Sadly she had tragedy hit her family and she received the call just after we had come out of a wonderful ice cream shop, and we were all laughing and having a good time, when the call came. Afterward we did not get to see her again as we had to fly out to Louisiana in the morning. I have texted and emailed her, and sent her flowers. I hope she will stay in touch with me and tell me how her job is going. She knows NO ONE in Sioux Falls. My step-son had just help her move up there the week just prior to us arriving. My heart goes out to her. She left a few days later to be with her family in Washington State for a few days, but did get back to SF to start her job.
In Louisiana we visited with all my husbands family. That part was all good, but we did have some wild and weird times at our Residence Inn. This is our most current hotel of choice since we can get a 2 bedroom suite with living room and full kitchen for the same price as 2 separate hotel rooms, when we have our daughter with us. Granted we could all stay in one room, but now that she is an adult, it gives her her own space, but yet we can be together. NICE.
It sounded like the people above us were running a meth lab. They were up all night clomping, jumping, moving heavy objects. It made the glasses in our kitchen cabinets clink together. I actually walked up there after 2 days of it to see what I would find at the room above us, and sure enough, the door was closed, but the loud sounds were audible in the hall. I stood there and while and it sounded like glasses on a cart all clinking together inside, along with their clomping! Luckily housekeeping told us they were leaving that day! Thank God! We had a nice quiet stay after that.
We visited a strange old museum filled with all taxidermy animals. The walls were painted with scenery, and each section was a diorama. Interesting, but also kinda creepy. Then there were the walls that talked about *Jesus and salvation. There is something about that that I just despise, and yes, I am a Christian!!!!! I'm quite sure any Jewish, or folks of other religions of the world would get out of there fast. I'm not really sure how they manage to stay open. The older wife of the couple who created it, was at the cash register, and they do not take cards (cash only). DUH...does anyone carry cash anymore??? I might have some on a lucky day when I haven't spent it already (like in 5 minutes at the grocery store)!!! Anyway, it was just weird, feeling somewhere back in time like that. We enjoyed the part of being there with the family though.
*Please feel free NOT to comment on religion as this is just my own opinion, and I am not wanting to start a WW3 in the blog comments. Thanks!!!!! KISS, KISS! We still like each other, right??? OK. I sure hope so! I like all of you, no matter your religion! ;) No need to defend anything here.
Of course we hit up many fabulous restaurants there. It was a great vacation. I am grateful.
Then I came home to my cousin being here for a conference, and I got to hang out with her for a few days after the conference that had ended on Friday evening. More eating out. :)
Oh, and a really amazing and funny thing happened on Fri night after we ate at a restaurant where my brother is the water taxi captain. We had appetizers, and then left and went on the 8 pm sunset ride with him, past the homes of the rich and famous in northern Palm Beach County. Got back and had dinner. Then I suggested we take my cousin outside to show her the rum bar, as it is very cool, with tiki huts, fires, just a very beachy scene with sand. They have pig roasts on Sunday, kind of a place. I just wanted to show it to her, and leave.
Well, lo and behold I hear my SIL ask my brother if it was his high school reunion. There was a sign up with his (and my) high school name on it, with the graduations year and REUNION on it. He said, "I'm not 58", and right then I see the sign. Graduation class of 1974. Oh crap, it was my 40th class reunion!!!!! Talk about amazing that I would just walk into my reunion. Anyway, my brother and SIL just loved it, and they managed to drag a few people we knew over to say hi. They invited me to join then them next night, at a different location, but I couldn't as I was still busy. Not only was my sweet cousin here visiting, but I also had a funeral I would have gone to as a second choice as well.
A work friend of mine who I have known about 15 years, lost her son suddenly. More tragedy.
So my two weeks of vacation were filled with a lot of fun, and LOVE...too much tragedy, and some strange and interesting happenings.
As a side note, Sioux Falls was amazing, and so gorgeous! Clean. The people were so friendly. They had a HUGE scrapbook store called R Scrapbook Store, complete with a coffee bar and huge classroom! When I tell you they had product, they HAD PRODUCT! Just fantastic! The only bad thing is that they do not sell off of their website. If you are ever in Sioux Falls, check them out, for sure!
Oh, and our Residence Inn there was super!!!!!
It is so nice to go away, but always nice to get back home again too! I'm doing laundry, cleaning, dead heading plants outside. The California Giant zinnias are about to bloom any day now...and I have quite a few parsley seedlings emerging for the Black Swallowtails. My brand new citronella plant I had bought right before we left was dying. I trimmed it up and brought it inside a while to rest. I think the heat and humidity was killing it. I had moved it out in shade, but to under hibiscus where it would get rain water while we were gone. Either too much water, or too much heat. It looks like it might be perking back up. Having it by the front porch has really worked to keep the mosquitoes away!!!! YES!!! I outsmarted you, little buggers!!!