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Vacation After-Action Report

Well, the stinking knee hurts again, as I apparently slept on it wrong last night. If I can re-bork it just sleeping on it, then what is the point of immobility during the day, I ask you. I have things to do, people. So, vacation was good. We stayed at my parents' new 28 acre farm in north Alabama, despite its near-complete lack of furnishings (they won't be living in it full time for a while yet)...the seven nights sleeping on an air mattress are what started this whole knee thing, btw, well, more specifically, the getting UP from the air mattress each morning. But after sleeping on an air mattress for so long I decided to check out some of the best mattress reviews and look into getting a new mattress. It was nice to have this as your backyard, coffee-having, waking-up view every morning though:

The kids had a blast on the obligatory country-backyard trampoline:

We fished at a neighbor's catfish-stocked pond on Sunday, and were honestly too busy reeling in the fish to take any pictures. Cooking followed, of course, and visiting with more family. Monday saw us (joined by Husband's brother) visiting the Huntsville Botanical Garden, a favorite haunt of ours long before we were ever married there (12 years ago!). It was a pleasure to watch it grow over the years we lived in Huntsville, and an even bigger pleasure to see how it has grown in the 7 years since we left. If you're ever in the area, it is more than worth a visit. Just maybe not in the 100 degree temperatures of mid-July... Spring, spring is nice. All the dogwoods will be in bloom, and the tulips...and you won't lose five pounds just walking around. Monday evening we caught up with our oldest friends at a local Thai place, then had the pleasure of visiting their house, dogs and wonderful backyard garden (pics forthcoming, of course). On the drive over to their abode, we showed the children the houses we lived in when each were born. Their interest was tepid at best, but it was nice to see where we'd been. Tuesday was spent chasing fish around the Tennessee river. It's called "FISHING" people, not "CATCHING." Wednesday saw a visit to the US Space and Rocket Center, also in Huntspatch, and also a regular haunt for us when we lived there. The new Davidson Center with the full size Saturn V rocket is a very nice addition to an already excellent museum. Afterwards, we journeyed out to Redstone Arsenal for a visit to Husband's brother's workplace, and the old Saturn test stands. More on all that when I get the pictures up. Wednesday evening saw dinner again with friends at the iconic Big Ed's Pizza. My father picked up a Big Ed's pie every Friday after work during the years Big Ed actually owned it, and I am pleased to report it is every bit as good today in the care of his son Steve. Caitlin, please keep an eye on it for us and don't let it close! Thursday was a day of lollygagging, as the parents were having a tractor delivered and had to hang around to take instruction on the driving of same, so we took the kids around the Sand Mountain area and let them blow the rest of their souvenir money. A nice lazy day. Friday we drove down to Lower Alabama for an all-too brief visit with Grandma, then moseyed on to Pensacola, where we deposited the children with Nana and took a hotel room for the night. Glorious, GLORIOUS bed!! It was too late for the knees, of course, but so very much better than an air mattress anyway. Saturday we made the ten hour trek home and officially swore we were driving exactly no further than 30 miles from our house for the next six months. We took a metric buttload of pictures at both the Garden and Space Center, which will trickle up here as I get them edited. It was a truly a simple and satisfying vacation, filled with family, friends and revisiting some fine old memories.