After several quiet weeks, this one ended up pretty much jam-packed from start to finish.
- But first: the deluge of words doth continue. I read my first Christopher Priest (of The Prestige fame) and enjoyed it enough to make an exception to my “no more holds before December” rule so that I could get… well… The Prestige. John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood, about the Theranos debacle, was a sobering (and fascinating) read.
- Most of the week, however, was spent with my cousin from Louisiana, who was visiting the area. She stayed in Asheville through Tuesday, then headed my way Wednesday until Friday. It was a pleasure hanging out with her, driving around to the various sights, eating a bunch of food I probably shouldn’t have had but, y’know, guest!
- Monday I rode a horse for the first time in my life. I wrote about it here. We also visited downtown Asheville–yes, I made the obligatory stop at The Chocolate Fetish, although I forced myself to only get one thing there, a single dark chocolate and sea salt caramel–and I spent time going over a bunch of puzzle types with her, as she’s new to the whole paper-puzzles thing.
- Tuesday was game night back home, but I took the opportunity to write up the horseback outing. I decided to do something different stylistically, treating it as a story rather than the looser form of a blog entry, and inasmuch as that sort of thing “works,” well, it seemed to work; a couple of people were surprised to learn that “Along for the ride” wasn’t just a short story of my own devising. Which, I mean, I guess it is? Just not a fictional one.
- Said game night was spent playing Spirit Island, which was fun and frustrating and fascinating in roughly equal measure. We lost, although I feel we hung on considerably longer than I felt we would after a terrible start. I’ve already decided that it’ll be making the trip back home for the holidays; I want to get more plays in.
- Wednesday was mostly spent in and around town, starting with lunch in Hickory (Vietnamese, yum) and including a stop at a local antiques store so that my cousin could pick up some knick-knacks to bring home. We went up into the mountains for a bit, hiking a scrap of the Green Knob Trail before the sun got too low.
- An early start Thursday had us back up in the mountains. We hiked Linville Falls and Mount Mitchell, which was… perhaps a bit more than we should have done, given that neither of us are at peak levels of stamina. But it felt good exerting myself in a way that I basically hadn’t done since I retired, and my cousin was duly proud of her own efforts. The day closed out all the way down in Charlotte at The Glow, which was fine if a bit underwhelming. The carvings were amazing, but they had to all be at a distance behind ropes to keep kids from messing with them, which made the experience feel rather detached. Still, it was the sort of thing I never would have done on my own, and I’m glad my cousin dragged me to it.
I slept like a rock most evenings this week thanks to high levels of physical exertion, and although I had a great time, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to next week being a quiet one.