Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Checking in from the road

Well, I'm not actually on the road right now, which is a good thing, because emailing while driving is rather a bad idea. Instead, I'm sitting at the desk in my hotel room in an Ontario town, relaxing after a couple days of busy-ness.

Friday morning, I left Herndon, Virginia to head west to Harper's Ferry. I was only there for about an hour to soak in that gorgeous river confluence before heading north and west into the Alleghanies in Pennsylvania. Since it is summer in Pennsylvania, for every mile of clear highway there was at least a mile of highway under construction. I got up to Jamestown, New York, found my hotel, and then wandered to the Chautauqua Institution to take in a concert by The Kingston Trio and The Smothers Brothers. It was wonderful. The Kingston Trio made a joke about the ages of the people in the crowd, observing that folks over about 50 learned the songs from the original records, and everyone under 50 learned them at camp. I pouted, because I listened to all those original records growing up.
When I told my daughter about the concert, she said, "They sound old." When I told her how long they'd been around, she said, "Wow, they're prehistoric!" Of course, this is the same child who was astonished to learn recently that there were color cartoons on television when I was growing up... in the 70s and 80s. Harrumph.

Saturday I headed up to Cape Vincent, New York, to take twin ferries into Ontario. Sadly, this is when the sky opened up, so what I saw of Lake Ontario can be summed up in two words: wet and grey. Then I headed west to Gananoque to drive along the Thousand Islands Parkway before turning north to Ottawa. I spent the Canada Day holiday weekend in Ottawa, and got to see Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, the Rideau Canal (newly recognized as a UN World Heritage Site), the Museum of Civilization, and many gorgeous views of the Canal and the Ottawa River. Ottawa is an incredibly lovely city, and I'm so glad I got to explore it, even a little bit. I am hoping I get back to Gatineau, across the river in Quebec, because there is a park that looks to be breathtakingly beautiful.

Today, I am resting. I'm catching up on email, at least the ones that aren't contentious and stressful, journalling, reading some poetry, maybe writing some, watching a movie or two, and basically just hanging out and relaxing. It's been a great trip so far, and I am already feeling very much recharged and refreshed. Since I hadn't had a real vacation since June 2005, I really needed this. And it's been good. Thanks be to God.