A day with Nancy -- 02/22/02
We slept in this morning, didn't get up until past seven o'clock... my alarm had been set for 5:40 am but when the cat woke me up at some point earlier than that I realized that I didn't really need to get up as early as usual, so I moved the alarm time by an hour... but then when it did go off at 6:40 I slapped the snooze button two or three times... ah, the delights of vacation days...

I brought in the morning paper and we had a leisurely morning of eating breakfast in the kitchen and drinking coffee as we worked our way through the Providence Journal.... relaxed, no pressure, like a weekend...

Eventually we hopped in the car and headed off to Providence, to the Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show... We poked around a bit, just to orient ourselves, and then sat in on a lecture (already in progress) about heirloom flowers... traditional flowers (especially roses) popular in earlier days in New England and the surrounding areas (some of the pictures the lecturer projected were of the Adirondack area of New York and the Cape Breton area in Canada)... and the importance of saving them and growing them.

Then we went into the main exhibit hall and worked our way through the garden exhibits... I understand that the gardens built there for the show covered as much area as two football fields... there were some beautiful exhibits. Yes, I did bring along a camera (just one of those single-use ones) and I took pictures of several exhibits... but don't expect to see pictures here soon because our scanner is currently not connected to a PC and it is currently driverless... It had been connected to Sean's PC but a few months ago he added a new diskdrive and then later on his old drive began having mechanical problems... and that's the drive that the scanner driver and the image manipulation software had been on. In order to connect the scanner we need that software... I assume I could download the scanner driver from the Internet, but would still need the photo manipulation software... and the installation CD for that software must be somewhere around the house... ah, but nobody seems to know where...

But I digress... We had a wonderful time looking at the garden exhibits... and also at the booths set up by many companies with garden related products... everything from seeds to plants to mulch and paving stones and greenhouses, from gardener's hats and gloves and t-shirts to bonsai plants and hand lotion and playhouses... and chocolate and fudge and hot roasted nuts (uh, I don't know what that had to do with flower gardens, but the peanut butter fudge looked soooo good, but we quickly steered away from that booth. I was tempted by a seed booth... but there were just so many choices that I had to walk away... There was an exhibitor selling various sized pots and hanging baskets filled with flowering plants (also various herbs but I have no time for them right now)... all of their flowers were in very good shape and at very good prices... so Nancy ended up buying ten plants.

Eventually we had covered all of the exhibits that interested us and we took our plants to the parking garage. Nancy suggested that we leave my car in the convention center parking garage and walk over to the Providence Place Mall. The interior of the car seemed warm enough (we are continuing to have mild weather) so we put the plants onto the back seat. The convention center and the parking garages and the Westin Hotel are all connected... and there is a sky bridge between the hotel and the mall...

It was now past two o'clock and we hadn't eaten since breakfast (oh, okay, so we did split a quarter pound bag of fresh roasted cashews at the flower show) so we decided to check out one of the street level restaurants at the mall. The "real" restaurants are at street level; the usual mall fast food places (pizza slices, psuedo-chinese, psuedo-japanese, psuedo-mexican, hamburgers, big cookies, ice cream, etc.) are on the upper level food court. We selected Pizza Uno and its Chicago style bar and grill (no, I don't know what makes it Chicago style and not Detroit or Houston or New York)... even at that time we were told there would be a twenty minute wait for a table (hmmm, think I'd like to own a piece of this operation)... we decided to wait at the bar and then discovered we could eat at the bar... we decided on the pizza lunch specials... Nancy got a bowl of chili and a deepdish tomato and cheese pizza; I got New England clam chowder and a thin crust sausage pizza. Very tasty. I had a glass of Guiness and Nancy had two glasses of Bass Ale (the chili was spicy). This was a huge lunch (in fact, Nancy took half of her pizza home) but we still had the energy to go up to Lord & Taylor's because Nancy wanted to see if she could find anything else in their clearance sale.

We got home a little before five... and sat down to relax with a cup of coffee, check through the mail (which included the Narragansett Times, our twice a week local newspaper)... relaxing from our day of vacation. Nancy did some lesson plans and then took a nap... while I did some technical reading and then caught up on email and journal reading...

Our plans for tomorrow have changed -- we had been planning to go down to New York City to visit Adam and Leah but while in the mall I used my cell phone to check voice mail on my work number and found a message from Adam that he wasn't feeling well, in fact he was leaving work to go home sick -- and then he phoned later on at home (sounding really awful... I hope it's just a cold and not the flu) -- so we're postoning our New York visit.

A quiet evening at home after a busy and tiring but very enjoyable morning and afternoon. Sean got back tonight from his scout troop's ski and snowboarding trip... he must have been exhausted because he went to sleep early. [He had a wonderful time snowboarding but his good time stopped when he got home and found out that I had disconnected his Internet access -- his report card came in the mail yesterday and... well, let's just say we were not pleased with some of his grades and his loss of Internet connectivity is a token of our displeasure.] Jennifer baked some chocolate chip cookies (yummy!) and then cooked some chicken (marinated in Salamida's State Fair Spiedie Sauce) for herself and her friend Andy (Nancy and I were still not hungry after that big lunch) and they played Dance Dance Revolution while waiting for the chicken to cook. Now she's gone to work, Nancy and Sean are asleep, and I think I'll post this to my website and then maybe have a midnight snack.

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