Guess what? This one time Ryan and I went out to dinner with a couple and afterward they invited us to their house. When we got to their house, we toured it (very nice) and ended up in their home office where we somehow ended up looking through two (TWO!) of their tropical, exotic vacation photos.
At first, I didn't realize what was happening because I was genuinely interested, but a half-hour in I felt pure fight-or-flight panic. I can only handle so many photos of palm trees and exotic flowers from places I've never been. Not to mention all the swimsuit shots. Want to make things instantly awkward? Whip out photos of you and your spouse without real clothes on and show them to friendly acquaintances. Um......how do you respond to that? "Wow!" "Neato." "Huh." "Are you on steroids?"
The situation had snuck up on us. I realized that we were really in for it, AND WE WERE. I think it took two hours, but luckily it only felt like thirteen.
Hey! All this talk of vacation photos reminds me--I recently took a vacation! And it was wonderful! And wouldn't you like to see some photos?
Here are my parents at Valley Forge. Aren't they magnificent?
Here is a door at Valley Forge, at the George Washington Memorial Chapel. I really like this door. (Oh my gosh, she's showing us photos of DOORS! We're in for trouble!)
And here are my parents inside of a door. See? We've come full circle.
This is a little hut at Valley Forge. I wanted to go inside and ask Hansel and Gretel to come out and play with me.
This is during our private tour of the nation's capitol building. That's my nephew Alex in the middle leading the tour.
The cherry blossoms were in full splendor. Here's my mom and the boys in what was supposed to be a "silly" photo. For some reason, Max is uncooperative in photos these days. He's posing as the Statue of Liberty, which is not silly at all.
I thought it would be a good opportunity for a family photo, but again, Max was non-compliant and refused to smile at the camera. I'm emitting verbal threats through that gritted, half-smile.
He still didn't want to cooperate, so I vetoed him from the photo.
Hey, do you recognize this? It's Julia Child's kitchen! (Which is so strange. I had no idea she lived in a Smithsonian museum.)
How about one more look at those cherry blossoms before we leave this part of the vacation?
Alright, you've reached intermission. How are you feeling? ("Wow." "Neato." "Huh." "Are you on steroids crack?")
Let's begin the second week of vacation, shall we? Travel with me to enchanting Hilton Head Island, off the coast of South Carolina. This is the view that was greeting us from our hotel room.
And this is what we woke to the next morning.
If Ryan's career as a professor ever fails, he should pursue being a travel agent. He hooks us up with the best accommodations. And if you're not already using Priceline to book your hotel rooms, you should take a moment and kick yourself in the shin and/or locate a blunt object to pound your head against.
I'm going to spare you any awkward photos of us on the beach at this point. You're welcome.
One day, we took a day trip into Savannah, Georgia. I have wanted to go there for quite some time. I have a fascination with the South, born of Mark Twain novels, Flannery O'Connor short stories, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. I've always thought of the South as that girl you spot on the first day of school who looks completely different from anybody else you've ever met and exudes a coolness and swagger that makes you secretly want to be BFFs with her, even though you're pretty sure she's a little nuts. Or maybe even a lot nuts. But, still.
Savannah is enchanting. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Book lovers, prepare yourself. We happened upon the most amazing used bookstore. Cover your keyboard, lest your drool causes it to short out.
We all walked away with a found treasure, although I managed to find one of the only new, full-priced books to purchase. Some would call that a rare talent. Ryan would call that one of the only things he truly doesn't like about me.
We spent another day back on the beach and then bid farewell to this lovely slice of heaven. Bye, heaven! Love ya!
We made our way up to sweet, sweet Charleston, South Carolina. Oh my, what a delightful city.
Here's Charleston's old super-creepy prison. Most people died 2-3 months into their sentence because the conditions inside were so poor. I told Max I was going to send him there if he didn't start smiling in photos.
We wanted to stay and eat more fried green tomatoes, Coca-Cola chicken, coconut cream pie, and banana pudding, but we had to say goodbye.
Congratulations! You've made it to the end of my vacation photos! Thanks for your attention. It really wasn't so painful, was it?
Is anybody there?