Mindy came home from the hospital today. I talked to her this afternoon, and she’s doing okay. Mom is taking care of her. 🙂
John and I went to Annapolis today to hang out with Jess and Chuck. We had a little bit of a hard time getting started this morning, though. Last night we went to Joe and Megan’s house for a few hours after work. We weren’t able to leave work early at all, so we rushed home to let the dogs out and try to run them around for a few minutes before abandoning them again. (We made sure we put everything edible or valuable as far out of their reach as possible, since it’s days like this when they get destructive.) We made it to Joe’s house around 7:30 or so. It was a little bit crazy there, but good crazy. After the boys went to bed, we sat around in their living room with a fire and talked until about midnight. I pulled John away with the reminder that we were getting up early the next day to go to Annapolis. He and Joe have plans to have lunch soon (and hopefully Megan (and the boys) and I get to come along…). Anyway, we got home and got to bed around 1am. Got up at seven. No, the alarm went off the first time at seven. For a second I thought the clock was wrong – I was WAY too tired for seven am and it was so dark outside! But we snoozed for about half an hour and then got up. Snoozing helped. And I was wide awake and ready to go by the time we hit the road. Starbucks helped. Their croissants are really good. 🙂
Jess told me where we should meet them when we got the Academy this morning, and she warned me that even with directions, it might be hard, since there ARE NO STREET SIGNS. I figured that the only street signs that would be missing would be right at the very end, and I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I was half-right. We had street signs until the last two turns, and yes, the two that were missing were right at the end, right at the Academy. But the Academy is a BIG place. So we turned too soon, found ourselves across some body of water (not the Severn itself, but something attached to it), turned around at St. John’s College. Got back on the road we were on, went a little further, didn’t turn on what would have been the right road (because it had no sign) and ended up across the Severn. I was pretty sure that wasn’t right, so we turned around again. This time I took that turn onto the right road, but went right by the hall we were supposed to park behind. I got pointed in the right direction by the gate guard. And Jess and Chuck showed up just as we were parking our car. So our getting lost helped with the timing, but still. Street signs are important!
We got an information-filled (and trivia-filled) tour of the Academy from Chuck. It’s a very impressive-looking place. I kinda wish we’d been able to see it filled with middies, but that’s my own fault for waiting until the holiday break to get out there. We weren’t able to see the chapel (there was a wedding going on), but we wandered through parts of Dahlgren Hall and Bancroft Hall (which is HUGE!), and much of the grounds. Some of the grounds. Saw the mast from the USS Maine. There’s all kinds of cool stuff just laying around. John took some pictures, but I haven’t looked at them yet, so I don’t know what he got. After our tour, we headed into downtown Annapolis for a little bit of wandering and some lunch. I love that kind of historic downtown shopping district. Fun to just window shop and people-watch.
After lunch, Jess and Chuck took us to the bookstore with the dragon in the children’s section. I really like that kind of bookstore. It’s basically in an old house, sort of shotgun style, with a step up to each room as you go further towards the back. Not very big, but cozy and crammed full of books. That’s basically what I want, although I think I want it on a slightly larger scale.
Oh! On our way to lunch, we were walking by this hotel and Chuck muttered something about wanting us to go in and see their heating system. We all looked at him like he was crazy. We should know by now that he is, but he certainly steers us in the direction of some really interesting stuff. This hotel apparently used to be heated by hypocaust (an underground heating system used by the Romans), but no one at the hotel knew it until they were doing some renovations. So there’s a room off the lobby with a glass floor so visitors can look under their feet and see part of the ducts used to move the heated air around. It was really cool. But walking on the glass floor unnerved me and Jess a bit.
Anyway, we had a wonderful time with Jess and Chuck (as usual – thanks, guys!) and can’t wait to see them again.
We were home before 3:30 this afternoon, and we’ve done very little since. Actually, that’s not true. We put up the tree and decorated it, and we’ve talked to almost every member of John’s family and helped them all with gift ideas. 🙂 So now I’m waiting for the pizza we ordered to arrive, and then we’ll watch a movie (maybe Dan in Real Life, maybe Brokeback Mountain – I know, I know. Very different movies.). Tomorrow, we have to finish our Christmas shopping. At least we know what we’re looking for. Mostly.