Monday, June 1, 2009
A different kind of Nat'l Park
Ahoy (hello in Slovakian)
I have completed my second full week here, and things are really beginning to get exciting. I was told to go home early on Friday (look, fired already!) so I went and opened up my bank account with Bank of America. They have their branches in France so I am all set for next year as well. I will be banking with the BNP Paribas. very foreign and exciting. Probably not, it is probably just a bank.
A group of the us went up to Gettysburg this Saturday. It was a fun experience. We rented two cars and drove teh 1.25 hrs there. We pulled up and there is this huge parking lot. One for buses, one for RV's, one for cars...unlike any Nat'l Park I'd seen. And I've seen a few. We of course take a picture with teh sign, even though the taker doesn't think we want the last letters each word. Then a few of us go into the museum and watch a film while two of my roommates and I explore the area. Once we re-unite, we have lunch on a picnic table in the parking lot. after that it is off to the auto tour! We drive all around Gettysburg and see some pretty amazing sites. We finish off with little Round Top and it is so striking. The landscape has not changed (relatively) and it is not hard to imagine men crouching behind rocks and running up from obstacle to obstacle, sweating in their wool suits, carrying rifles that weight 45 lbs. History surrounds it and the air is thick with solemnity of the hallowed ground. Loud noises seem out of place and you feel as if you listened closely, the echoing of shot and shouts of phantom soldiers would rings to your ears. But, the sun is shining and the air is full of the fresh scent of honeysuckles and although we recognize the sacrifice these people made, we choose to embrace our lives and enjoy. We run into a few folk sitting around a campfire in olde-style clothing and strike up a conversation. While talking to the "father" I see a younger boy chopping wood for the fire and I remember having to do that (eh Gercie?) But it is very interesting, these people choose to come out there every friday night until Sunday night for the summer and re-enact the period. They say they do it as an honor to the men and women who gave their lives, but also to ground them from all the daily grind. They get to enjoy beautiful landscape that is for sure.
On our drive there, I had seen signs for an orchard type thing and wanted to get some fresh fruit. So on our way back we stopped a this place. Oh my lorrrrrd, it was glorious. It was a man and his wife and they were both potters. They had four adorable boys and grew fruit and made jams and it wa absolutely heaven. It reminded me of childhood (-the pottery) and it was just gorgeous. The grass was green, the scent of fruit and fresh bread lingered in teh air. And they were so talented! They had etchings on their pottery that were phenomenal. They also had eggs from "Happy Chickens" and goat's milk. BUT, the best was the jams. OMG, the jams. They had over 20 kinds and they were delectible. This place was a smaller scale of Pond Hill Farms in Northern MI. I bought a strawberry rhubarb jam, remniscant of Mom(Gail) it made me think I was at Gilmore, without even closing my eyes. I also HAD to buy a pepper jelly! This time for the other Gail! It was only green peppers and kind of sweet, but still savory too. I knew it would be a great addition to my sandwiches. They also gave me an apple and a peach for free. Which made me think of old Mc's orhchard up teh road. It seriously was a trip. Then one of the boys recited the Gettysburg Adress for us! That whole place was truly magical in every humanly way possible. Simply beautiful.
We got back on the road and not far we saw a sign that said State park and Falls.....well I said, oh guys! let's go there! so we slowed down(quite fast...) and turned. We actually couldn't make the state park one so we had to drive on this road that we thought might connect; it didn't. But it was beautiful. Monika my roommmate said it reminded her SO MUCH of Slovakia, her home. It was simply green and greener. Rolling hills and a creek were on our sides. We htne finally got back to the falls, after a little adventure with some bad directions from teh state park. But we go to the trailhead and it was nearing dark. We saw some people and they said 20 minute for the hike. !!!, it was almost dark and that's what my companions were thinking, I could see it on their faces. I jumpe din and said, we'll jog and pleeeeeeeeease. They gave in. We jogged/walked to teh falls (which only took us 8 [!!!!] minutes btw) and it sure was worth it. We climbed up and around the falls as the sun was just below the horizon. The bats were starting to swoop around and it was truly a summer night.
I woke up around 10 and had a lazzzzzzy monring. Althought it was one fo the best in a while. I woke up and just started reading in bed. I haven't done that since high school. It was a treat. I then decided to get moving and cleaned a little etc. I went shopping at Target for groceries and they do not have service in there, (sorry jermy) ehich is unfortuante becasue talking while grocery shopping is a favorite (albeit weird) activity of mine. But then my roomates and I packed a picnic and had lunch ont eh lawna t the Mall. I was lying there, stomach full and sun beating down on my face, thinking to myself " What a wonderful way to spend an evening" I had the washington monument Literally looking down on me, it was sure a moment to remember. A first DC moment. But how many am I to have in the future? How many fantastic places will I be eating lunch at in teh next year? Let's hope many my friends. My life is truly starting, gaining momentum everyday and hurtling myself towards more and more exciting and tumultuous places and experiences. This truly is The Beginning.
Song: "I like Van Halen" by El Ten Eleven