Arrived back from vacation yesterday, straight back to the office.
My car, the much-beloved Bernadette, is still in the shop for another two days. Her head gasket blew the day before we were scheduled to leave, which apparently means $1,500 and ten days in the shop (apparently, could have been twice that and I would have nodded glumly and taken out my checkbook). The naysayers are shouting 'resell' and 'lease', but she's paid for and, doggonit, she's my baby. So we ended up taking a rental on vacation.
One of the highlights of the trip was our Sunday visit to the best-kept secret of the Smokies, the Basilica of St. Lawrence
in Ashville, North Carolina. I've got a bunch of pictures, but they can't really beat the on-line tour of the nave here
. I'll post my pictures of the Adoration Chapel and the Marian Chapel later. All in all, it's quite a small church, but the architecture and statuary inside is exquisite, safely protected against 'wreckovation'. If anyone is vaguely in the area, I highly recommend a short pilgrimage. You will have to tolerate the city sprawled around it, though, which is sort of a hillbilly Berkeley that never got off the ground.
My dad offered me a glass of abisnth during my visit. Now I've been hearing about the stuff for months, and the Old Oligarch
is always talking about the stuff like it's the nectar of the gods, so let's just say I had high expectations. These expectations were utterly shattered, cast upon the ground, and irreverently trod upon. I do not believe I have tasted such vile concoction in many, many years - at least since my high school days. I will continually fail to understand the obsession.
I visited at least five used bookstores in three cities (Ashville barely counted: its main bookstore had three full bookshelves of the occult and meditation, and one row of 'Christianity'). The highlights:
- Louis Bouyer's Eucharist: Theology and Spirituality of the Eucharistic Prayer