It’s ironic that when we are having the most fun, or the most interesting times there is less time to share it with friends via our blogs. So it was with DC and Fredericksburg and North Carolina. That part of my trip which was vacation was marvellous and packed full, but the memories are not so sharp as they would have been at the time:
I never expected to fall in love with Washington. It was simply on a list of places I wanted to visit, but I didn’t imagine that, standing in front of the Whitehouse I would feel such an incredible pull of history. I found it completely natural to visualize how it was in the past, the mud when the roads were unmade, the farm animals which roamed free. The Lincoln Memorial, yes, I was ready for that feeling of awe, not at the inspiring sculpture and architecture themselves, but in what they so appropriately represented. Yes the designers perfectly capture the grandeur and depth of this man. Other mental snapshots – gliding into town and Brittany saying “There, on the left, that’s the Pentagon”. Somehow I’d not expected to come on it so naturally. I’d imagined it to be farther out of town, more remote. Images of 9/11 inevitably came to mind. The energy exuded by the place, people everywhere running, walking, biking. People in the Zoo – colorful, elegant, happy. The fact that the Zoo is free! The complete peace in watching a deer nibbling away as dusk began to fall. How well laid out and elegant a city it is.
Next to Fredericksburg. Ghosts on the sunken road. Oh, I didn’t see any, but they were there alright. Row upon row upon row of Union dead (a quick visit, next time the Confederate graves), the wonderment of what brother can do to brother in the name of their cherished beliefs. I have always known I would have been for the Union, simply because of slavery, but have had more than a bit of sympathy for the South. Afterall, the US began as a fight for freedom from taxation! The next morning, a few days before Memorial Day every grave had grown a Stars and Stripes. Old Fredericksburg, well kept, pretty, nursing its scars and its pride. Charming people happy to share information. Carl’s Ice Cream…..don’t leave without trying it!
The rest – sweet rain (you can only imagine that adjective if you live in a desert climate!), comfy driving down a green, lush I 95, great burgers at Hardees, delicious salmon and margaritas at Outback, feeling at home, and have a nice day…….
If my first glimpse of Ireland had been shrouded in mist and from a disgruntled and uncomfortable point of view, my second, and longer was to be cherished. Arriving on a distinctly busier day than previously, Guy and I fought our way through departing vacationers to meet Liz, who whisked us away to a peaceful and charming and lovely Howth Harbour. Our all too brief time filled our senses and our hearts, and left both of us hankering to return before too long. The gentle scenery, the fresh scampi, the Guinness, the kindness of friends and of strangers, the local bakery, the balmy weather and the blue ocean, that special imprint, that Irishness, that, despite being my first visit, I knew to be unique.
And this island, my home. How has it been since my return? The Summer is hotter than I ever remember. As I write, on the neighbouring island of La Palma there are raging, uncontrolable wildfires. We cross our fingers that here on Tenerife they continue to be able to control them. I have spent a glorious day on a beach you have to walk 20 minutes to reach, over what is essentially, desert….only to find the batteries in my camera dead! Que pena! I have spent a fascinating night in a village square, watching dancers and musicians from South America and Africa performing traditional songs and dances, under a warm and starry sky. I have cheered on Austin in the Él Médano Triathalon, which happened in fierce gales and burning sun. I have wandered cool, early mornings on La Tejita beach, well worth what is now a 20 minute drive, and splashed and paddled in the warm surf as it curled up the beach. My pictures are on not on this computer, so next time….two months on?? It seems that I lost some Summers along the way in recent years. No regrets whatsoever, but this one I am embracing.