Monday, March 30, 2009

Back into it

My brain is unhappy. I really should have reconfigured my spring break to allow a little down time. Instead of refreshed, I feel more stressed than I did before.

I have this massive experiment coming up. It's presence wraps itself around my heart and snakes through every part of my being. My stomach feels the affects of this quite acutely. Knots of anxiety and dread. I was so excited before. Now I know what I am getting myself into. It will be hard and I am dismally unprepared. Will I be prepared in two weeks? Not nearly as much as I should be. If this were my only class, sure. More than enough time. But I also have a paper and a test this Friday, a presentation next Monday, I will spend all day out on the Brundage property tomorrow, and work.

Sorry for the stressed rant. For those of you I have no told, here is a brief summary of Spring Break for me and Kirsti. I am sure she will have a similar post. Probably with more detail.

MONDAY: Drove and drove and drove. I think about 4 hours. Lamberts in Sikeston. The food was massive and delicious. I was too scared to ask for a roll if the servers were more than 4 feet from me. Apparently the food didn't sit well with me...the drive to Memphis was uncomfortable. We got there and were too tired to do anything fun. We stayed in the hotel (which was VERY nice by the way). I slept well.

TUESDAY: Continental breakfast=yum. The day was blustery, but lovely. We went to the Memphis zoo and saw all kinds of cool things. It was much like the St. Louis zoo with a few differences. It was a lot of fun. We then had frustrations parking so that we could go to Beal street. I lost $5 because the automated parking lot thingy that took the money was not clear on it's not giving change. At least is wasn't until I looked properly. I was angry and felt very foolish. Once we got to the Hard Rock cafe, I got over it. Our server was adorable, we had delicious food and a fantastic desert. The music and atmosphere was also great as is typical of any Hard Rock cafe. we drove to the Simons which took us about two hours. Got confused because they live in this huge house. It looked like a bed and breakfast. We had no idea that they ran such a large horse ranch. We got to meet the horses including a week old foal. Dinner occured late after me and Kirsten had napped. We watched some TV with them and then hit the hay.

WEDNESDAY: Oh, what a day. We left the Simons not too early. 9:30ish? I actually don't remember. We drove to Nashville which took us about two ours. That got us there too early for out hotel check in. It was raining. That eliminated and and all tours that involved the out of doors. Rain+Kirsti=not happy and Rain+Sarah=a little less than content. So we went to the Parthenon. Yes. We drove through Tennessee and ended up in Greece. Actually it was the worlds "only" to scale replica of the Parthenon. It had a giant Athena in it and some other Grecian replicas. It was neat, brief, and dry. We left just as a very large elementary school group was coming in. Then we went to the Opry Mills mall. It was a mall. Nothing much else to say about it. It killed some time. Hotel. Check in. Not as nice as the La Quinta in Memphis. oh well. TV (should have napped). Dinner at Sole Mio. A relatively newly established Itallian reataurant. It was nice (meals were $10-20 with most in the $13-18 range). The atmosphere was elegant but not so that you felt underdressed. Out waiter was great. They grated fresh cheese on your food. Lemon cream sauce with capers...mmm. Desert was McFluries at from McDonalds. I napped and missed lost. Was tired and grumpy when I had to get up so we could go to the Rocco DeLuca concert. Long story short we didn't go. If you really want to know the details of THAT fiasco, call me. Sleep was bitter sweet.

THURSDAY: Continental breakfast again. Yum. Rain on the way, to follow us to the Smoky mountains. We left and drove. Through Pigeon Forge which was an abomination. Seizure educing signs. Gawdy attractions. Being that close to Dollywood I am not that surprised. Then through Gatlinburg. Less Gawdy, but still touristy. After some confusion and frustration we found a campsite. Nice little spot right next to a rushing rippling river (large creek?). Fire, food, too late for horseback riding. The rain waited and we were dry. Kirsti had to have a sandwich because her fish was soggy. Laughs and fun in the tent before sleep. A good end to an okay day. OH! We started on a trail as it was getting dark and saw a coyote! At Kirsti's request, we turned around. Sleep was okay. Lulled by the river.

FRIDAY: Rain. But not until after we trekked up one of the mountains to Laural falls. A pretty little waterfall lookout. Let me tell you. I thought I would never love tree covered mountains more that the snow capped Rockies, but I have been converted. I would much rather live near the Great Smoky Mountains. Beautiful. Despite the beauty we argued much of the journey. You don't need to know what about. We're sisters 4 years apart. We are aloud to argue. We stopped at the visitor center to get souvenirs. We then went to the Sugarland stables to do our horseback riding. Just as we pulled in, it starts to rain. The whole day it is drizzly. Our stuff at the camp site got damp, despite our waterproofing efforts. We napped in the dampness because there was nothing better to do. Woke up, went to the stables again but decided it was still too wet. Sat in the car and thought about what we should do. We decided to spend the money on Gatlinburg instead. Lots of fun little shops. Lots of things to do. We at at a Pizza hut because it was cheap. Yum. We got Ben and Jerrys. Double yum. WE went to a couple candy places and bought yummy sweets...or rather, thats what I did with Kirsti consenting to go along. It was pretty fun, even if it wasn't horseback riding. The rain subsided then. We got a fire going for the rest of the night. I got angry at a tarp and some rope. Our sleep wasn't very comfortable. It was wet.

SATURDAY: The morning produced a difficult fire and burnt on the outside blueberry muffins...more like blueberry muffin flavored, made in tinfoil, blobs. We were going to try the stables again before leaving, but they weren't open yet. So we drove. And drove. And drove. In the rain at first. Then the patchy sun. Then the RAIN, RAIN, RAIN! Ug! No shower since Thursday morning + RAIN + little headache + hungry = one grumpy Sarah. No fun. We stopped at Em and Joes for some chicken dinner and drop cake. Some fun time with Noah and looking at Em's amazing pictures. Then to home. Weary and worn.

The trip, all in all, had its ups, and its very low downs. I REALLY should have allowed for more down time at home. Shaved off a few days. Skipped Memphis or something. You know what they say about hind sight. I wish I could say that I'm glad to be home. I was last night. But classes make me wish I were still in the Smokies.

Happy Monday everyone.


Beckie said...

Aw, Sarah, rainy days and mondays always get me down...i feel your pain. And camping doesn't help.

But all in all, sounds like a pretty successful trip, filled with memories, breathtaking moments, feelings of pride when you can handle the tough stuff, all of it. And Max didn't get eaten by a bear, which was my greatest fear.

Sorry about the school stress...just ride the stress out and know that in a little over a month, it will all be over.

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

Oh Sarah, I feel your pain. While I don't wish I was back in Austria, I do wish I had more time at home before everything started back up again this week. Take a big breath and hang on - like Beckie says, it will be over before you know it...

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