Wow and sigh! I think this is now the longest I've neglected the blog, hopefully not a trend. I've got six months to catch up on on this here little blog thingy. Last post detailed our trip to Ohio last July. Now it's February! Where or where does the time go. Aside from working all summer, we made another trip to Campcamp where we enjoyed another best time ever.
In addition to my work schedule and my travel agent biz on the side, we have continued doing our 2 airbnb units and also, I am watching dogs. I love all the dogs but some more than others. This is Oscar who stole my heart last August. I'd say we make an extra $500 a month doing this and it is mostly pure pleasure. We do get the odd bad egg, like 'Lady' who pooped in my bed 5 times, once while I was in it and then I subsequently rolled around in it. In the morning with my coffee, I noticed a brown stain on my undershirt. What's this? Acckkk!
I had no intention dressing up in drag at Campcamp this year but Todd wrangled me into it since I had wrangled him into it the year before. The girls kept coming up to me telling me it wasn't fair that I was so pretty. Meh. I never really need to do that again. I've never really been a dress up kind of guy.
This was my best year at Camp yet. I was so relaxed and every day was filled with laughs. I loved the early morning swims across the lake (I kayaked) and also the LGBT history classes. It was great to trace our history from Ancient times to the present.
I kept trying to get a shot of the Charcoal rainbow group AKA the smokers. This is probably half the group. All the fun gossip gets shared around these tables. Although I am no longer a smoker, I plan to buy a vaporizer with no-nicotine juice so I have an excuse to visit the table this year. Yes! We have signed up for our 5th year, can't wait. Join us!
Ollie came home with us from Camp. He stayed in a B and B in the village but we hung out every day. Very fun to hang with Ollie. Hope he comes back to camp this year from London.
We finally made it out to Parc Safari, an animal park where you drive through the park and see all sorts of things. Then we visited the zoo side with the lions, monkeys and such as well as this petting zoo. Once was enough.
In September, after a three year hiatus, I got back to Vegas with my new Vegas buddy John. It was great fun and I hardly lost any money. Can't wait to make it back every year again. I have missed it.
In October we sold the car as Serge's mom gave us her Corolla. Our Cabrio was a '99 and the Corolla is 7 years newer, lol. Toyotas are great cars though and I was happy to learn that the 2006 model has a timing chain as opposed to a timing belt which means I never have to replace it.
Then it was time for our big trip to Spain with my family. Serge bowed out and stayed home to tend to the airbnbs. First stop was Madrid. We spent a few days in Madrid and met up with my cousin who was in for the weekend from Jordan and also Curt and Scott (from the South America cruise) who had just finished the Camino and happened to be in Madrid at the same time. Cool! As usual, great food, lots of drinks and oh the olives, the olives.
We took a day trip outside Madrid and saw the Valle de los Caidos or Valley of the Fallen, which is a monument to all who died during the Spanish civil war. Franco's tomb is here and the place is rather controversial as it seems political prisoners were used as labor to build it. It is the largest cross in the world.
On the last night in Madrid we went to dinner with the De la Puerta family. Jose (the dad) was an exchange student when I was a teenager. He stayed in my room for a month. Now he has 7 beautiful, well-behaved children. Very sound of music. Very.
Then it was road trip time. We drove 2-3 hours each day and stayed at a different Parador each night. These are government run hotels that use heritage sites such as old castles and monasteries. At the hotel, beer was 2.5 euros and wine was 3 euros. Such a deal for a hotel.
We saw lots of roman ruins along the way. This was the old aqueduct in Alarcon. Each day we arrived, went for a walk in the surroundings, had a snack and a beer. Came back, napped and went out to dinner. It was a perfect way to do a road trip.
We got to this town at the top of a hill. A medieval town, a very protected village with sheer cliffs on three sides and a wall on the other. I had to drive the car through this space. I think we had a quarter inch clearance, it was so ridiculous.
We had lots of Spanish snacks, serrano ham, manchego cheese, olives galore and wine city. It was such a great trip, I have planned another for this September. Wanna come? We are flying into Lisbon and staying 3 nights, going up to Porto on the train for 1 night then heading to Viga Spain and renting a car. Gonna go across Galicia over to Barcelona. Same formula 2-3 hours drive then stay at a Parador. Message me if you are interested in joining us. Sept 11th-24th.
So the last week of work before the holidays, something truly wretched occurred. I announced it on FB, "I've shit myself at work." While some expressed a TMI sentiment, most who commented seemed to have a shared experience. Have a nice look at those cakes and candies above as I detail what happened.
Perfectly normal morning. Did my #2 in the morning before leaving for work. Go to work and as soon as I get into the classroom and sit down at my desk and turn on the computer, "Gurgle gurgle gurgle," goes my stomach. Must be the coffee. Suddenly cramping. Okay then, need a toilet. I'll go to the secret toilet where I like to poo in peace at work. As I am walking down the hall, more cramps and no, no we will not be going to the secret toilet. We will be going to the very first toilet we come to. There it is just up ahead. As I approach, things get more insistent. I make it into the first stall, full on pushing now. I turn around and GASP the lock thingie is broken. Okay, now my anus is angry, like I psyched it out or something. I get myself into the next stall, lock it, start on my belt when GLERP, oh no oh no oh no no no NOOOO, I get my belt undone and a second GLERP. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck and as I start taking my pants down, all hell breaks loose. Lets call it a megasplatter. EVERY FUCKING WHERE. My work shirt is languishing in a pool of liquid shit on the back of the toilet. So. This is the first time where my will to keep my anus shut has failed. I now have a spare set of clothes at work. It took me 20 minutes to clean myself up as much as possible and then I had to teach ALL DAY, shit remnants caked to my body. My students said I didn't stink though. So there's that. UGH.
For the holidays, we went to California. We visited with my brother, my dad and my mom. We also got to see Elaine in Oakland and Donna in Eagle Rock. Other folks got the flu or fell off a ladder so we had a fairly tame visit socially. We did get to meet my brother's girlfriend. She was all sorts of fun.
It was a great 3 Kings party this year. I hadn't seen Caya or Noah for a couple years so it was really nice catching up with them. Their mom had the flu so maybe can catch up with her next year.
As we continue to watch dogs, we are constantly reminded what a great dog Georgie is. He is so low maintenance compared to almost all the other dogs. Right now we have Katrina, a little beagle. They are really cute together.
Okay, so all caught up now. Hopefully I won't wait so long to post again. Thanks for stopping by. Mwah!