Monday, July 19, 2010

Vacation Summation

It's been a wonderful stay at home vacation. We've combined old with new, relaxation with activity, and time with friends with time alone.

We've ridden bicycles to the beach, swum in ice-cold water and lain in the sun long enough to remember what a proper sunburn feals like. Strange that you can live in a place like this and go to the beach so seldom, but there it is: a few times a year really is enough. Anything more and relaxation starts to feel like routine, and like work. But getting there on our fleet of cast-off and dump-recovered bicycles is a nice touch. And it's liberating to leave your rides leaning on a post at the end of the trail, without locking them up. Anybody could steal them, I suppose. But other than the inconvenience of a long walk home, would it really matter?

We've had an old-school LAN party, networking our five year old computers together to play a ten year old video game around the kitchen table.  Amazing how much better it runs on the hardware we have now. Made us reflect on the treadmill of hardware and software advances. You buy a new PC to get a better experience of your favorite video games, but then there's a new library of games to install that'll just bog it down again. Are they really any more entertaining than the last? I doubt it. But they set you to salivating over the next computer you're going to buy. (Hence this sort-of vow of poverty that leads me to buy used or accept castoffs whenever possible.) Given that I hardly ever touch video games these days, our little session was a surprisingly social and satisfying exercize. We may play the game a bit more in the weeks to come, though I'm not sure. It may be like going to the beach, a handfull of hours here and there enough to scratch the itch.

We had a brief road-trip to a neighboring town to pick up a friend of ours. Stopped in a smoke-shop for a cigar and some pipe cleaners. Drank lattes in an unfamiliar cafe. (Eight dollars for two cups of coffee! A rare and precious indulgence, indeed.) Floated around a bit in a pool, drinking cocktails. (Who says watersports and alcohol don't mix?) We ate a few meals at restaurants, and watched a few movies on the couch.

Oh, and there was all that yard work earlier in the week, which turned our yard from a construction site and scrap-metal heap into a pleasant place to sit with a typewriter to and do some writing. So I did some. Plus, I gathered up all the spare bricks which have been mouldering in piles around the yard for the past 100+ years and stacked them up into a hearth on the patio, perfect for sitting around the fire at night and grilling on. So we did a bit of that, too.

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