Monday, November 2, 2009

Momma Mindy and Kelly Play Hookey

I had just read an article about homeschool burnout in which the veteran teacher/mommy challenged the readers, "Are you doing too much?" That article gave me the incentive to leave the books, since the public school had the day off, and go guilt-free to an adventure.

Kelly-Across-the-Street and I felt like kids again, as we loped down my front steps, cameras in hand, no kids in tow, to experience an unexplored part of our area. Since she is a transplant from the South and I am a transplant from the Midwest, we enjoy sharing experiences and tips for PNW site-seeing.

Today was an adventure. It was the kind of day that women in novels and movies experience. It was a "pinch-me is this really happening to me?" kinda' day.

It is early November and the sun forgot to hide, instead warming our faces and our hearts. The tenacious leaves have refused to fall, coloring our pictures with vibrant colors not found in our kids' boxes of coloring crayons.

Two friends, who were able to talk uninterrupted by children for hours, never ran out of things to say.

Kelly's pictures are amazing, her details are clear. Read her version here.

After our first flight of stairs, we arrived at this home. After walking around to view the gardens and architectural details, I was so enthralled, if we had stopped our tour at this point, I would have still been happy. It was obvious someone had artistic reasoning for the placement of every plant.
Overlooking the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Scenes like this often cause me to say, "And I live here. I am not on vacation."

Just prior to the top of this hill we met an older gentlemen who noticed our cameras as we hiked an exceptionally beautiful, and long, flight of stairs. Hard-of-hearing, he thought we said we were reporters from Sunset magazine, instead of explorers inspired by an article in Sunset magazine. He did share some brief stories and we felt entrusted with some amazing and interesting history.

The tree I was contorting under, trying to get the perfect pic. It isn't perfect, but it is a pic.

In the midst of these million dollar homes, ancient trees boasting of the permanence of the well-groomed, freshly-painted neighborhoods, we spotted these old doors. They were just leaning between a retaining wall and the shrubs along the street. As if the man responsible for the "honey-do list" didn't quite do what his honey wanted him to do. We were surprised the glass door-knobs have not been stolen.

I love the longevity and ornamental design of wrought iron fences. They add ageless and timeless beauty.

One of the many, many staircases available for exploration. The crisp leaves made that perfect scrunching, crunching noise as you walked on them.

As we would gape and gasp at some of these homes, I kept marveling that people were able to live there. I wondered if they felt excitement every time they drove into their driveways.

Kelly victoriously marking the highest point of Queen Anne. She wasn't winded. She wasn't even tired. I got winded a few times, but had no fear. Kelly's Dad is a doctor. Her only ask was that I give her fair warning if I was going to have a heart attack.
We enjoyed an uninterrupted lunch and neither of us fussed or whined or spilled anything.

Like in Fiddler on the Roof, this seemed to be one of those staircases just for show. We ended up at a dead end that made you wonder if you would get mugged at any moment.
Anywhere you drive in the PNW seems to be beautiful. If you make a wrong turn in traffic and you know you are going to add 10-15 minutes to your drive, it doesn't matter, because the view is so inspiring.
Mt. Rainer is only showing her base, as she is enjoying the blanketing beauty of the clouds. A beautiful parting shot as we drove home from our perfect day.
Tomorrow, I have to go back to doing too much like an over-achieving homeschooling mom.
But, today,
I played hookey.

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