Away and back again

A few weeks ago, we lost our gentle giant of a dog. His lack of mobility had kept us from any travel without finding a farm sitter strong enough to help him to his feet and he weighed 200 lbs. It was very sad for us, but he was nearly 12 years old and had lived a good life. His partner in crime is a 95 lb German Shepherd who is 11 1/2, but still able to get into the back of the car with a running start and sometimes a human assist. We decided to board her and get away for a few days. Our travel had ceased with Covid then human health issues, and the big dog’s issues.

We reserved 3 nights at Big Meadows Lodge on the Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park and two days before we were to leave, we received a call that the electricity had been cut to the Lodge for the safety of the firefighters who were fighting a slow moving wildfire that started outside the park on the east side, but had encroached into the park, not threatening any building, but requiring the power cut and seriously impacting the air quality in that part of the park due to the smoke. We were offered a full refund, a change of reservation to next year, or change to Skyland 10 miles farther north. We chose that option but just for 2 nights. Hiked some, climbed Big Stony Man and looked down on the valley and also down on our cabin. It was pleasant, but not the same as our preferred Big Meadows where we have very fond memories with our children as they grew up. We hiked in shirt sleeves on Thursday.

And Friday, we awoke to snow and ice, but not more than an inch before we left and drove another hour plus to pick up Son 1 at work and let him drive us to Bethesda, Md were they live and to our hotel. The hotel, a high rise 4 star venue that was gorgeous until we found out our room was infested with cockroaches, a major turn off. The weather in Bethesda was very nice Friday night and until we left after breakfast today. We enjoyed a delightful dinner our with son, his gal and her son, a trip to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy space museum on Saturday with all, then a lovely Tex Mex meal at their apartment afterward. This morning, breakfast at their apartment then the trip home.

It was so nice to get away for a few days. The boarded pup was retrieved, dinner prepped and enjoyed, and the laundry will wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, my left eye will get it’s cataract surgery to improve my eye health and vision.

As usual, I packed more non clothing items than I needed by far, too many snacks, too much fiber, knitting I never touched. It is all put away now. Tonight we sleep in our own bed.