Tag Archives: vacation

Rolling Double’s

Every weekend I try to figure out what I’m going to do with my free time. Normally I end up in a comfortable chair, sipping a glass of tea and reading a book. So exciting I know. Every once in a great while, I may go out. This is rare, as I tend to prefer to stay at home. I may be a tad antisocial, but who isn’t?

A few weekends ago, while I was visiting family in Missouri, an older cousin called and asked if I would be interested in participating in a role-playing game. Now, I use to love to role-play using created characters in the DC Universe, but I hadn’t done it in a while and was feeling a little apprehensive. After some extra prodding I relented and he sent me a list of HeroClix that he had. He planned on DMing the game and I could choose whatever character from the list I wanted.

The night of the game, I packed up a bag of fresh-baked goodies and we headed for my aunts. The table was filled with character sheets, dice and HeroClix just waiting to be played with. We sat around and talked about our chosen characters for a while, ate and then got down to business.

She uses throwing “diamonds” as her main weapon.

Let me tell you, it was a blast. I had forgotten how much fun it is to role-play! Especially when you get to be an awesome superhero! Sadly we played with Marvel instead of DC HeroClix, but I held my Marvel hating tongue.

How many can you name??

I chose Diamondback as my totally amazing character. I knew relatively nothing about the character going in, so I read her bio on Comicvine. She dated Captain America for a while, so I was happy picturing Chris Evans on my arm for an evening.

She wasn’t actually KO’d

The night went well, we played for several hours and I was sad when it was over. We tried to make plans to play again while I was still in Missouri, but his wife came back from Scotland (and she’s no fun) so it wasn’t possible.

I would highly suggest trying out role-playing if you never have. I have recently been playing Magic the Gathering again and I forgot how much fun table top gaming can be!

You really don’t want to mess with these two!

Question(s): Do you role-play? How do you get others involved?

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Found: The Perfect Sunday

Last weekend, I found the elusive “Perfect Sunday.” It occurred when I was visiting the Lake of the Ozarks with family. Most of my Sunday’s back home in California consist of fitting all the errands I couldn’t find time for in the week, into a single day. They are normally not relaxing and they definitely do not prepare me for the work-week ahead of me. This particular Sunday, however, was quite different.

I woke up around 8:30 a.m., and was actually able to stay in bed until 9:30 a.m. The bed was warm and the breeze from the open window kept the room at a perfect temperature. Around 9:45 a.m., I made my way downstairs and there was tea brewing, lox, tartines and fruit. All I had to do was fill my plate. I made tartines w/ schmear (lox/capers/chive cream cheese), had a cup of proper tea and mounded a bowl with delicious fruit. After grabbing my Nook and setting up camp by the fire pit, I spent at least an hour reading by the fire. I didn’t even notice my family was gone until about 20 minutes in and even so, I just continued to relish my time.

After breakfast, I went for a quick run (only 2 miles) since I didn’t really know my way around and then soaked in the massive tub for a bit. By the time I had finished my bath, my family had returned from their errands and had set about cleaning up breakfast. I dressed in something warm (it was really chilly) and joined them downstairs. Instead of television or video games, my mother broke out the board games. We played a game I had never heard of called “Farkle.” Needless to say, I won. That is, until my father had a ridiculous “hand” and rolled four consecutive times for a grand total of 2,600 points. He edged me out by 200 points and danced around the table for a good 5 minutes. When we tired of Farkle, I suggested Catch Phrase and the game lasted at least an hours. My mother and I versus my brother and my dad. It took my mother a bit to get in a groove, but once she did we were unstoppable. The two of us easily won and my mother said that meant we got to pick whatever movies we wanted.

While I went through our DVD’s, my mother made hot chocolate and Nutella crackers. I ended up choosing, The Apartment and my mother picked Miracle. Even though I’m not a fan of sports films, it was nice to spend time with my family. We casually talked with each other throughout the movie and hearing my family talk about my uncle really helped. For the first time I felt like I was really able to grieve and my family was there to comfort me.

When the movies ended, it was late into the afternoon and we needed to head home. Even though I didn’t have to work the next day, my family did. We packed everything into the car (including one very rambunctious miniature pinscher). On the drive home I listened to music and read. My brother fell asleep with the dog on his lap and my mother graded papers. The car ride was silent, except when we stopped for ice cream at this tiny stand by the road. They had this delicious salted butterscotch sundae and I was in heaven all the way home.

Pulling into the driveway of my parents house, I felt relaxed and oddly contented. Though I had dreaded spending a weekend stuck at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family, it turned out it was exactly what I needed. The entire weekend went famously and I have to admit that I was a little sad to leave.

I know that we will be leaving for New Jersey soon and the weight of the situation will hit me when I actually see my uncles family. My hope for them is that they can still have what I had this weekend, even without my uncle. What I don’t want to happen is that their family disintegrates because of the stress that comes with his passing. I hope that they can find comfort in each other and understand that the bonds they share with each other are unlike anything else.

Lake View

This isn’t going to turn into a photography blog. I’m not a great photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I took a few shots at the Lake of the Ozarks the weekend I visited with family. I will post them over the next few days and then I will get back to my regularly scheduled posting.

This is the view from the side deck of the house. The clouds were really amazing!

Lake Tahoe Worked Miracles

The weekend I spent at my parents gorgeous home at Lake Tahoe was sorely needed. Not only did it offer up a stunningly gorgeous view, but it allowed me time to relax. I tried to keep my phone buried away in my room, but I ended up packing it around with me more than I wanted. I extended my stay by an entire day when I found out that I did not have to work on Monday. A few of us stayed until later in the day and drove back in the afternoon.

By far my favourite part of the entire trip was curling up in the Adirondack chaise lounge by the water and reading my Nook. I was able to finish an entire book and started a second one while I was there. It was absolutely divine. I am now in the process of finishing The Magician King and will start the Gormenghast series soon. Peake’s series is an undertaking and I hope that I can finish it on time.

Another wonderful aspect of the mini-vacation was the food. Practically every meal we ate was prepared on-site. We spent a lot of time preparing food and each time was an exceptionally positive social experience. Each one of us contributed to every meal. One of the tag-a-longs was a bartender my cousin knows from LA and he created some fabulous cocktails to pair with meals (and to drink whenever!). Thankfully the kitchen was enormous, so we were all able to move around fairly comfortably and it was fun to watch the dancing going on in front of the stove. My favourite meal was a “Red Snapper Crudo w/ Watercress Pesto.” One of the couples had found the recipe in Food & Wine Magazine and thought we should try it. I dare say that I was not disappointed and I will definitely prepare it in the future.

I think that the weekend was something my mind and body were craving. The moment I relaxed, and I mean truly relaxed, I felt a huge weight removed. It is certainly a cliché to say, but I felt so much better being surrounded by calm. Coming back to Los Angeles was a bit of a shock to my psyche, but it was wonderful to feel focused again. After Monday the week is scheduled better and I will be able to cut back on my hours, starting on Thursday. Since I have been back, I have found myself daydreaming about relaxing and reading. I will hopefully be packing up again and heading to Tahoe rather soon. Perhaps the next time I visit, I will accidentally forgot to come back home!