Saturday, June 25, 2016

On vacation...Part 1

We've been visiting our son, daughter-in-law and baby grand-daughter in Tennessee for the past while.  It has been good to see them again.  The baby is growing, and is moving toward her first steps -  she crawls very rapidly, and can support herself standing upright.  One day, it will just happen.   But not likely for this trip...

Mandy stayed back at home, safely tucked away in her suitcase.  My own wardrobe was mostly shorts, bare (shaved) legs, fisherman sandals, tunic tops, and purse, with long hair and light pink manicured nails, necklace, and a close shave - but no makeup.  My wife reminded me to take a couple of pairs of capris and a pair of stirrups in case we needed to dress up, and I threw in pantyhose, but they weren't needed very often.   After all, who wants to dress up in near-100 degree temperatures?

Enroute, we stopped at Big Walker Mountain overlook in Virginia.   The female proprietor addressed me as "Sir" when I paid my admission.  Guess she could see past the feminine cues.   The men folk around at quitting time didn't pay any attention to me whatsoever...I guess they didn't have a clue.    That's a good thing.

Though I climbed the 100-foot observation tower myself (wife not comfortable with open heights - neither was I, but what the heck), I was able to get some good pictures.  As per the following:

Big Walker Mountain overlook...and the observation tower...

The view from the top.  Note the tan-colored "swinging bridge" over the parking lot. 

Expansive views from the top of the tower.  You can't see it, but the wind gusts were swaying the tower.  Ugh...

I walked their swinging bridge, but only to prove I could do it.  (And because it was close to the ground, not over some deep canyon.)  That was the first - and only - time this gal plans to tread on one of those! 

At lunch and dinner time on the first day enroute (it takes two days each way), and despite my reception at the overlook, my androgynous casual attire didn't keep me from being identified as a female.  We were "ladies" to the folks at the restaurants - both for lunch and dinner.  The male motel clerk saw my driver's license but omitted any gendered greetings.

There were several informal "get-togethers" with the kids' friends during our visit, and I'm known as their "father" or "father-in-law," or by my first name.  No gender issues there...   Occasionally at stores and shops, we'd hear "Ma'am" and "Ladies."  But more often, no gender references, or the dreaded S word.  And the kids didn't bat an eyelash at female references.

One of our activities was to visit the Adventure Science Center near Nashville, with the kids and the baby.  It was fun to see our wide-eyed grand-daughter experience many new sights and sounds, and be around more kids than she has ever seen in one place in her short time on this earth...   It's definitely someplace that we will visit again as she grows.

Below is a skyline picture of Nashville, taken from the rest area near the snack bar...

And a typical interior picture of the Adventure Science Center, intentionally taken with few humans visible:

Now we're looking forward to the next time...

Stay tuned for On Vacation Part 2.



  1. Sounds like a great trip. I also think that your son and his wife are comfortable with you presentation and love you simply for being you.
    I tend to think that as we age we grow into the right to be a tad eccentric.

    1. It was a fabulous trip. More in part 2, coming soon. Yes, I think the kids would be OK with Mandy, but my wife - not so much.

      Indeed - on age & eccentricity! Girly things are fun!


  2. What a lovely time, with fun adventures too!

    The kids and friends seem like great accepting people, I hope you felt good vibes with the company you had around you.

    And what a dare-devil you are. Heights can be so scary!!!

    I love the beautiful pictures as always :-)



    1. Hi Jen,

      Traveling is so much fun...even with the extra work upon return! Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!

      Yes, I believe the kids would be accepting of Mandy, especially since son is in the theater industry, and his wife's best female friend is a lesbian who has a life partner.

      My wife, not so much...

      I wasn't at all fond of the heights either, but I simply did it to prove that "I could." Doubt you'll see me do it again in the future. (But that doesn't mean I won't climb a lighthouse if the spirit moves me! The heights aren't as noticeable inside the walls.)

      Thanks for the kind words about my pictures! I enjoy taking them.