Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Sanity Cause!

Rule # 37 – Everything is better with friends and family

     Vacation! Just the word rolling off the tip of the tongue causes joy in my heart. The fact that I can get away from the house, to another place…. Ahhhh, such peace and comfort, I need it bad.

     This has been quite a summer for Hub and me. Through the spring, we made plans to do a major renovation of our kitchen and dining room, got Bay Kitchens in Baltimore to handle the design project, picked out all the elements for the renovation, and started parting with some hard saved-up greenbacks. Then our fuzz-buddy, Rusty, died. We had to move past the grief to get the two rooms ready to get crashed. Throw in a few visits from family members and friends during the crash time. The craziness started on June 11. It’s now August 11 and the two rooms look pretty darn good. Bills are paid off. We can get back to normal – whatever that is.

     So when this vacation came up, we both jumped at it. We needed to get away from paint fumes and spackle dust. So off we go to Massanutten Resort in Virginia. We have a time share week there. So does one of my brothers. Both families plan to vacation there at the same time every year. We invite others to join us for one big, week-long party.

     Massanutten is in the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia. The resort is a Four Seasons resort, since it’s home to several ski trails as well as plenty of summer activities. The location is smack dab in the middle of Virginia wine country too. They offer day trips by coach bus from the resort to a number of places. It’s a place where there’s lots to do in the summer, besides the usual swimming and golf. And you can use the place as a starting point for other day trips in the western part of Virginia.

     My brother’s unit is a Friday to Friday use. He usually shows up late on Friday evening. We are right on his tail, to squeeze an extra day or two out of the vacation time. Our unit use is Sunday to Sunday. We check into our place on Sunday after bunking with the bro for a night or two. When he checks out on Friday, he becomes our guest until Sunday. This way we both get a 10 day vaca!

     The units there are fully furnished with well-equipped kitchens. We can spend as little or as much time in the unit as we want. We can eat in, or eat out. The resort is near Harrisonburg, Virginia, and James Madison University. So with a college town, comes college eateries… and drinkeries. Lots of choices and all close by.

     My brother has a fantastic view of the mountain side from his unit. He gets a cool breeze even on hot days. Our unit is in the valley, but also has a great view. We get the cool breezes too. And we get a chance to see some of the local wild life up close and personal. You can’t go anywhere on the resort grounds without seeing deer crossing the roads. Our buddy, “Chuck”, came right up to the back deck to say hey! By the way, “Chuck” is one of the several woodchucks who routinely give the golf course groundskeepers reasons to go a bit postal, a lot like Bill Murray’s character in “Caddyshack”.

     Now that we are checked in, the first thing to do is a bit of planning. My brother is a golfer. My husband is a history buff. My nephew and his friend are both game for anything. My sister-in-law and I are game for anything, too, but we also want to spend some serious money. We all enjoy swimming. We’ve even tubed down the Shenandoah River together. The adults really enjoy visiting wineries and sampling the wares. Oh yeah…. we really enjoy the wineries.

Step 1 in planning – when do we schedule our massage? Our daughter will be there at the same time, so plan for 3 massages with facials. Check!

Step 2 – do we want to do a bus trip this year? They run a day trip to Washington D.C. But we live outside of D.C. Why take a bus to come half way home again? Not doing that one.

Step 3 – what wineries haven’t we toured or tasted at? We want to return to Cross Keys Vineyard for specific purchases. Oh, and do they have a chocolate wine, do you remember? Better visit and check it out. If Cross Keys doesn’t have one, somebody must. We must find chocolate wine.

Step 4 – how much history do we really want to do? We’ve seen Montecello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, several times. We’ve eaten at Michie Tavern several times. We’ve toured New Market Battlefield and museum several times too. What haven’t we seen yet? Ahhhh, a quest for newness this trip!

Step 5 – who is cooking what evening? Where will we eat when we are not at home? And what DVD’s did you bring for the after dinner movie?

Step 6 – do we really have to do the sales breakfast? Is it worth it? Hmmm…..

Step 7 – with all this planned, now the bro can schedule tee times, Hub can schedule naps, and the rest of us can schedule pool time.

     Hoo, boy! After a week away, I should have lots of blog ammunition courtesy of Massanutten Resort. There’s plenty to write about, enough for several blog entries here alone. And, I can practice travel writing. Vacations… not just for fun anymore!

     Now the biggest thing to remember is to not need a vacation from our vacation. We have to get some rest this week. Let’s see, there are a few hours on Friday afternoon…. Ah, what the heck, let’s just enjoy the week and pack in as much stuff as we can. We can sleep when we get back to work.

     Wait a minute… I’m retired…. Sort of…

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