No internet, except for, every evening, laboriously checking Ray's Weather Center on my stupid not-smart* phone.
No computer for most of it (I did bring the netbook along so I could look at the photos on my camera, but gave that up after one try. I didn't want to look at a screen).
No ads of any kind except for those in the two issues of the Mountain Times and the one issue of Our State that I read.
Lots of outdoors, hiking, and weather (more on that later). Lots of time with family and long conversations after meals, or on mountaintops, or by lakes. Younger son and I did two puzzles and played numerous games of Blokus and Carcassonne - all of which he won. This is a new development.
I read His Majesty's Dragon, which older son had recommended. I heavily recommended it to dear husband. He read it in a few days, and then he turned around and read it out loud to younger son. I listened to it also - that's how good a book it is. It's kind of like Master and Commander but with dragons. We're still quoting from it.
Older son and daughter were both there for a few days on their fall breaks (you know how HAPPY that made me). We did their favorite hikes those days. We repeated the Rough Ridge hike (below) again later.
I took over 1200 pictures. I got some new filters for the camera so I was experimenting with them. That's why I thought of looking at photos on the netbook. Instead, I'll be looking at the results over the next few days.
With the new filters, this sunset photo over Price Lake turned out better than it usually would.
The sky is bluer with the filters, and the distant mountains are much more apparent (Blue Ridge Parkway viaduct around Grandfather Mountain).
The weather ranged from tank-top-and-shorts hiking weather (in the 70s near the Bass Lake at the Cone Manor)...
...to freezing temperatures while wandering through a fairyland of rime ice on Mt. Mitchell...
...and these were only two days apart!
Dear husband says that I'm not ready to come back from any of our October vacations, but, to me, it felt like it was even harder this year. I've been running for months, and it took me most of the two weeks of vacation to slow down and relax. I found it much harder at first to really focus on reading like I usually do on vacation, although, by the end, I was back to my usual rate of one book a day.
Now that I've slowed down, I don't want things to go back the way they were.
Of course, the first few days back have to be focused on getting cleaned up, organized, and going through mail and e-mail (Note to self: Turn off Freecycle e-mails next year. They were half of the 700 e-mails I had). After I get settled in, I have to rethink how I do things.
Even though we had a wonderful walk around Hillsborough last weekend and good conversations with neighbors, I still wasn't ready to get back to our regular schedule. I didn't really get used to that until Monday evening when I drove to Broadway dance. I headed past Duke's East Campus and all the joggers & walkers on the trail that dear husband and I like to walk in the winter. Then I passed the spot on Broad Street where we watched the parade last month. I turned on to Ninth Street and parked in front of Francesca's - where we've gotten ice cream since before I was pregnant with older son. That's when I was happy to be back where I... belong?
I recently said on Facebook that I realized that I should be getting traumatized about the large birthday I have coming up... but... that I'm too busy with Zumba and Broadway Dance and homeschooling and going to performances and taking pictures and gardening and hiking to worry about it.