Day 2 of October Vacation

OK, it is now 2025 and we are sitting in front of their giant telly watching Surf's Up, a delightful movie about a young surfing penguin. I saw it in the theater and loved it and it's only just come out on DVD. I had to have it. So, naturally I have it!

We all had a leisurely day. I woke up initially at 0444, petted the cat for a bit, then fell back to sleep. I slept right through until 0900, exactly. I woke up drenched in sweat. I have no idea why. I hadn't been having a nightmare and the cat was no longer sleeping on my chest. I don't know why I was so overheated. But I felt okay otherwise, and got up to check on my e-mail and post about yesterday. Around 1045 I heard the first stirrings of life and then got in the shower around 1100. I had a nice shower then came upstairs and we decided to go to IHOP for breakfast.

We went out onto the roads, which are truly adventurous around here. We are a lot closer to Washington, DC than I thought. The traffic here is incredible. I'm so accustomed to going places where there is hardly any traffic and the natives think that three cars at a red light is a traffic jam and I'm suddenly in place where the commute home is far more frustrating than anything I put up with. We have bad messes only when there is a serious accident or extremely adverse weather conditions but here, on a Saturday, there is still massive amounts of traffic. More than I see in months.

We ended up going to the Silver something, a diner. The food was good. It wasn't quite like the Pancake House but the French toast was made of Challah bread, which is delicious. It was loaded with normal, unsyrupy or sugared strawberries. I loved it. The tea was good, too. We went to the mall, which is not quite that local, about a half-hour from where we were. It is massive, enormous mall, though, with a googleplex theater, several restaurants, and various other buildings. We went to Best Buy, the puzzle store, and several others. I stayed out of all the candy stores (there were three, if you can imagine), which was no easy feat. I love sugar, it's so hard to avoid it and there were three stores loaded with my favourite thing! And I stayed OUT of them.

But the puzzle store was incredible. I loved it. And I bought a puzzle for myself. A 9,000 piece jigsaw puzzle! It is huge - 193cm x 139cm. It's my father's height and over 4' wide. It is gorgeous. And it will take me a lifetime to put it together. Ray is going build me a tray sort of thing for me to make it in, in two pieces that can be put together and act as a frame. The plan I have is to take down the track lighting that is along that wall and we never use it. That wall needs to be painted anyway. The whole room does. It is a light blue colour and a want it to be a light happy yellow. Like a kitchen should be and isn't. That wall is big - really big - and can hold that monstrous puzzle up. I will tell you now: once I put it together I am NOT taking it apart!

The biggest puzzle I have ever put together is 3,000 pieces and that was ambitious enough. It takes me several days to put it together, which meant I was working on it to the exclusion of all else. That isn't a requirement, but it is something I tend to do: I hyper-focus on it and can't stop. It is a little scary, the kind of intensity with which I put together puzzles. There is just something about jigsaw puzzles that I find so addictive.

So $100 later I had my monster puzzle. It is by no means the largest. They have a 24,000 - yes, that is correct - piece puzzle with four different really sharp looking cartography pieces (old maps) and it is absolutely ENORMOUS - far beyond anything I can manage. And where the hell would I put it? No thanks. I did not even look at it or the cost. My mondo puzzle at 9,210 pieces is more than enough.

They did have it with cartography but I have a 2,500 and 3,000 piece puzzle in that look. The one I got is astrology, but it is a really sharp picture. I'll post it so you can see. It is gorgeous. Black background with symbols in a wheel, and stars and other things... I'm not looking at it right now. Anyway, it is amazing.

So we hung out there and I got a couple of DVDs and then we went to a Mexican place and had dinner. After that we went home and watched Surf's Up - I loved that movie in the theater and I still love it. We had a good time hanging out. As it was wrapping up, some of Renee and Alex's friends came over: John and Gina, Tom and... and... that was it. Right. They brought over a game called Poison, and we had a lot of fun playing it.

Their friends are really fun and extremely pleasant. They all love games and music. Good people!

They stayed up a little longer, but I crashed right at midnight. The cat stayed with me again, which was really nice. He loves Renee the most but gave up that to keep me company for the three nights I was there. How sweet is that? I hope my cats would do the same for a guest here!


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