It was no Mediterranea or Rio…but I’m home!

It’s good to be home!

It was fun to be on vacation.  I actually relaxed, which for me is nothing short of a miracle…and for a few days, even Duran Duran was far from my mind.  That didn’t last terribly long, as I was desperate to hear of how their US shows were going.  A decent wi-fi connection was tough to come by, but occasionally we’d go into town and I’d be able to check in with the world.

So, what did I do on my vacation?  Let me show you… (ah, the dreaded vacation slide-show!)

To begin with, I spent many afternoons on the lake.  The lake we went to is called Lake Siskiyou (Sis-kee-you) and it’s near Mt. Shasta.  Yes, that’s me out there on my sofa. It’s called the Siesta Lounger and yes, I even did some of that (Miraculous. I don’t ever nap!)  My husband was kind enough to swim out there on occasion and bring me refreshments. The lake was beautiful and actually pretty warm for being an “alpine” lake.

The scenery was gorgeous and even as I sit here at home in my house, I am thinking about the beautiful view.  I think this photo might even have my brother-in-law on his paddleboard in it.  In case you’re wondering, this is Mt. Shasta in the background, and those are actually glaciers on the mountain.  If you’re wondering why these photos aren’t of Duran Duran, it’s because they didn’t come on vacation with me this year.  Something about doing some shows…work…wives…Nick’s fear of camping….I don’t know.

We did have a fan or two show up at the campground…those animals!!  No really, there were a ton of deer up there, and oddly they aren’t afraid of people.  Not sure if that’s really a good thing, but the owners of the campground told me that these particular deer have lived there for years and they think of them as pets.  (By the way – I was less than ten feet from this one, who kindly posed for me.)

More scenery.  One day we took a boat out with our family (my husband’s sisters and their families were with us for part of the time), and this is a bridge that people jump off of into the water. No, I did not jump.  I watched other idiots, I mean people…dive.  Heights and I are not friends, but I was happily entertained by the sights of others.

One day, we went to see lava tubes and caves at the Lava Bed National Monument. We passed a sign for ice caves, and my husband and I joked that there was no point in going because it was easily a hundred degrees (F) outside, so ice wasn’t really a possibility.  Wrong!  It was freezing cold in the cave, and after climbing down in, there was a ton of ice!  This is just one small area of it, but if I would have been brave enough to climb down farther (not a chance),  the tube was filled with ice from what is an underground spring that freezes.  Later that day, we went into other caves, and let me just say that pitch black doesn’t even begin to describe the darkness.  I was scared to death that my youngest – who has NO FEAR WHATSOEVER – was going to fall to her death because she’d just try to go charging ahead with barely a light to guide her.  I’d have my light in front of me and look behind to see absolutely nothing but darkness.  I’d put the light in back of me and then look ahead and see nothing, not even my family who was probably 3 feet from me. Claustrophobia much?  YES!

On our last day, we went to Panther Meadow up on Mt. Shasta.  Depending upon where you start, the hike is about 30 minutes straight up a fairly steep hill.  Not a really tough hike, but with a wayward four year old, what should take 30 minutes takes more like an hour…go figure.  The sights that awaited though?  Well worth the effort.  At the top of the mountain there is a gorgeous meadow with a ton of wildflowers – more than I’ve ever really seen (and this is August!).  There is also a natural and sacred spring that bubbles up from the ground, and people come there to meditate or pray.  Several people were there when we got there, and it was very difficult to keep our youngest quiet, but it was a learning experience for her!

It was wonderfully peaceful, and when you go, you’re encouraged to take water from the spring to drink.  Super cold (and welcome after that hike!) and very, very clean – which for here in California, is a miracle.   This picture is of my oldest getting filling her water bottle with the spring water.  From the angle it doesn’t look like it’s really clean or on a hill…trust me, it was.  

How did we survive two weeks without any of the comforts of home?  HA!  We didn’t!!!  We simply took them with us!!  Let me show you:

The aforementioned Siesta Lounger
The Margarita Maker 
Icemaker…for the margarita maker of course!
Bottled water = ice for the margaritas!
My chair.  Very, VERY important!

So, how does one prepare for a 4-show “tour” with her partner-in-crime?  She goes on vacation for two weeks!  Of course now that I’m home, I’m no longer fighting the pain of hiking up mountains, but rather fighting a mountain of laundry. Yesterday I spent my day school shopping with my oldest, and today I am insisting that my son and I make it down to his school to sign him up for his block classes.  Tomorrow, I get my hair done (a necessity at this point).  Thursday is registration for my oldest, and then on Friday morning I fly to New Orleans to meet up with Amanda.  
I’m very excited to see the band again.  I read today that they’ve been hanging out here in LA, making this their hub for the past several days.  Lucky them…we’re having a heat wave and it is HELL hot here right now.  Hope they’re loving it more than I am!
I keep saying that this is going to be the last time, best time for me with regard to this tour for this album.  It has been quite a run.  I’ve done more on this tour than ever before, and I’ve experienced so much more than I would have ever expected.  I can’t imagine how I’ll ever top it, or if I should even try.  The real question though, and one that won’t be answered for some time to come is what will come next?
John mentioned that they might…MIGHT have dates next summer.  My husband wasn’t nearly as thrilled to read that as I might have been.  Once again I’m hearing that my Duranie account is overdrawn.  I haven’t even left yet.  How can that be possible??  Truth be told, I am not-so-secretly glad to read that someone is even considering shows in the future.  I’m not ready to quit just yet, and it’s relieving to know that they aren’t either. While like anyone else, I look forward to seeing and hearing what the band has in store for the next album, I think it’s also a little scary to be moving on.  This album is so good, I really and truly believe that it will come to be known as a defining moment for the band, historically speaking.  I sort of see the album as the moment when the band reached out towards their fans, and plenty of us reached out our hands to grasp theirs in response.  I don’t know if I can put much stalk into record sales or charts these days, but I do believe this album was a complete success from start to finish on a personal level, and while I never know what to expect from them next, I really hope the tone and spirit of this album lives on.  
Back to my laundry….

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