Rain, a roast, and some respite

A sure sign that Jon works too much is his accumulation of vacation time. With more than 40 days available, he decided to take Fridays and Mondays off through September. That meant we could arrive at the campsite earlier on Friday and stay into the evening on Monday, allowing us to enjoy an extra meal on Monday without racing to beat the rain.

Friday’s Date Night was typical, with grilled steak and veggies accompanied by our favorite Ravenswood old vine zinfandel. Saturday’s routines culminated in an excellent camp-style supper of grilled chili dogs, fries, and onion rings. A serendipitous viewing of “Real Rail Adventures: Switzerland” got us thinking about rail-themed movies, which led to us watching Kenneth Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” a thoroughly entertaining remake of the mystery thriller based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. Produced and directed by Branagh, the 2017 film was the fourth screen adaptation of Christie’s novel (the 1974 film version earned Ingrid Bergman her third and final Academy Award). Its all-star cast included Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., and Michelle Pfeiffer (in addition to Branagh in the role of the renowned Belgian detective Hercule Poirot).

On Sunday, we found ourselves drawn to three episodes of “Great Estates Scotland” on PBS. After touring Dumfries House, Inveraray Castle, and Rosslyn Chapel, Cliff declared, “we absolutely MUST go to Scotland.” The in-depth exploration of these stunning country estates gave us an unvarnished look behind the scenes at the challenges of generating income for their upkeep. We concluded the four-part series with a Monday viewing of the episode on Kincardine Castle.

Monday’s full day at camp allowed Chef Cliff to make a slow-cooked pot roast with veggies and tavern-style gravy. It also allowed us to indulge in a brunch scramble, a lazy afternoon nap, and some fact-finding on ancestry.com, all before heading back to Hampshire for the remainder of the week. We think we could get used to Jon having a three-day work week!