Vacation Day 4 did not go exactly as planned.

The plan was to let the carpet cleaners in, and then to pick up #2 son from his finals, go to lunch and a couple of little downtown visits, and then go on the day’s hike.

6The carpet cleaners did not show when they said they would. I called and they said they were on their way. I left #1 son home to let them in and went to pick up #2 son. #1 son was to join us after the cleaners had been. #2 son, it turned out, needed an advocate at the school for a little matter of skipping afternoon classes — enough that he was looking at being denied credit for those classes.

I always have trouble with this sort of thing. If the kid has broken school rules, I don’t want to be the parent who is there trying to get him out of the punishment he deserves. On the other hand, I sure don’t think he should have to retake classes he passed, for having skipped them four times. So we had our negotiation and headed over to the LYS, and then called #1 son.6

Someone had come to restretch the carpets, but he was still waiting for the cleaners.

We went to the art gallery, and thence to the used book shop, waiting for #1 son to call and say the cleaners had been, and then at last we said we would go on to the restaurant and bring something home to #1 son.

I like this sign from the used book store. The outdoor sign, of course, is a snazzy retro sign and of course I like it. But I also like the funny little sign below. They have all their signage like this, but the juxtaposition of topics struck me funny.

6 We went on to the Greek restaurant for lunch, running into only a couple of people we knew, and enjoyed our gyros and a bit of conversation. We were still thinking that #1 son would be along any minute, but he did not arrive, so we had his lunch packed up and set off.

A call to the cleaners showed that they had not only not been on their way at all, but would not come until today, Thursday.

Grrr. They said they would clean all the carpets when they came, not just the wet bits, but I really was not mollified. At this point, I would prefer not to have the carpets cleaned 6at all.

We had stopped off at the old train station, now a coffee and ice cream place.

I am glad the building was saved. They even kept the ticket windows and all that.

We wandered in, tourist-like, and breathed in the wonderful scent of coffee. #2 son had a biscotti, and he and I shared a scoop of raspberry sorbet, and it was quite good.

As it happened, I had read Nestle’s section on coffee and tea in What to Eat, and thus I knew that neither has reliably proved to be either particularly good for you or particularly bad for you, though there is weak evidence that tea may have some 6beneficial effects. The only thing that Nestle actually recommends drinking is water, and she reports that 40% of bottled waters are fortified tap water. They are a marketing miracle,  but you might as well just drink tap water. She is eloquent on the subject of sodas and juice and “juice drinks” and their marketing to children.

The coffee place has a wonderful little lounge. I would like this to be one of the places where I read for the summer reading challenge, and that may happen in the future, but it did not happen yesterday.

They also have outdoor tables and chairs right on the railroad tracks, which must be exciting when the trains come by.

6 We no longer have passenger trains coming through here — thus the obsolescence of the station — but a freight train came through while we were at the Greek restaurant a couple of doors down, and stopped all conversation with its piercing whistle.

We went home with #1 son’s lunch, disheartened and cross and no longer in the mood for a hike. I repaired to the couch with my stack of vintage mysteries.

When my husband came home, he was even more disheartened and cross than I. He expressed this by making us remove all the furniture to the kitchen. We have our carpets cleaned every year, and have never moved the furniture at all. We had to move the boys’ furniture to the living room because of the water and the blowers and stuff, but I think that moving things into the kitchen was just an outlet for my husband’s outrage.

6 If having all the bedroom furniture in the living room was inconvenient, then having all the furniture in the kitchen is even more so.

We have a dining area in the kitchen as well, just an open room between the living room and the kitchen proper, and it is completely full of dressers and computer desks and chairs and such.

I am not making a plan for today, that’s all.