this was a continuation of the last two entries, written last monday when we were camping at the westmoreland state park in VA:

Sunday, on to the Bull Run battlefield, where there were two different battles, one of them the very first battle of the war.  It was a beautiful place and hard to imagine the carnage.  Some reenactor guys were demonstrating shooting with their muskets.

it was such a beautiful day…

the guys were dressed in a variety civil war uniforms.  whose bright idea was it to have blue against grey?  it’s amazing that they weren’t constantly shooting their own guys, since the colors are so similar.

thad, kevin and mollie enjoyed walking around the grounds.  mollie laid down in the shadow of the cannon because it was kind of warm in the sun for a black dog.

here’s stonewall jackson, and i wish i’d taken a closer picture of him.  he looked like a disney cartoon character with ridiculously bulging biceps.

We drove out of the main battle area and found Bull Run creek.

thad took this picture of us and i looked at it and said I CAN’T BELIEVE MY STOMACH WAS SHOWING! and i was kind of freaking out about it, and he immediately said he could photoshop it so it didn’t look like it was exposed.  but i guess it doesn’t look so bad; it’s ghost-white, but it’s not like it’s bulging out over my pants or anything.  i do have to say that mollie isn’t framed so nicely here, but she does tend to move around a lot when you try to take her picture.

we took a walk down a circular path, and kevin had to stop and stick his hand in the water so he could say he was in Bull Run.  it’s a civil war thing.  mollie also splashed around, a dog thing.

After we’d gone about halfway along the path, we came across a guy and his daughter walking in the opposite direction, and he asked us about the path, and we told him it wasn’t very long, and not hard.  He said he’d left his mother a ways back, and could we tell her to come and join them?  I asked him what her name was, and he said “adrian,” and he hemmed and hawed and then finally remembered what kind of blouse she was wearing, not that there would be lots of older women standing around by themselves on the trail.

We started walking and his daughter yelled out “she’s got an ‘A’ necklace!”

Pretty soon we saw an plump, nicely-dressed anxious-looking woman standing on a little hill.  She was wearing a blouse and skirt and pearls. plus tennis shoes that looked brand-new.  She smiled apologetically at us and we asked if she was Adrian, and she said that she’d given up.  We assured her that the going would be easy, and she kept apologizing.  I didn’t point out to her that it didn’t matter to us if she sat there all day.  She clearly wasn’t a hiker.

Sunday night, Kevin and I left Mollie with thad and drove to my friends Rob and Kelly’s.  we had a fantastic Lebanese meal at a place called the Lebanese Taverna, and if you’re ever in the area I highly recommend it.

Their daughter Katie is 10 yeasr old already, really tall, really really bright, and I’m afraid she was probably bored out of her mind as we sat there talking and talking.  I’m not very good at trying to engage kids in conversation, probably because I don’t have any of my own.

I did think it was great that she’s going to be Lady Gaga for Halloween, and she described the costume in minute detail.  No wait, is that what she’s going to be during the day?  Because she’s going to be something during the day, and something else at night.  She’s clearly very enthusiastic about Halloween.  I should somehow try to get them to come to Spfld for our next Halloween party, not that Katie would have such a fantastic time because there wouldn’t be any other kids there.  Maybe we could rustle a few up somewhere.

Katie also told me what she’s planning to be NEXT Halloween.  Wow, that’s planning.  I wonder if she’ll change her mind before then.

Kelly and Rob are a lot of fun, and I wish we could have spent more time with them.  It sucks having friends far away if you don’t get to see them very much.  If only I was a flight attendant, I could go zinging all around the country all the time, unless I could only get a job on one of those horrible tiny little commuter planes and would be stuck flying between Springfield and Chicago and St. Louis all the time.

here we are at the fantastic lebanese restaurant, and i wish there was also a picture of rob.  next time.

When we got back to Thad’s house, he was kind of traumatized.  “Mollie was SO DEPRESSED,” he kept saying.  “I kept trying to pet her but she was afraid of me, and every time a car went by she lept up on the chair to look out the window.”  He then demonstrated how Mollie would cower and look depressed.  We should have warned him that she has lots of separation anxiety.

We left Thad’s house yesterday after going to the BEST GROCERY STORE EVER.  It’s called Wegman’s and I think it originated in Buffalo NY.  It’s huge and fancy and they have more of everything than I’ve ever seen, including a seafood bar where people would sit at the bar and order all kinds of seafood plus wine.  Thad says he’s seen people on dates there.  i took a few pictures with my cell phone of just a tiny amount of the fancy stuff they have there.

the olive bar just went on and on and on.

these two fancy things aren’t cakes, they’re cheese wheels.  the one on the lest is blue cheese with all kinds of nuts and fruit and deliciousness on top.  i guess you can read the signs well enough to see what they were.

more and more cheese stuff…

the only bad thing is that i wasn’t feeling particularly hungry when we went to the store, so all we bought were a few brie-stuffed dates and a whole lot of loose leaf organic lapsang souchong tea.  i mean, do any other grocery stores anywhere carry that much tea?  i sincerely doubt it.

on the other hand, it’s probably a very good thing that i wasn’t hungry for all the fancy food because we would have spent way too much money plus i don’t really need all that fancy cheese plus all the other tons of fancy goodness they had there.

ok, i have to stop here – the entry from sitting in the park goes on even more, but i took so many pictures when we were hiking around that i don’t have time to post them right now.  there are many more virginia photos, and i’m posting them just as fast as i can, but i have to take time to clean my house which was filled with camping stuff plus we got all the halloween tubs out of the basement yesterday, plus things are just general chaos around here.

more later, i promise..

ok then,