The Return


So I’m back, after a few days off spent on vacation and hanging with the family and good friends. This weekend, we headed up to Asheville, where we haven’t been in ages, and it was gorgeous. We stayed in a bed and breakfast, ate at ALL my favorite restaurants (Barley’s, Table, Early Girl Cafe) and spent most of our time chasing Sasha, who was obsessed with going outside. I guess it’s a compliment to how nice Asheville is, but she did NOT want to be contained for any reason. It would be six am, pitch dark and freezing, and she’s at the door, tugging on the knob: “Side! Side!” You can’t reason with a toddler with that kind of drive. It’s impossible.

Even with all the negotiating, I managed to keep up with my NCAA bracket, and I have to say I am not doing all that badly. I had picked Wake to go further than they did, and Tennessee, but otherwise I’m still in there. Most exciting is that if UNC and Syracuse both win, they will face each other in the following game. Which means Laurie Halse Anderson and I will have a SERIOUS wager going, head to head! So stay tuned for that.

In other news, en route to Asheville, we saw this billboard that completely stymied me. It was for Strayer University, for the degrees they offer, and across the top it said simply: BACHELOR’S. MASTER’S. ASSOCIATE’S. Now, I knew it had to be right, because you don’t spend that much on a billboard and not check your grammar. But it just LOOKED so weird that I had to call my resident grammar experts (my parents) and ask them. They conferred and said that yes, it’s technically correct, although it’s an odd and unusual way to refer to those degrees. It STILL looks wrong to me, though. Am I crazy? I know some of you are big grammar junkies (proven when you—lovingly–point out my own errors). What do you think?

On the way home, we stopped off at that classic Southern eatery for lunch: The Cracker Barrel. Yes, you read that right. I haven’t been to Cracker Barrel in ages, but I figured they’d be kid friendly, so we went. It is like being on another planet, I swear to you. The giftshop! The music (where else can you eat lunch to Kenny Rogers, circa 1980?)! The menu (the vegetables are ALL cooked with bacon, and ohmygod, they are delicious). The meal before we’d eaten at Table, this very nice restaurant in Asheville, where I’d had sea bass and parsnip puree. Twelve hours later, I’m at CB eating a turkey sandwich slathered with mayo, the bread all buttery, and hashbrown casserole. It was like culinary whiplash. On one side we had a family with three kids who were basically wrecking the place: on the other, a group of women all wearing buttons that said I LOVE HANDBELLS! It was so awesome. And those vegetables were GOOD. Not good for you, but good. Oh, man.

Still, it’s nice to be home. I definitely needed a few days off, and while vacationing with a toddler isn’t exactly relaxing (“Side! Side!”) a change of scenery can often be just what I need to reset myself. Now that I am home, I’m determined to do better and not get so overwhelmed and run down. It’s only the first day. We’ll see how I do. But I am hopeful.

Have a great day, everyone!

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