove, because really, how can you go to a place like Yosemite and not get out on the trail at least once?

After our workout in the mountains (6000 feet above sea level?  Really?  How do people breathe???) we'll take roads west, and head to a more civilized clime.... Napa Valley.


 Yep, we're headed to wine country!  Heck, we lived in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is a hotspot for wineries, so why not check out the valley that put American winemaking on the map?  And where are we staying?  Hennessey House, of course!


Did I mention this is our 20th anniversary?  And that we've been saving for this vacation for more than five years?  No Motel 6 for us this time, no WAY!

Of course the philosopher is currently doing extensive, thorough research on various Napa offerings.  (erm, yes, wines).  We do plan on touring, of course, and are considering using Platypus Tours... because... platypus!!  I mean, how can you not love a company whose boss calls himself the Platypus-in-Chief??!?

It's still a ways off, but we're totally excited about this trip.  And I promise a long drawling blog post with lots of boring photos when we get back.  I would say we wish all our friends could join us, but I did mention that part about the anniversary, right?  8-)