My camera battery needs to charge before I can download our vacation photos and share a few with you. So in the meantime...
I provided Penn with a few more details about my last post, since much of it was about him. I wanted to make sure he was okay with what I'd shared. He had given me permission, in advance, but there was a slight miscommunication between us. (Imagine that!) Penn wants me to make absolutely clear to all who may have read the last post that he has NEVER considered himself agnostic. "Well, what were you then?" I wondered. "Aaaaaaaaaa... Nonpracticing! Catholic!" So there you have it. I went through a period of questioning during my teen years, during which I would most definitely have described myself as agnostic. So I didn't think it was a particularly shocking confession. But he was a little appalled by the label.
Penn now prides himself on being a Presbyterian, apparently, because on our vacation he pointed out the Presbyterian church in town and reminded his parents that "WE are Presbyterians!" Penn's parents are devout Catholics, but they don't seem to mind Penn's lack of diplomacy. I tried to soothe any ruffled feathers by pointing out how beauuuuutiful the Catholic church was, as we drove by it. It was, too. But my in-laws aren't as hyper-sensitive or easily injured as my own clan, so I don't think they minded. Truth be told, they are just happy that one of their four children attends a church, any church. Well, within reason, of course. I doubt they'd be pleased if Penn declared himself a Scientologist.
Penn's father is devoted to the Lord and was thrilled to find my Bible on the dining room table, at the cabin. He must never have seen a study Bible (?) because he couldn't get over all the helpful comments and explanations in the margins. He kept saying things like, "Look, she even underlined her favorite passages!" He became a little distressed right before we left for home. Something about this Bible. I finally realized he thought it came with the cabin and had been packed by accident, or lost. The owner of the cabin really would have thought of everything if she'd provided us with a Bible!
One of the best parts of the vacation was getting to hang out so much with Penn. We actually saw a movie - Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which got two thumbs down from both of us. (Please note that I did not eat a bite, even though I could smell Penn's buttered popcorn and Milk Duds!) We went to a romantic Italian bistro and swapped plates halfway through the evening. We sat on the dock together in the evenings, gazing at the stars and swatting at mosquitoes. We had a blast on the boat, just the two of us. We took turns driving as fast as we dared while the other person leaned over the bow of the boat with the safety gate open, arms outstretched. You know "I'm king of the woooorld!" style? It felt like pre-Nicknack days. I would never want to go back but it was fun to recapture a bit of it.
Penn was especially cute at the restaurant. We were giggling uncontrollably, half the time. Then someone near our outdoor table was smoking, which always upsets me to no end. (Cigarette smoke makes me nearly instantly headachey and nauseated.) Penn "handled it" assertively but diplomatically, before I'd even noticed the smoke or had time to get all stressed about it. My hero. Even the walk back to our car was sweet, arm in arm in the night air. At one point Penn stood in front of me and grabbed me by the arms. "Stop!" He ordered. I looked around in embarrassment. "Penn, people are looking!" Undeterred and in a mock-serious voice, "I've arranged something very romantic for you on this special evening." Then he stepped aside. "Ta da!" We were standing on the sidewalk in front of a florist's shop's driveway. Between our feet and the storefront was a trail of rose petals, in a variety of colors. It made the most lovely winding path where petals must have fallen during dozens of trips to the delivery van. I don't know why, but it was probably my favorite memory of the trip.
Another thing I appreciated was how entertaining he was during all the driving. While listening to the Knotting Hill soundtrack one of my favorite songs came on. "You Say it Best When You Say Nothing at All." Penn had me cracking up as he demonstrated all his "looks" that said it best when he said nothing at all. Um, special! The verses about the "smile on your face lets me know that you need me" and "the touch of your hand says you'll catch me" were equally funny.
It's always nice to spend extra time with your spouse and be reminded over and over why you chose each other. Ever since our first road trip together our motto as a couple has been "two dorks in a Jeep." (Although "every pot has its lid" would be a close second.) We had borrowed a Jeep for the trip, but since we still have a Jeep of our own, all these years later, the motto still applies. Although now there are three of us. And Nicknack is such a little goofball, I'm afraid he has "future dork" written all over him.
I'll post vacation pictures tomorrow and I will also be conducting an important poll, so be sure to stop by!