You can only go to places that you will let yourself go.
~ Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
If we were having coffee, I would be thrilled to see you again. Welcome back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch! Come on in out the heat and humidity and clouds of biting insects. It’s dreadful out there today, isn’t it? Let’s go to the kitchen where we can enjoy the air conditioning and the ceiling fan, and have easy access to our drinks and snacks. We have the usual assortment of teas (caff and decaff), coffee (of course, and also available in caff and decaff), sparkling water, lime-infused water, and there are some adult beverages (wine and beer) if you’d rather go that route. I am still abstaining from alcohol as part of my year of healthy living, but don’t mind a bit if you want to indulge and imbibe.
As for snacks, we have veggies, pita, and hummus, and some of the artisan cheese we brought back from Vermont. Yes, it’s still good. It was sealed in wax. It’s an aged and very sharp cheddar that will go well with the honey crisp apples a friend gave us last weekend. The apples make it healthier, right?
How are you? What have you been up to lately? Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights? Have you visited with friends and/or family? Have you gone on any good walks or hikes? Are you planning to participate in Walktober? (If you’re new here and not sure what Walktober is, here’s a link to an old post that explains it.) Have you read any good books or seen any good films? Gone to any plays or concerts?
I am currently reading The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. I can’t really tell you much about it since I’m only a few pages into it. I just finished The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) which was the last book in The Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. I loved the series and took my time finishing the last book because I didn’t want it to end.
As for films, M and I have watched quite a few since our last coffee chat (which was on July 22! I didn’t realize it had been that long.). Some were not very good or at least not very memorable since I can’t recall the titles. Others, such as Lion and Hail, Caesar! were very good or at least very entertaining. Hail, Caesar! is a Cohen Brothers film, and was as quirky as expected. The quirkiness is why I like their films. Lion was touching and heartwarming and all kinds of good things balanced with sadness and some not-so-good things.
If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that I took a day trip to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel yesterday. It’s about a 2-hour ride south of here, in Virginia. It crosses the Chesapeake Bay, the tunnels preserving the shipping channels that cross from the bay through Thimble Shoals out to the Atlantic Ocean (or the other way around, of course), and connects Delmarva (Delaware + the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia) to Virginia Beach, shaving off about 95 miles of road trip travel if you’re going from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Wilmington, Delaware (or the other way around, of course).
The Bridge-Tunnel is 20 miles long and is not, in my opinion, nearly as scary as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which is north of here and connects the western shore of Maryland (Annapolis) with the Eastern Shore (Kent Island) of Maryland. The northbound section of the Bridge-Tunnel opened in 1964. They’ve added to it since that time.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, you might be wondering why in the world I would wanted to travel for two hours (four hours round trip) to the Bridge-Tunnel. Well, there is a restaurant, gift shop, and a fishing pier about 3-1/2 miles from Virginia Beach on one of the four man-made islands (Sea Gull Island). Both will be closing permanently on September 30th “to make way for the construction of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel” (quote from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel website). Currently, the tunnel portions of the Bridge-Tunnel are two lanes with traffic traveling in both directions (one lane for each direction, in other words). The parallel tunnel will increase one tunnel (the Thimble Shoal Tunnel) to four lanes to accommodate increased traffic. Unfortunately, this means there will be no place to stop on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on the south end in order to enjoy the view, eat a good meal, fish, use the restroom, and/or buy touristy-type souvenirs. I’m not sure if they will be keeping the scenic overlook on the north end or not. I hope so. It seems a big shame to waste all that gorgeous scenery just for drive-bys on the bridges.
M and I first traveled on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on August 28, 1976. I remember it well because it was the day after we were married and we were headed from New Jersey (where I was born and raised, and where our wedding took place) to South Carolina where we were going to live. We took the scenic coastal route because we were stopping in Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for our brief but lovely honeymoon.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had a tasty lunch at The Chesapeake Grill yesterday. We picked up a few small items from the gift shop as tokens of remembrance, and then walked out onto the fishing pier where we watched some of the ships and boats come and go. It was a muggy day, and I think the haziness of the humidity shows in some of the photographs I took.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that we are keeping a weather-eye on Hurricane Jose. I like to read the Forecast Discussions on NOAA’s National Hurricane Center website. They’re interesting, and sometimes the forecaster’s personality comes through a little bit (as is usually the case with writing and writing styles). One I read recently started a paragraph with “Best I can tell…” I appreciate the honesty. Weather prognostication may be informed by science but as we all know, it’s not an exact science. Sometimes the forecasters get it right and sometimes they get it wrong.
As of this writing, the tropics are still kicking up storms. Tropical Storm Lee and Tropical Depression Fifteen are currently whirling around in the Atlantic. In case you’re wondering what the count is for the Atlantic season, there have been 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. That’s a little more than average and we still have a month and a half to go before hurricane season is over.
If we were having coffee, it would be time for me to turn this over to you. I’ve rambled on long enough for one coffee chat (and barely touched on all the news, but that’s okay). Thank you so much for stopping by for another coffee chat. You’re welcome to stay awhile. The pool is still open if you’d like to cool off and go for a swim, but I should warn you that our nights have been cooler so the water is not summer-warm anymore. It will take a moment or two to get used to it. As for sunset, it might be quite interesting this evening. There are all kinds of clouds floating around in the sky. Let’s go to the Point. Today’s sunset is scheduled for 7:11 PM. Be sure to spray thoroughly with an insect-repellent. Otherwise, you’ll get eaten alive out there.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to #WeekendCoffeeShare which is now once again residing at its original home with Diana at Part-Time Monster. Thank you to Nerd In The Brain for taking on the job of hosting it while Diana took a break. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.