First of all, Yahoo Maps AND my GPS totally lie. Both getting there and back took 10 hours, not eight, as they told us. We kept saying, God, why is this taking longer than we thought? And we decided the Direction People figured we just wouldn't want to go if we knew it was that far of a drive. So they lied.
Anyway, 20 hours in the car later, in which Ned snapped at me and I cried and THAT was fun and then we made up and IT ALL TOOK PLACE IN THE CAR, because WE LIVED IN THE CAR, practically, we are back.
I have put here all the pictures I liked from the trip and now you have to look at My Vacation Pictures just like they had to look at a slide show on Mad Men last night and for the love of god did you really think I'd miss it, seeing as it's my show and all? I wish more people would've emailed me to say, "Mad Men's on tonight" while I SCREAMED home through 98 states to get home in time to see it while dodging barbs from Snappy Ned.
Don't get mad at Ned. There were snow storms and chunks of ice on the road and accidents and A ROAD WAS COMPLETELY CLOSED at one point and the BRIDGE WAS OUT I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING and then we got lost and locusts rained from the sky and you'd snap at your loved one as well.
"I think the universe wants us to never travel together," I told Ned, because with me nothing need be dramatic.
Anyway, here is my slide show.
When my family used to live locally, we'd generally get together on weekends at my poor grandmother's house, who'd make an elaborate meal that I don't remember helping with one iota, ever. After we were done my Uncle Leo would say, "Oh, I'm sick." and everyone would agree they had eaten too much. Then someone would say, "Let's get ice cream and go to the cemetery!" And we always would. Sugar and death, man.
So a simple walk along the Ohio River turned into my cousin's husband Jack saying, "Let's get malts!" and I don't know if he got influenced by 15 years of marriage in this family or he was just meant to be.
At some point in the weekend, my Aunt Kathy said, "These are from your Uncle Deb" and she whipped out a package of 9,000 individually wrapped lime green Bud Light sunglasses that he got god knows where. Yes, I have a male uncle who we call Deb. His name is really Delbert, and you know how you call someone something funny in your family and it doesn't seem weird till you tell an outsider? "So, my Aunt Ass Parts and I--" "Wait, WHO?"
Anyway, beer-snob-would-not-drink-Bud-Light-if-it-were-served-on-the-body-of-Scarlett-Johanssen Ned was obsessed. OBSESSED. With those lime green Bud Light sunglasses. He couldn't wear them enough.
Nor could he wear enough pairs. If you look in the dictionary under "Getting Kick Out of Self," right after my photo would be Ned's. And then right there next to me in the dictionary, he'd snap at me.
Because Katie and her husband Jack came all the way from Alaska, they asked that no one give them presents because it's a pain to schlep more stuff back all that way. Naturally, then, Jack picked up a convenient, easy-to-pack basket at the farmers market Saturday morning. I bought zucchini bread. Because I never go to the farmers market without buying processed food.
My cousin Katie had already been downtown twice during her stay, so she was TOTALLY EYE-ROLLINGLY ANNOYED that Ned and I wanted to look around there, which made it even funnier when Ned stampeded for the erotica section of the book store and pulled out a Sapphos book just for her.
We are hilarious. Note he has green sunglasses on his head. Who is obsessed?
Uncle Leo, my cousin Maria, Anna of "Aunt Katie are you a lesbian?" fame, the poor dog Lola who looks like an old lady, Ned, and Anna's friend, who shared my annoyance that there were no photos of either of us in my aunt's house.
We went for a hike at some place called Clifty Falls, which to me sounds like someone just totally made up. "Oh, those falls? With the cliffs? We call that...Clifty! Yeah. That's the ticket." As we paid to get in, the Very Official-Looking Park Ranger (we figured out he seemed official because his pants were exactly the same color as his shirt. That's enough to intimidate US) gave us our ticket, and my Uncle Leo asked why it was called Clifty.
"Well, there's a waterfall and a forest and a few streets named Clifty," he said monochromatically.
We all paused.
"But was Clifty a person? Is it named after a person?" asked my Uncle Leo, who is the type of guy who makes you pull over to read monuments and who then also reads you the brochure he picked up at said monument until you shove it up his Aunt Ass Parts.
"Oh. I don't know," said the Very Offical Park Ranger, waving us on. So that was helpful. All weekend, when we'd see the Clifty Bank or Clifty Liquor Store or whatever, we'd wonder if the park was named after those things.
Say, are you enjoying my sunglasses?
With those glasses on Ned already. Here we are being at two with nature. Ned saw a kid stick his arm deep in the water and pull out a snake. He looked for me to enjoy my reaction, but I was looking for the Clifty Falls Clinique counter.
Oh, and say, did I mention my aunt's new puppy Roxie, who she found WANDERING ALONE in some wooded area near her house? You know I tend to be fond of puppies in general, but SHE IS SO COOL. She howls with my Uncle Bill, and she fetches already, and the cutest part is she walks like a grownup dog somehow, even though she's a puppyheadsnickerdoodle. She has this little Pit Bull pointy-in walk like Talu has, and my Aunt Kathy would like to emphasize that the DNA results have her at 50% Boston terrier. She is so denying this dog's pitty heritage. She is starting to get a brindle-y coat, too.
Did I mention I love her?
I just like this picture cause it shows their view of the river. My uncle kept playing songs on his phone that fit whatever we were talking about. Who got a charge out of his own self? I'm trying to think of an example but--OH! I know! Ned had come to bed with half a beer, I guess because everyone else was going to bed and he is not an early-to-bed person. So he went up there with his beer and talked to me while I tried to sleep.
The point is, I took that empty bottle down the next morning to put it in the recycling, and immediately my Uncle Bill played Roadhouse Blues, where they sing "I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer." Everyone's a comedian.
(By the way, when I found this song on You Tube, someone's comment was, "My roommate didn't know who Jim Morrison was..." Oh, shut up.)
Oh, look. Here's Roxie yawning. Who needs help? Is it me?
On that way home, on that interminable drive, we stopped in wherever the hell University of Kentucky is, which apparently Ashley Judd is obsessed with as I am with that puppy, and we stopped at the prettiest girly restaurant. Ned is hours from snapping at me, but you can see he's considering it here.
"I'm seeing him doing all Hello Kitty," said Ned.
"Except the kitty face would be mine. He'd have an all Hello June place," I said. "Tallulah would just have a black light and her bong and a poster of rotisserie chicken," I added.
Anyway, that sums up my trip. I got home just in time to see my show, and right as it was starting, Marvin texted to tell me about taking the dogs to the dog park this weekend.
Naturally, I snapped at him.