Well, vacation time is winding down & I am feeling much less stress. I haven’t got to as much reading & napping as I would have liked, but all in all, it has been a satisfying week of little adventures & rest.
Our vacation started out with the Music Ministries Christmas party on Sunday evening; we had a Mexican Potluck, an ornament exchanges, & then went caroling around the neighborhood (of course- what else does a choir do at a party?)
We fell into an easy pattern for the week; Chris would get up around 6:30 (that is sleeping in for him- he usually gets up a 4:30 :-P) & I’d have the bed to myself until 8:00 or so; we’d take care of the animals, read the newspaper with breakfast, & then decide how to spend the day.
Monday, we decided to drive up to Amador County in the Sierra foothills, to wander the little towns along Highway 49. We went through Ione to find out what the big red building on hill was; it’s called Preston Castle-
a grand name for an unpleasant reality- it was a reform school for over 60 years. We drove on to Amador City & Sutters Creek, two of our favorite holiday shopping areas,
all dressed up for Christmas. The weather turned colder & drizzly as we reached Angels Camp to poke around the antique shops, & then on to Murphys for lunch & some more browsing.
A big winter storm blew in overnight, so Tuesday was spent at home, snuggled in with soup, movies, & baking, other then one absolutely necessary trip out to the post office & to drop off gifts for the family we adopted thru work. Sam even stayed in for the evening (he usually has karate on Tu/Th) to study for finals & finish a project.
Midweek found us in Livermore & Dublin for Chris’ company Christmas party (a potluck lunch & gift exchange), then onto the nursery to use my Holiday Bucks at the nursery. I picked up some more broccoli plants (we just harvested the first 2 heads from the earlier planting), some creeping purple thyme, variegated licorice plant, & snapdragons for the planter next to the front door, & an English ivy plant in a basket for a gift. Before going home, we stopped in to see our friend Keith (who helped with Jessica’s car misadventures), who has been laid up with kidney stones, & drop off gifts for the family.
Thursday was Adventure Day; Chris & I took BART into San Francisco to go on the Victorian Home Walk, something I had seen on the local news a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful day to walk thru the Victorian neighborhoods of Pacific Heights,
learning about the different styles & the history of some of the individual houses. The highlight was the tour inside the Queen Anne Hotel, a beautifully restored house which is now a bed & breakfast;
opulent at anytime, it was just stunning decorated for the holidays. After the 2 ½ hour tour, we ended up on Union Street (also known as Cow Hollow), several blocks of shops & restaurants, where we stopped at Perry’s for a terrific lunch.
We took the bus back over to Union Square & spent an hour admiring the famous Christmas windows at the big retailers & hotels.
Our favorite is always Macy’s, who dedicate several windows to the SPCA, featuring animals in need of homes. I especially loved this one; she was a real poser, climbing elegantly up the tower & presenting “calendar kitty” postures for the gathered crowds.
Friday was another hunker-down day, as I was suffering from the results of all the walking the day before. I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis for several months & it has been getting progressively more troublesome. I haven’t been to the gym or out for a walk in 3 weeks, trying to rest my foot & allow it to heal, as well as popping 600 mg of ibuprofen 3 or 4 times a day for the past 6 months. Thursday night was so bad that I had trouble sleeping, so I went in to see the doctor in the afternoon; after an evaluation (he’s a new doctor) he gave me a shot of lidocaine & cortisone in the heel, & a new prescription of anti-inflammatory medicine. Within a few hours (& a long nap) the pain was virtually gone (yippee!), but I know I have to still take it easy for a while longer & find a new exercise regime, since the walking is just too stressful on the injury. I’m going to give it another week, then try using the recumbent bike at the gym, which isn’t suppose to strain the arch & has the added benefit of not being weight bearing.
While I was sleeping, Chris went over to my favorite BBQ place & brought home some pork ribs & cole slaw for dinner (isn’t he just the sweetest), then took Sam & his friends off to the mall for some shopping. I went downtown to pick up Sam’s gift from my Berkeley family (they pooled together to get him a letterman’s jacket) & went to the knitting shop for the first time in a month for Sock Hop/Christmas Gift Exchange. What a wonderful time! We ate, knitted, & visited for nearly 3 hours; I ended up with some great hand-dyed sock yarn in shades of peach, yellow, gold & ivory- I’m already looking for the right pattern, since I haven’t made any socks in months!
Well, I’ve rambled on long enough; we’re having dinner with my family tonight & I need to head out to Berkeley. Chris volunteered to help chaperon a field trip of the Martial Arts & Anime clubs to Japantown today, so he & Sam are going to leave early & meet me at the BART station near my Mother’s home. My brother’s father-in-law is visiting from Vancouver & we’re getting both families together to celebrate his birthday today.
Hope you all are having a restful weekend, letting the stress & pressure of the holiday float away on the cold breeze.