Sunday, June 27, 2010

Retreatville Day 2/3

I’ve been here now for nearly 24 hours. It’s been good. I am currently listening to my host show some new guest through the house. I already know the spiel.

I had breakfast this morning with a couple from the States and a lady with a very thick accent I didn’t recognize. All three were hobby dog handlers in the area for training.

Much of the conversation held the words ‘diagonal’, ‘cross’, and ‘course’. I was lost but stayed too long to be excused in the middle. I mostly sat and listened. They were nice.

Breakfast was continental. I didn’t know B & B’s could do that, I mean isn’t there like a law somewhere that says they have to deliver real breakfast? I was a tad disappointed but oh well. My body got it’s daily dose of carbs and a retreat from protein, it wasn’t excited.

Later this morning I decided to get in the car and take a trip. To where? I didn’t know. Just out.

I grabbed the place mat sheet with a basic area map on it and all of the things to see. Initially I just had a goal of finding a Wal-Mart to people watch, if I got lucky I’d find a mall.

I did notice the map showed a trail or two (ok several) but the sky was quite overcast. I decided if I stumbled upon one I’d totally stop. Well, that is if I had the courage.

I took a snack, some water and all of my keys then hopped in the car.

As I drove I came to not one but two circle round about thingys. There weren’t as confusing as I thought. I was proud of myself for not screwing them up.

I kept driving, even past the Wal-Mart. Courage had come. I kept my eyes open for the trail.

I quickly learned ‘keeping my eyes opened’ was a bit dangerous as it also caused my eyes to wander. I barely managed to stay safe.

I drove past a little town with some beautiful churches but saw no where to park so I kept going. I came upon some gorgeous scenery as I was in an escarpment area with rocks and cliffs and stuff. It was cool.

As I drove I came upon my trail. In a last second decision I pulled over, no doubt giving the car behind me a heart attack. I parked the car and sat to figure out what I needed on this adventure.

Definitely my camera, certainly my running shoes and most likely a sweater – just in case.

Other things I should’ve brought but didn’t: my cell phone, my water and my snack. You know, just in case I got lost or stranded, abducted or hurt. I threw up a prayer as my insurance instead.

As I got onto the trail I read the sign and it said something about a waterfall. I clearly paid no attention at the time though because I was stunned when I eventually came to it. I guess I was focused on not getting lost.

I read signs that spoke of wearing the proper hiking gear. Runners and a hoodie didn’t make the list. I took my chances.

I walked along a narrow winding path that went steep down on one side to a babbling brook and went steep up to trees, trees, trees on the other. Though it was often cloudy every once in a while the sun found its way through the trees to play peek a boo with me. When it did I felt like the sky was smiling at me, even though I couldn’t really see it.

The walk was beautiful. There were a few firmly built bridges to walk over and rocks to watch your steps on but not a difficult hike. Rather short actually. Within ten minutes I had gotten to the end of the trail, but was not disappointed when I saw what awaited me.

A huge magnificent waterfall. Trickling down layers and layers of rocks.

There was a deck to stand on, sort of a ‘look out’. There was already a middle aged couple there chatting away. The gentleman said hello but the lady didn’t even look at me. I hoped they were on their way, but no such luck.

I stood there and looked for several minutes. I took lots of pictures from different angles. I tried to ‘connect with nature’. I’m not so sure I was successful but I definitely appreciated what I was experiencing.

I tried to figure out if this surprise waterfall meant anything in my journey. Nothing jumped out at me. I decided if my memory served me well that the waterfall may end up representing my time away. My little discovery about being a mother. (One might correct me and say ‘becoming’ a mother, but I’d correct them and say ‘being’ a mother).

Once I had absorbed all I could I ventured back to the car and decided to keep driving to see what I’d find.

Not too far in, my street came to an end and I had to choose a turn. I chose right and cemented in my mind that it was Main St. I was on. I figured as long as I knew the street and I kept straight how wrong could my sight seeing mission go?

I soon found out, when the street I was driving on turned into 4 lanes of one way traffic. I soon caught on that I was out of my element and clearly you can get into trouble even if you are travelling on the same street in one direction.

If you know me at all you know my incredibly hindered sense of direction. Like, there aren’t words. I had no map either, I mean, not a real one. So I decided on a common sense approach.

It worked. Within ten minutes, after a couple of one way streets and a trip on the freeway (as the GPS lady would call it and no I didn’t use her), I found Main St. again.

I was very proud of myself but now I was getting hungry. I concluded that I would do something I’ve never done before. Go to a sit down restaurant by myself for lunch and order whatever I wanted.

I found a famous chain restaurant that I am keen on that Wally isn’t a fan of (and now that we are eating ‘clean’ I can’t enjoy to it’s fullest anyway). The friend I went with for breakfast a couple of months ago ordered something that made me envious so I put myself in Gloryland and got it for myself today.

Sometimes when you are out of your element you have to enjoy (sometimes you have to enjoy things in your element but that’s the habit we are trying to correct). I concluded one bad meal out of the 18 while away wasn’t a sin. And it WAS my vacation right? (Clearly I still have mental work to do )

I got a cinnamon brioche dipped in French toast batter piled with fresh fruit (I mean fresh), a scrabbled egg and 3 thinly spiced pieces of bacon. I have to share a couple of things. I have not eaten bacon in 3 ½ months and before that I was involved in a deep and serious love affair with it.

Today I learned that the affair is over. Bacon was ok but not worth the affair. Good to know.

As for my cinnamon brioche French toast …. Oh. My. Goodness. It was indeed a piece of Gloryland. Seriously. Every bite amazing. And though I won’t be having it again, well, maybe ever. It was worth it.

I ended bringing half of my lunch/breakfast home to be enjoyed later.

I then did something I won’t share, then headed home.

I just finished watching a rather difficult movie. I learned something about myself from it. Or rather I was reminded of a piece of my past. Let’s just say I am thankful for today.

I am thankful for today.

The sun is shining now and the breeze blowing. If it wasn’t such a drive I’d go find another trail or something. Maybe later, maybe not. I think I’ll listen to a podcast now and play some solitaire.


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