Ketchup: Back From Carolina

Well, the kid and I survived the trip to Carolina even though the heat wave and other events seemed to conspire against us. I had hoped to go on some nature hikes but with heat index's over 110 it was pretty much a stay indoors and spend time with the grand-parents. Thankfully we didn't kill each other though I believe we were coming close at the end :).

Good Things We Did
  1. Showed how to make a camp-fire from natural items. Granddad showed how to get cedar bark, twigs, how to make a fire circle, and what order to put materials on the embers. However, he had to cheat because his flint and steel were at the other grand-kids... and his other spark making stuff was too much of a fire threat.
  2. Went on a short boat trip and saw snapper fish, some fish, and got chased by mud-swallows for going near their nests. Didn't get to play pirate though and hide treasure.. the heat was getting too much.
  3. Got to camp out with the kid for one night. Well it was a camper versus a tent.. but it was nice to pretend we were on safari.
  4. The area has changed a lot. My old high school is now an intermediate school, and the 'new' high school is at least 100% larger. I took the kid to my elementary school and saw that most of the places we were sure had ghosts had been torn down.
  5. Marshmellows! The campfire ended with spooky stories and got to roast a bag of marshmellows. We tried to cook over the fire, but the amount of time it took was longer than attention spans :).

Things To Avoid
  1. Walnut Grove Plantation. When I was young, we would go there and see various exhibits about making fabrics and life in the 1700's. While not as lively as HopeWell Furnace, it was fun to learn how to make dies and such. It would seem that most of the things I remembered were only available once a year now. We got there at opening time, and were told to wait while they got ready. Then when we got in, we were told we had missed the opening tour and the next one would be in 50 minutes.. I was less than impressed with the Southern hospitality. The tour was short and only talked about a limited list of items per room. The "Do you have any questions" kept stumping the guide. The old ghost stories were no longer told since the 'blood stain' had been disproven, and the guides seemed more interested in getting back to the air-conditioning than explaining how things were done. The kids words summed it up: "Blech".
  2. Humidity and heat make for a broken Smooge. I have had a bad eye problem since 1997 which leads to little 'blow-out' patches in the layer above the retina. Almost on queue, 24 hours after I got to the Carolinas.. I got a bad headache, and pop there goes my left eye again. Thankfully this one is not in the central area so didn't affect driving too much.
  3. Television.. We don't have commercial TV or cable at the house.. and I got to remember why. While there was some good tv out there (We liked Ben-10).. the amount of crap being foisted for "Kung-Fu Panda", "Hulk", etc was amazing. The nice thing was that Grandma's video collection is extensive and I could take a break with my favorite Autistic hero: Sherlock Holmes.
That's about it. I really wanted to see my sister in Tennessee, but schedules just didn't line up this year. Hopefully next year. It is nice to be back in New Mexico, even if my allergies fired up as soon as the plane went below 10,000 feet :).