Which was also weird and scary after 6 days of being a childless bachelor. And by weird and scary, I naturally mean, "delightful".
We spend this lovely Sunday morning working hard, because that's why I'm here.
|Me, working really, really hard.|
|She's taking pictures of the sky so she can write a letter of complaint to the town. Too blue.|
|Actually, she was taking pictures of Alex, on his never ending quest to become a pink smear on a road somewhere.|
Tori and I waited for the shuttle, which tootles all over town like a toy trolley from a cartoon.
|We had to wait for almost 3 minutes! I'll be writing my own letter of complaint.|
It's really a cool service provided by the town. As it was free, Tori had a very hard time convincing me not to spend the entire day, endlessly circling the town.
|This is the trolley. Not the entire trolley, obviously, but the business end of it.|
|We were happy to be speeding about the town at mind-bending speeds approaching 12 miles per hour.|
As all good things do, our ride came to an end. Then, even more sadly, my visit with my family came to an end. It was hard to say goodbye, primarily because I found out that Alex had hidden my pillows.
I decided to postpone The Great Pillow Hunt for later and take advantage of the biking while the weather was delightful.
I made my way along a beautiful gravel path where octogenarians whizzed along at speeds that would have shamed the Waterville Trolley.
I was trying to get to a place called Greely Pond, but found that because of some recent flooding, it was no longer accessible by bike. A gentleman I met on the path directed me to a path that he said, "Climbs up pretty steeply for about a mile and half, then drops precipitously."
I don't know if you could resist a description like that, but I couldn't.
I sweated and swore my way upward, careful not to block the path of the octogenarians who kept passing me in great, swirling swarms.
As I climbed, I kept myself motivated by thinking about how much fun the ride down would be. "This will be so much fun!" I lied to myself. "This will be totally worth it."
I finally reached the summit of the road at the point where, as foretold, the road dropped precipitously.
|Down ahead of me.|
|Down behind me.|
Not wishing to drop dead in the middle of the woods, I opted to head back down the hill, toward town where there was the promise of ice cream and horizontal roads to bike on.
I zipped down the hill, zigging and zagging through the endless parade of people hiking up the hill. The ride down; the one I had been so eagerly anticipating, lasted a good 5 or 6 seconds and was, I'm sad to say, less thrilling than I had anticipated.
Once back in town, I settled in for some grueling work by the pond. this time, I selected a seat in the town square, so I could have a good view of the beach and all the plastic chairs which ere there yesterday.
|The work is brutal, but I feel obligated to do my best at all times.|
|Please note the complete lack of chairs of any kind on the beach. I'm beginning to suspect some sort of demonic possession.|
While taking that picture of the beach, I noticed something on the raft.
|Can you see it?|
|Now can you see it?|
It appears to be some sort of a message in a bottle. I quickly reasoned that someone must be in grave peril somewhere and cast that bottle into the river upstream in a desperate attempt to get help. It bobbed downstream and somehow popped out of the water to land on this raft.
I can't think of any other plausible explanation.
And, to whoever it is that is in desperate need of help, I'm sorry, but I didn't have my bathing suit. Maybe I'll try to get out there tomorrow.
If it's warm.
Otherwise hang in there, buddy and remember: Stay Put and Stay Dry.
On my ride home, I was struck by just how many gazebos there are in Waterville Valley. I suspect that the original town may have been simply a loose gathering of gazebos.
I have decided that working in each of them is a moral imperative while I am in residence.
|This one overlooks the town common.|
|I have also noticed that buildings in town are quite transient, as if eager to go walking along paths with old people.|
|This gazebo will be tricky. It's surrounded by golf course and, naturally, golfers, who tend to hit balls around at very high speed. I'll wear my bike helmet while working there.|
|This one is tucked away behind the golf course.|
|And I like the dedication.|
|This one is attached to someone's house and will likely be even more challenging to get into than the one on the golf course.|
|This one is right outside the ski school and is very close to my residence.|
|This is as close as I get to a gazebo where I am staying. Working in there was totally unacceptable.|
Tired and hungry from my arduous bike ride, I grabbed a snack (leftover from the reception last night) and some wine for an afternoon snack.
While in town, I picked up something to help me handle those tricky boxes of wine.
|3. Presto! Instant snack.|
I wanted to head over to the school's gazebo with my snack so I could eat, drink, and draw in the warm afternoon sun. I realized that sauntering across a schoolyard carrying a box of wine with a straw sticking out the top might prove problematic.
In the words of the late great musician, Louis Jordan: "It looked so common. And I know I ain't common. I got class I ain't even used yet."
So I transferred my wine to a coffee mug and settled in to enjoy last rays of sun on the warm afternoon.
|Because I epitomize "classy".|
|The scorekeeper's chair at the tennis courts was empty!|
|AND IT HAD A WINE TRAY!|
|The view from on high.|
|Sadly, there was no room on the tray for a snack, wine, and my sketchbook. Two things had to go.|
Soon, the snacks were gone, the wine was gone, my sketchbook was full, and it was time for dinner.
My father had generously bought 4 pizzas yesterday to feed the assembled family. The leftovers beckoned me, but the presumptuousness of the pizza place's slogan bothered me.
|Don't tell me what my favorite pizza shop is.|
And so, with the lingering taste of pizza on my lips, I spent another delightful evening hard at work on a top secret new project and trying to find my pillows.