First, we jump-started our blood circulation by
Next, we visited the dead-mouse-smelling post office. Apparently the postal employees had gotten wind that two suspicious characters were on the rampage, because they closed up the post office--early--before we could storm the place. We got to walk in and take a whiff, but I was unable to interrogate them on what exactly was causing the odor.
By then, we were parched, so we had a spot of tea and some scones...'cause Sioux and Val are such the tea type...Crisp white linens, some violin music in the background and even some watercress sandwiches--what a lovely treat.
Next, the moment I had waited for for years...the chance to actually see the driveway that belongs to Val's mom. It's frowned upon to stare too long at this sacred ground, and furthermore, it's illegal to park on the driveway (unless, of course, you have filled out an application at least six months in advance), so I had to cloak myself in a grass and gravel camouflage suit and bellycrawl onto the property, just so I could snap this photograph. (The driveway is in the background; in the foreground is Sioux-on-a-Stick and Val-in-a-Recliner.)
Next, we headed to Val's classroom. Unfortunately, the school district security guard was alerted before we could take more than one picture. However, this is a glimpse into her window; the tangle of computer wires that Val and The Pony successfully untangled are just out of view, on the left.
We finished up with more to drink...this time, some elixir from the gods. When the gas station employees got wind that it was one of Val's daily tours ($16.95 for adults and $29.95 for children under 12 because who wants to hang around a bunch of young kids in the summer; a $10 fee for each photo taken with Val-on-a-Recliner is required), they cleared the area so we could take advantage of the photo opp. Most of the time, if two such menacing females would be spied stalking around--suspicious women taking pictures--the police would be alerted. (Actually, we did see a police cruiser at two of the tour sites. I am sure they were not checking out we-who-could-be-terrorists. They were probably there to control the crowds that always create traffic jams when Val makes an appearance in town.)
I could not afford the five-figure fee Val charges to take a picture of her basement lair, where all the magic happens. After all, I'm just a poor third grade teacher who has years to go before she sleeps. But bouyed by the precious elixir that flows from that dispenser (a 17-cent discount on the sodas for Val tour members), I headed back on my three-hour trip home...elated and exhausted.