I had the weirdest and wildest dreams last night, but I won't be able to do them justice, partly because my memory is a little hazy. Of course there was a group trip, a rather epic one involving travel on a giant bus with my mother and various random people from my past. I tried to find a seat, but each option presented problems. There was a very back row facing backward, which I thought would be okay although I don't like facing backward in a vehicle. But when I tried to sit down I discovered why the seats were empty: it really only worked if you hunched over or lay down across several seats, because of the combination of window and ceiling heights. Then my mother pointed out that there was a row of seats running up and down the left/driver's side, facing out sideways. I didn't like that option either because I thought it was dangerous. I was worried about the lack of seatbelts and what would happen in the event of a side collision*.
I finally sat down (in a rear-facing seat, but in the middle of the bus) next to a guy with a baby. The guy looked vaguely like Sean Bean, and I didn't really interact with him because I was distracted by the baby, who was dangling in front of me without any apparent support (although this didn't seem odd). Acting on reflex, I took the baby and set him on my lap, at which point I realized that he was actually a small freckled boy, maybe 6 or so**. I started talking to him rather animatedly, which surprised me since I'm not normally one of those people who makes over small children (not that I have anything against them, I'm just not the one who runs over and starts talking baby talk to them).
I'm not sure if this was the trip destination, but the next thing I remember I was at a house on a very steep wooded hillside. This was surely inspired by watching several historical British dramas recently featuring those long-term (by modern standards) visits in which a group of random highbrow people would descend on a manor house. There were a lot of people around, a few of whom I knew but most of whom I didn't, and I was trying to navigate the bathroom-use system because I wanted to take a shower.
I had laid claim to a bathroom (one of a pair in an odd layout: they were on a stair landing near the entrance, and had white louvered Western Saloon type doors) and was just about ready to take a shower. I don't remember all the details, but the owner of the house (who I think was the Sean Bean lookalike from the bus) arrived and made it clear that his routine was to use this bathroom at this exact time for his ablutions. So I apologized, gathered up my stuff, and went to wait outside.
I don't know if I ever got my shower, because the next thing I can remember was being outside. I realized that something odd was going on, but it took me a while to grasp the basics (I never did understand the details). In a nutshell, there was a shootout between some people, at least one of whom was a doppelganger of the host. This doppelganger had been activated by some action or event, but was apparently a chronic presence who appeared every so often--locked in semi-permanent conflict with the host.
The most fantastical moment involved a zombie-like young man propped up against the exterior wall. He had appeared to be dead, actually nailed to the wall by a gunshot. It became clear, though, that this was just a disguise to hide in plain sight--as the doppelganger (or maybe the host, I couldn't straighten out their identities) rounded the corner, the young man practically exploded from his position flat against the wall, shooting the doppelganger/host. I finally realized that this was a dangerous situation, and I started running/rolling down the hill. I'm not sure how I managed to avoid all the huge conifers, but the pine needles made a forgiving surface on which to roll, and when I had gotten to the bottom of the rather deep ravine I looked around and appreciated how beautiful it was, even though I didn't know how I was going to get out of there.
At some point a couple from my parents' church made a cameo appearance. In real life, this man has very straight, wiry hair that grows straight out from his head in all directions, and he favors a buzz cut of varying length. In the dream, he had curled his hair in a foppish late-18th-century/early 19th-century style***, and had caused some kind of unnamed scandal of medium-level seriousness. In real life, his wife has a rather old-fashioned haircut styled in a way that might be described as marcelled. In the dream, my sister informed me that he shared her husband's hair woes and that was why she always wore it quite short and curled in a standard "old lady" helmet style.
*I don't want to delve too deeply into this recent dream concern for vehicular safety.
**Nor am I going to meditate on the recurring theme of small boys.
***Thank you again, British historical dramas.