Sunday, August 12, 2007

What I did on my vacation (warning: picture-heavy post)

I can't believe it is Sunday already, and I have to go back to work in the morning. I've tried working, and I've trying being on vacation, and I much prefer being on vacation. But, I have to keep the pups in vittles, so... off to work I go.

This has been a weird week. In one sense, it was steeped in all things Jane Austen. In another sense, it was full of unsuitable activities for the average practicing vegetarian.

First for the Jane Austen. I watched Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility on TV this week. The 1995 versions, as opposed to the many other adaptations that have been made. 1995 was a very good year for Austen remakes. P&P with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy - be still my heart. S&S with Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson. I have seen this film at least 30 times, and cry like a baby every time Edward... well, I don't want to ruin it for anyone who has not seen it. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

We also went to the theater and saw the new movie Becoming Jane. Cried at this one, too, but had to try and restrain myself because I was out in public. It's not like I was sitting next to a stranger and blubbered on his sleeve. I was seated between my mother & sister, but still had to choke back the tears. Highly recommend it, also. The movie, not the crying.

Now for the non-vegetarian part. Mom has always wanted to go to Havre de Grace, Maryland. It's a nice, quaint little town on the Chesapeake Bay, or maybe the Susquehanna River, I'm not sure which. Anyway, there was water. We stopped to look out at the water on a public pier, and met the nicest people. They were fishing, and happened to catch a catfish while we were there. Mom, S and I were all ooohing and aaahing over the fish, and, thinking they found an appreciative audience, proceeded to show us a lovely beast they caught earlier in the day. It was a 2 foot catfish. Here is the nice young man who caught it. You might not be able to tell from this picture, but there is, indeed, a big catfish in that basket. It was looking at me with sad eyes, begging me to rip that basket out of the boy's hands and set him free to go back to his catfish family in the river. I didn't, and that fish ended up on the dinner table, I'm sure.

Then we went to the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum. I was thinking it would be full of lovely bird carvings. WRONG! There were a lot of carvings, but they were carved into bird-shaped lures to entice unsuspecting feathered friends into what they think is a nice place to stop and rest on their long journey, but then before you know it they are under attack from men with guns! In a word - DECOYS!

Why did I not see this coming? There were also lovely displays of boats and blinds and guns. Yuck. Now, please don't comment on how fees from hunting licenses, etc. are used to preserve wetlands, and how hunters are doing a service by "harvesting" the "crop" of ducks or geese or whatever so that they don't starve to death over the long, cold winter. I've heard it all, and "to each his own." I just think the museum's name should clearly reflect what you will see when you enter. What's that? Oh, right. The Havre de Grace Decoy Museum. Never mind.

To top things off, on Friday we went to Cabela's in Hamburg, Pa. Friends were going out there to buy an outboard motor, so my sister and I tagged along.

This also falls into the category of "Why did I not see this coming?" Sure, they had some boating things, but the store was filled hunting supplies. The worst part was the stuffed animals. Not the cute cuddly kind made out of fake fur & polyester stuffing. The real, honest-to-goodness, used-to-be-alive kind of stuffed animals. Hundreds of them. Truly. Geese suspended in V-formation hanging from the ceiling, a safari area with an elephant & zebras & a bunch of other animals, and in the center of the store, a huge 2-storey mountain with every kind of bear and elk and deer you can imagine. It was so horrifying, I couldn't look away from it. At one point it felt like the blood was draining out of my body & I started to get chills. Icky. Anyway, I went to the dog supplies area and between the doggy hunting vests and "training" collars, I found some all-natural cookies and bought them for my girls.

In between these fun activities, we did manage to get out in the kayaks several times this week. We tried a new lake, which was nice, but came back to our favorite the last few trips. One day we saw a pair of Bald Eagles. Yes, the former endangered species. Right here in southern New Jersey. It was amazing. I didn't have the camera with me that day, and they were too far to show up on camera, anyway.

Yesterday I did take the camera out with me to shoot some pictures of the progress on my most recent pair of Jaywalkers.Yes, finally some knitting content. But that's it. No more knitting. Instead, look what came right up to my kayak while I was juggling the camera and the sock:

Can you see how close they were? That's the kayak and the paddle in some of those pictures. Amazing. They are such huge creatures, yet so graceful. I was absolutely blown away by how beautiful they are. (I know this seems like a lot of pictures, but I took 74 shots of the swans, so this is a very small percentage!)


Knitting Mama said...

Those swan pictures are gorgeous. The water looks so relaxing!

noricum said...

Lovely swan photos!!!

Nichole said...

Great pics of the swans - up close and personal! :)

silfert said...

I would submit one of those swan photos for a calendar, they were definitlely posing for you! I know what you mean about Cabela's. There is a bar in Kansas City where we used to play, I still refer to it as the "Dead Fish On the Wall Bar", because it's full of stuffed creatures.

HDW said...

I love the swan shots!!! BEEEEUTIFUL!!!!

I am so jealous that you actualy got in on SP11 I signed up but somehow got left out of the final list and byt the time I noticed I had not got my pal it was too late and the ladies have enough on thier plates! BUt I am bummed to say the least!!! your pal is lucky to have you cause you are awesome!

Criquette said...

THis is too weird! I was born in Harve de Grace and when my parents moved back to New Orleans I was still a baby and I have never been back since. And now I'm not sure if I want to! Were there at least any decent lys's to redeem all of the carnage? I'm glad you ended the post with pictures of beautiful, wild, LIVING creatures.

Carrie K said...

Did you lure those lovely swans w/decoys? kidding!

I once went to a bar at the recommendation of a friend of mine because at the time I had a kazillion stuffed animals - they were stuffed ANIMALS! As in, formerly living! Gah. Where's the connection to teddy bears made of wool and felt and....well,never mind.