We took yet another trip to the mountains with the in-laws this weekend. For me, I was hoping for a relaxing, stress-free weekend, and the rest of the family was going to ride the VA Creeper trail again. I would like to ride it again, but not this soon. I wanted some R&R as we've had some overly-hectic past few weeks in the office.
We left Friday around 5pm which wasn't ideal, but with less than 3 days of vacation leave remaining, I've got to save it for the holidays so I didn't have the luxury to take Friday off, unfortunately. We were heading to a mountain cabin of a friend of the Mc's West Jefferson. I can't remember what time we finally arrived, but it felt pretty late - maybe 9ish or so. We pretty much headed to bed soon after we got there. Obnoxiously, I couldn't shake the "I want my mommy" feeling that night. I had had a terrible day at work and was in a foul mood for most of the day. I had gotten in early and skipped lunch all so I could leave at 4pm. I left without telling a soul goodbye which was probably weird, but I didn't care. I just wanted to leave. Plus, my boss had pissed me off earlier in the day and I just wasn't up for dishing out fake "have a great weekend and ENTIRE WEEK OFF" niceties.
(Slightly off topic) I've never taken an entire weekend off in these last 3 years except for my honeymoon which was obviously planned WELL in advance of me even knowing about this job. So I get annoyed when others get to take multiple weeks off each year when I'm struggling to take just one day off here and there. I started this job one month before our wedding. Instead of them just NOT PAYING ME for the 6 days I'd be off for my honeymoon, they forced me to go in the negative on vacation leave which then took 6 MONTHS of no vacation time whatsoever for me to make up just to get back to ZERO time off (again). It was wretched. Ever since then, I've never been able to keep up. I didn't get any extra days off at Christmas or Thanksgiving for the first 2 years either, since only 2 out of the 5 of us can be off at the same time. Which is a whole other set of screwed up in itself. Last year, I finally got first dibs on days off at Christmas. I was shocked as it seemed to be a "first ask first get" sort of leave request system. One of my co-workers takes almost a week and a half off at Christmas and has so much leave she can request it an entire year in advance. So it always left me with no option to take days off. ANYWAY, last Christmas I was able to go with the Mc's to PA finally. This year, we're planning on it again, although I'm wondering if I can even make it - going will deplete my leave all over again. Hmmm.
(Back on topic) I LOVE the idea of traveling, and really appreciate a place once I'm back home, but while I'm in the middle of the trip, I'm usually a ball of anxiety and nerves. It's annoying to say the least. My mind want to soak it all in and enjoy it, but it's also worried about the dumbest little things the whole time. I just stress myself out and that's exhausting. I always feel like everyone else is laid-back and casual and here I am trying to squash my pointless anxiety over nothing. It has yet to work. I'm waiting for a vacation where there is NO agenda and I can just do nothing and know that's what I'm supposed to be doing. Are there such vacations?
So Saturday, everyone loaded up bikes and things and headed to VA to ride the Creeper. They didn't leave until 12:30 or 1 and I expected them back between 5 and 6pm. I had the house and TV to myself and lucky for me, Cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model was on MTV - marathon style! I've decided ANTM marathons are the way to watch this show. I got addicted to this show last fall and would TiVo marathons and watch them back to back to back all weekend. Then I tried to TiVo the latest season with one show each week and it just wasn't the same...wasn't as satisfying. I think I watched 7 or 8 episodes on Saturday. I literally didn't get off the couch all day. I took a shower, but that was it. The kitchen and TV area were one big room (like a loft almost) so I didn't even have to leave the room to get food or anything! For the most part, that was great, although I did feel extremely lazy doing it. I wanted to finish a book I've been reading but ANTM wouldn't allow it.
Saturday night we went out to a great restaurant, Fraisers, in West Jefferson for the MIL's birthday dinner. It was really good and we were even able to do some literal window shopping while eating. They were selling these great wooden trees in the restaurant and they had them on display in the windows. MIL and myself each bought 3 of varying heights. Should be a cozy Christmas display this year.
Sunday, we headed to Boone to walk around downtown and do some shopping on and around King Street. What a busy downtown! I'd never really shopped in Boone before. We went to the Mast General Store where there were having a tent sale. I got some Chacos for 40% off! Inside the store, I think I could've bought one of everything and wiped out my entire bank account and been as happy as a clam. They had all the North Face, Patagonia, Danskos, warm, fuzzy, outdoorsy stuff a girl could want! They allowed dogs on leashes to come in the store so Seth brought Three in. She got lots of attention in that store and would get more throughout the day. Who could resist our precious baby.
We got lunch from Our Daily Bread and ate it outside - it was such a beautiful day! While waiting for lunch, a man with 2 Westies came strolling into the yard where we were hanging out! It was so cool! You don't often see Westies and here came 2. One of them was NOT friendly and wanted nothing to do with Three. Her owner had to hold her - she growled and showed her teeth the whole time. The other one was much friendlier and he/she(?) sniffed Three, but they didn't seem to hit it off and were bored with one another in minutes. It was still cute. He told me about his bike trailer that his dogs ride in and how he took them to NYC to join a group of 30-40 other Westies to try to get on the Today show. He was a nice man. Too bad his girl dog was such a bitch. (ha)
In general, a great trip. Totally makes me want to have my OWN mountain house. We seem to know people with mountain cabins and of course, I totally appreciate being able to stay in their homes at no charge, but I'd love to have my own place because one can never be quite as comfortable in other's homes as they can be in their own. In my advanced age, I think I'd rather have a mountain house than a beach house. Nothing sounds like a better escape from what ails you than a mountain cabin tucked up in the trees away from people!