23 October 2010

Vacation Blessings: Day 9

The Trip

In the morning, we went to the Alexandria Farmer's Market, whose Web site definitively claims that it "is thought to be one of the nation's oldest continually operating farmer's markets." It is unclear who is doing the thinking in this curiously passive statement, but I'm sure the sentiment still holds true.

After examining the various wares at the farmer's market, we window-shopped our way through Old Town and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. For lunch, we stopped at a Five Guys Burger, which was excessive and quite tasty, although the deliciousness was tainted with the knowledge that every bite of that greasy, greasy food was lowering my life expectancy by at least a few hours.

After lunch, we were off to Mount Vernon to see George Washington's ridiculously overpriced tourist trap home. It was lovely, but I'm not at all sure it was worth the $15 admission fee. Plus, I was excited about making a corn-husk doll, but the ladies at the corn-husk doll booth made it seem like it was just for little girls and not balding, overweight nearly-30-year-olds. So that was disappointing.

My favorite part of Mount Vernon was sitting on Washington's back porch and watching the Potomac roll by. The day was lovely -- just warm enough, with a gentle breeze to carry the chatter of passersby someplace far away. There was a sort of hushed stillness over the river as the sun crept across that clear blue October sky. I wonder if George and Martha sat out here a lot in the evenings. I know I would if it were my place.

The Blessings

Money. We don't have a lot, but we did budget some for this trip, and it's been nice not to worry about pinching pennies while we're on the road. The trip has also made me realize that money is great, but it's only useful if you spend it. The way I see it, there is very little value in letting your money sit around and make more money, unless you're able to enjoy some of it along the way.

Rivers. They're amazing things, aren't they? There is so much wonderful information about rivers that I don't even know where to begin being thankful for them. They prevent stagnation, enable transport, supply water to thirsty people, and look very pretty as the sun sets over them. They invoke images of adventure and excitement and wanderlust and peaceful resignation toward life's rolling waves washing over you.

Babysitters. One very nice thing about visiting far-away friends when you have a new baby: they are happy to take care of the little guy for you while you get some quality wifey time. This whole trip has been much more enjoyable because of their willingness to help us with our little one! It's another reason to be extremely thankful that these people are our friends.

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