I return from vacation with a refreshed state of mind—and a bag of pasta labeled “Space Noodles.”
When I summarized my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, a number of Sarasotans gave me the same deadpan response:
“My vacation was fantastic. We didn’t get any rain.”
“Yeah, we didn’t, either.”
Fortunately, the drought seems to have slackened a bit over the last week. And I’m happy to take full credit. Here you are, everybody, your souvenir from Seattle: rain.
Now if only I could remember to keep a damn umbrella in my car so I don’t have to run in from lunch with a hockey jersey over my head.
It’s nice to get away. Before last Wednesday, the closest I’d been to Washington State was San Diego and Cedar City, Utah. I always assume distant places are going to feel totally foreign. And they do, to an extent (my Florida brain is not set up to process the Rockies), but it’s also comforting how familiar 3,000 miles away can feel—that you can travel across the country (or further) and talk to strangers and find your way around and don’t wind up lost on some busy city street in the fetal position, weeping. I don’t know; maybe I just have low expectations for my traveling abilities.
I'M OVER HERE: I wore a red hat so they could find me in the rainforest.
As promised, Mom staged a grand Broadway musical of a trip, centered on a cousin’s wedding on Lake Quinault. It was a week of hiking the streets of Seattle and the rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula, of getting reacquainted with family and learning to square dance; of ducking thrown fish and scouring tchotchke shops for Space Needle cookie cutters and stuffed crabs.
ME AND MCDREAMY: I was actually looking for Frasier trinkets, hence my less-than-thrilled expression.
And, of course, a week of keeping my mother from trying to take scenic photographs while she’s driving. Damn multi-tasking stage managers.
RELAXATION: Converse in a canoe on Quinault.
Vacations always come with a special bonus: It’s nice to come home, too. I’ve spent the week reacquainting myself with some of my favorite Southwest Florida summer leisure activities: chilling on Bradenton Beach; kicking the soccer ball at G.T. Bray (read: shanking every other shot into adjacent back yards); visiting Horse Feathers for dinner (get the lobster tower—in fact, get two); listening to kickass music over beers at Metro; reuniting with the Beerslingers in the beautifully frigid air of the ice rink—and telling 18-year-old hockey sandbaggers to get bent.
Yeah, it’s good to be back.
Leave a comment and let me know how you beat the heat and stay afloat during Sarasota summers—I’m always looking for new activities to add to my repertoire!