Didn't there use to be a Fresh Samantha flavor called that? Anyway . . .
A suprisingly good day was bestowed upon me by the gods. I guess someone upstairs decided it was about time to reprieve me from the gallons and gallons (shut up, harinezumi
) of suck that I've been carrying around lately.
I didn't manage to catch MST3K this morning, but instead I slept in some, and then sundart
and I (mostly her) got around to unpacking the boxes that were still taking up far too much space in our already little room. We can now see the floor, which is an exciting thing, despite our infestation of plastic ants. (Don't ask, they was left over from the plastic pumpkin hunt we had at the Bridge Street cemetary last Halloween/Samhain... hmm, we should do that again, possibly minus the ants.) At some point in the unpack cha cha, our friend Lori called, told us very decidedly that we did not want to be unpacking, and offered us an outing to the Peace Pagoda
in Leverett, since Carole had told her about it when we went during the company Christmas outing the year before last. So we said sure, come on over.
A little bit after that the trash guy came to cart away the results of sundart
's and beatgoddess
's hard work in the garden, and I got to talk to him for a bit. He apparently is the third generation of the family that runs the trucking business, and Saturdays is the only time when he gets to drive the big truck, which he loves - the rest of the time he's stuck behind a desk. I can totally understand that. Someone needs to get him a copy of the penis truck song . :) Anyway, he was cool - he had the same laid-back chill vibe my friend Jim has. Which, Jim, if you're reading this - hi!
Lori then arrived, bearing a small present to cheer me up - a very pretty blue stone egg. Have to find somewhere nice to put it . . . she helped us cart our extra shite to the basement, and then, armed with Mapquest! directions, set off for the Peace Pagoda. It was an interesting trip, mostly due to the Mapquest! directions, which took us on the super-scenic route that involved dirt roads with large signs posted near them warning drivers that they weren't maintained in winter. Mapquest directions are so wacked. Luckily, the super-scenic route was indeed super-scenic, and while trundling down Reservation Road (the one not maintained in winter) we completely accidentally came across a gorgeous lake type object with little hiking trails all around it: Cranberry Pond. So we stopped, hopped out of Thusel (Lori's car) and, after teasing this adorable 2 year old boy that he was a bit young to be driving (he was sitting in the drivers seat of the car next to us, on his grandfather's lap - his response was a perfectly reasonable "It's Granddaddy's.") we went exploring. What was really cool about that particular trail was that across the lake there were railroad tracks, as as we were exploring we heard the whistles of an approaching train, which echoed very eerily off of the lake and nearby mountain, very creepy and cool. I'm about 85 percent positive it was one of the two daily Amtrak Vermonter trains, as the whistle was that particular set of tones, the engine noise sounded right, and where the track was made sense.
When we were done exploring the trails we proceeded with the wacked Mapquest! directions, which did indeed lead us to the Peace Pagoda...eventually. It was a great day to go - sunny and nice, and despite the gnats attempting to tell us we were fruity and delicious, the three of us had a good time. Though Carole and I had been up there before, it was great to go again - last time we went it was wintery and drizzly. Lori got some good pictures of the Buddha statues, and made the obligatory puns about how we weren't allowed to smoke any buddha near the Buddha (there was a large sign at the bottom of the hill prohibiting drugs and alcohol). There was also a small Japanese style garden next to the actual Pagoda, and we spent about half and hour there laying face down on a small stone bridge and playing with the coy. There were lots of little brown fish and big gorgeous orange fish and we figured out that we could get them to come up and try to nibble our fingers (which tickles like hell, by the way). The gnats were more of a problem here due to the standing water, but then sundart
and Lori figured out that they could swat the gnats and drop them into the water and that the fish would gobble them up. So we spent about twenty minutes feeding the fish freshly swatted gnats and our fingers and having a great time. There were also some huge proto-frogs in the other side of the pond - think frog sized tadpoles that had legs and everything, but still had tails. And there was one very photogenic frog that kept sitting to have his picture taken. And a newt! Long story short (too late) we had a lot of fun with that pond. Came home surprisingly tired - between tromping near Cranberry Pond and the ten-fifteen minute uphill hike from the parking area to the Peace Pagoda ("Boy, you kinda have to seek inner peace at the top of this hill - you're too damn tired after the hike to do anything else!"), we had walked quite a bit. Boots were definately a good choice, especially given still sore right foot. There may possibly be some pictures in the future since Lori took about a roll and a half - will post if I get copies. :)
Coming home was good too. Slept off the rest of the trip, made plans with Austin about eating better food (just noticed yesterday that except for a couple of occasions, I've managed to stay dairy-free for the past couple of weeks, yay!) talked to my friend Diane for a bit on the phone, where she told me about an anime series running on Cartoon Network called .hack/Sign, watched Samurai Jack (mmm, Jack - very strange episode though), checked out .hack/Sign (decided it looked cool enough to start watching from beginning, whenever that may be) and took out the latest round of hair string so I could wash my hair and brush out the most recent crop of proto-dreadlocks. And beatgoddess
baked brownies and let me lick the bowl. :)
Yep, pretty damned good day. Need more like them. :)