Jessie Goes on Vacation...Tom Comes Along

So for the last month, I have really only gotten the chance to spend about 5 days at home.  During that time, there was virtually zero time to do anything except for cook, clean, do laundry and get ready for my next bout of vacationeering.  Sounds more intense than it really is.

To keep you up to date on why I have not been able to post (since I haven't done much), here are some pictures to explain:

After a week at my parent's house in Michigan helping with harvesting honey and doing bee-related things, Kalamazoo, MI was the next stop.  Western Michigan University was where I spent 4.5 years of my life going to school and I had not been back there since I graduated.  It turned out to be Homecoming Weekend, so I picked Tom up from the airport the night before and we ran the annual Campus Classic 5k.   Like my sweet getup? 

After Kalamazoo, our next stop was Chicago for a wedding of some dear friends of ours - Tom grew up with the bride.  They had an incredibly fancy dinner and paired every single course (I think there were between 5 and 7) up with a different wine.  Oye.  Delicious, but I ended up taking a nap in his best friend's room on the couch upstairs.  Too much fun for me. 

Before we left Chicago, the 1893 World Fair site was a MUST SEE for me.  Yes, I'm a history nerd.  That is no surprise to me, though it may be the first time I'm sharing it with the rest of the world.  Tom was so amazingly patient while I drove around looking for the 2 remaining buildings from 1893 and taking hundreds of pictures of each.  Daniel Burnham, the head architect for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, put so much thought and intricate detail into every building and exhibition hall.  One of the most beautiful is still standing, though it has been through some restoration.  Currently the Museum of Science and Industry, the building was once home to the Fine Arts Exhibition Hall for the Fair.  All the perfectly symmetrical craftsmanship was impressive. 

From there, it was onto Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the 1982 World Fair.  First, though, there were a few great things we saw along the way.  Actually, there were about a thousand of them in the middle of rural Indiana.  Few times have I seen something so breathtakingly beautiful.  They spanned for miles and miles. 

After traveling for days on a tight budget (aka sleeping at rest areas), I found a simple way to make my hair look pretty awesome and clean with some twisting and a few bobby pins.  Yes, I was proud of myself. 

Knoxville, TN - Home of University of Tennessee
They have an excellent Masters of Anthropology program there (the first place to be granted the right to have a "Body Farm" for research purposes - now called the "Forensics Anthropological Research Center"), which is an enormous asset to the Forensics Anthropology side of their department.  So you now know about my addiction to century-old history, but you can add a morbid fascination with forensics to that list.  To keep the privacy of the students, those who donated their bodies and to protect from gawkers, the facility has a wooden fence around it complete with barbed wire around the top.  Two feet out from that fence is a chain link fence with razor wire at the top.  It's a pretty safe bet to say that nobody will be breaking into that facility with any ease.  Anyway, they keep the location of the farm relatively secret, but from reading all I could about the place and Bill Bass' books (one of the founders of the site), my keen investigative skills found it.  No, there will be no pictures found here.  While I wanted to brag about being able to find it, I didn't want to potentially disrespect those who are being studied there. 

Go Vols!  How perfect would it be to go to social work at a school where the mascot is a volunteer?

 Another World Fair Site.  

Paris brought the Eiffel Tower, Chicago brought the Ferris Wheel.  Knoxville's contribution was the Sun Sphere.  Not nearly as impressive, but still pretty cool.  To quote a friend, "2 World Fair sites in 2 Days?  There's gotta be a foursquare badge for that".   

From Knoxville, we continued straight across I-40 to the heart of the mountains of NC.  Whenever I go somewhere new, I like to take a picture of my feet on the ground where I am.  Weird, I know, but I also love the purple shoes I got back from my mom when I went home (apparently anything left in my closet was free game).  This wasn't EXACTLY a new place, but we had not been here since his cousins were remodeling it to get it ready to open up the restaurant.  If you are ever in Asheville, you should check out the Village Wayside.  It is set in an old train station, which gives it a modern retro feel.  With a motto like, "Slightly Dysfunctional People Pleasers", how can you go wrong?  Recommendation: Polly's Wayside Layer Cake.  Yes, she is the owner.  Yes, she bakes the desserts herself.  Awesome, right?

On the plane ride from Raleigh to Portland.  It may have been RDU to ATL, ATL to SLC or SLC to PDX.  Can't quite remember.  10 hours of traveling not including the 3 hour time change is so fun.

At least Delta is dedicated October to raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness.  As a result, they get to wear adorable pink clothing throughout the month.  I love it.  Here are some mildly unwilling photo participants...at least they smiled.

Now I'm in Portland, OR once again (since leaving mid-June after I graduated) to present at the annual Council on Social Work Education conference.  Co-presenting with a doctoral student and a professor emeritus, our paper is titled, "Using Community-Based Projects to Teach Sustainability Theory: An Advanced HBSE (Human Behavior in the Social Environment) Course".  I'm sharing this because, although it does not relate at all to house renovating, etc, it does impact my future livelihood.  Ultimately, I want to go into research and academia, so this could be a great opportunity for me.  Keep your fingers crossed that this may lead to a job...which leads to an income...which leads to more money to work on the house.

In addition, Tom has been working on a post or two recently and while I'm gone, I'm REALLY (you hear me pleading here Tom?) hoping he'll be able to provide some updates on all things house-related. 


Currently Listening to "Nothin' but a Good Time" by Poison

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