We survived our trip to Deep Creek Lake! (Before you ask: apparently Deep Creek is an actual creek that feeds into the lake, which is man-made by way of a huge dam. And now you know.)
Sam was awesome, entirely because of my chanting. On the way east, he fell asleep on descent into Phoenix, and again on descent into Pittsburgh. I AM SERIOUS. He slept a bit more than that, but it was falling asleep for landing that blew me away. My step-mother Deb picked us up and we drove to Youngstown to spend the night with Deb, my Papa, and one million cats. Sam was, as mentioned, in heaven. I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning talking to my father.
Sunday morning we had breakfast, re-packed the car, attempted to take a picture (my dad is an amazing photographer), and started driving to Maryland. Sam slept almost the entire way there, which put him (basically) on east coast time.
(A very, very, very long travelogue, complete with a ton of photos, is behind the cut.)
I shan’t even try to keep things in Deep Creek in any sort of chronological order because, well, let me put it this way: there was no internet. So I have no fucking idea what happened when, and that is just fine. It was like a real vacation! Time moved differently! Et cetera.
We spent a lot of time on the boat. It was a rented “party boat” but let me tell you, this thing was not equipped for any party I’d want to go to. I truly expected it to fall apart, most likely while I was on it and maybe when I was on board and alone with both boys, something which never happened but you know I would be hard-pressed to save myself, let alone myself and Sammy, let alone myself and Sammy and Jackson. My mother-in-law told us that the jerks at the rental place were adamant that the dog was not to be on the boat and she’d responded, “Of course; we wouldn’t want it to get dirty.” This shows a sense of sarcasm previously unheard of, and of course the dog went on the boat with impunity.
We fished. Despite having the entire lake (or at least most of it) at our disposal, we mostly fished off the dock. There were large- and small-mouthed bass in abundance, and they were biting. Will caught a ton; I caught one (a keeper, though we let every one go); and Sam caught one–he picked up a rod Will had propped, and at that instant it got a bite. I ran for the video camera to record Sam’s first catch, but the damn thing malfunctioned (user error, I’m sure, but I’d rather be mad at the camera). (By the way, I have a video camera! My mom got me a Flip Video for my birthday and it arrived just in time for vacation. Please expect to be inundated in the near future with moving pictures of my kid being cute.)
We ate. I had to go out of my way to make sure there were vegetables, since my in-laws all seem to either be insanely unhealthy or believe in “vacation eating,” which is something that’s never really worked for me. Sure, I like a treat now and then. Sure, vacation is a good time for it. For instance, Will had an enormous steak, fried chicken, several kinds of sausages, bacon, and some wicked-looking barbecue all in the same week (not the same meal, thank goodness). But holy smokes, the cheese consumption. I guess most people really eat like that all the time, but I could feel my body’s vitamin stores depleting. God, I am such a fucking hippie.
(Starting a new paragraph because I can’t figure out where to pick up my original thought.) There was a little roadside farm stand that we stopped at where we bought corn, cucumbers, and green tomatoes. I fried the tomatoes and OMG SO GOOD YUM. On the way out of town we bought more to cook at my father’s house on the way back. Just slice, coat in cornmeal, salt, and pepper, and fry in Crisco. (I know, so healthful.) I also made a cucumber salad with lemon juice instead of my usual rice vinegar, which was insanely tasty, and a veggie pasta which was not as veggie-licious as I intended due to lack of supplies but I made up for it with garlic.
Sam loved the water. LOVED IT. In fact, several times a day we had to chase him down the quarter mile path from the house to the dock because he didn’t see any reason to wait for one of us to go with him. That wasn’t stressful AT ALL, as you can imagine.
Did I mention we fished? Will got up with Sam every morning and took him down to the dock. One morning they went out with Grandad to buy more bait. Will remembers his first time fishing with his Dad and his Grandad, and I am so happy that Sam will have that too (though of course, whether he remembers this remains to be seen).
You might have noticed by now that there are no frakking pictures of me. I tried, but it is hard to be the documentarian and show up in the photos. I stole some pictures off my MIL’s camera and there may be a few of me among them but, well, probably not.
We happened to be in Deep Creek the week of the county fair, which is lucky because I LOVE COUNTY FAIRS. (Would someone remind me to go to the L.A. one this year? We’ve somehow never been.)
There were cows. Yes, the middle one is taking a piss. It was incredible. Also, the last one is only TWO DAYS OLD. Is it not the sweetest thing you have ever seen? I thought so.
The girl with the lamb was so cool. I wish I’d asked her name, and whether she was with 4H or FFA. I did ask permission to take her picture, and she straightened up and pulled her lamb’s head up for show. So cool.
Hey, check it out! There are two whole pictures of me! And one I took of some very cute pigs!
The fair ended disastrously for us, mostly because Sam hadn’t taken a nap. He made it through a couple of rides and half a cup of lemonade before he totally flipped out. We’d come in our own car so we just left. We stopped on the way out and bought the best french fries EVER, which improved Sam’s mood ten-fold. Not to mention ours.
I think Long Horns are almost as beautiful as Bison.
Garrett County is gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. Being there made me want to become a farmer and raise cattle and go fishing all the time.
There were wild blueberries growing near the lake. As you might imagine, this was a tremendous hit with Samwise. I call this trio “Blueberries for Sam,” and I am happy to report that no bear cubs showed up.
I’m starting to think that three dozen photos and eight billion words might be a bit much to read about someone else’s vacation. I’m sure I will think of more to tell but it will just have to wait. The trip home was kind of awful anyway, so I am going to end this now with a portrait taken by my father minutes before he drove us to the airport on Saturday. It is obviously far from perfect but I love it.