Thursday, August 12, 2004

Things I did & (almost) did on my Vacation

Last week, while vacating my office for a full five days, I struggled through a cycle of 7 days of no work. Well, no work in the office, at least. It had been a while since I had gone through this experience (through no one's fault but my own), so "Vacation" was like "Senegalese" to me, a foreign language that seemed enticing, but how the heck are you going to learn it in just one week! The fam, most specifically my ever-loving wife, was very conscious of this as well; my week off must have been hell for them, partially due to the level of stress oozed by yours truly.
In order to systematically enjoy my vacation, a list was necessary.
Vacation To-Do's
1) Go to the beach/shore. Determination of the ultimate destination was done via the formula
Z = d/t * Q + (S + D - R), where
Z=Ultimate destination
d=distance
t=time to get to Z
Q=# of traffic jams to get to Z
S=Qty of snacks needed to get to Z
D=Gallons of beverages needed to get to Z
R=# of rest stops needed to get to Z, after consuming S & D

2) Eat at a good restaurant. The "good" is determined as a post-dining exercise and is un-appologetically subjective yours-truly type deal. This determination naturally requires a large sample size, for comparative purposes.

3) Read 1-3 books...completely. None of those well-intentioned arrangements where a plethora of books, with inserted bookmarks blowing like seagrass, is piled in the book shelves.

4) See (at least) one movie, that's unavailable for viewing in da 'burbs, in a theatre. Life-changing is preferred, but one with a kernel of uniqueness will also do.

So, How'd I do?
Combined #1 and #2, by heading down to Lewes, DE for a few days and eating at Striper Bites. Quiet beach (on the bayside) combined with a state park (Cape Henlopen with bike trails, frisbee golf course, a modicum of adequate body-surfing waves topped off with a fine easy-dining meal at a local tavern made the 2 days a relaxing but packed respite from the pressures of 'burb life.

A day in Philly satisfying #2 (again) at a Belgian style ale house, Euology restaurant and #4 was Hi Fab type of day. Visited the new Constitution Center in old Philly, a must-see for all turistas and Philadelphians. Well-executed, highly interactive, and architecturally pleasing to the eye, both inside and outside. A highlight was a recreation of the Declaration of Independence signing, where all of the attendees (including those men not signing) are recreated as life size bronze statues. If height is truly power, standing in that room you could understand how Washington was selected to be our first president. The Eulogy Tavern was a surprise find. Very small in size, huge in beer selection. And the Belgian style fries (with the secret mustard/mayo dipping sauce) were perfect company with the beer.
#3? Plowed through Mil Miilington's two novels, Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About and A Certain Chemistry. Mr. Millington, the author of the absolutely hilarious blog, Thngs My Girlfriend.., is a dry wit in the British style. While I love his blog entries, both of the novels, while of the good summer read category, were rather limp in comparison with his blog. Aside from the main character's obsessive concern with his "performace piece" (in both novels), his breakout from the blog was a tame venture. Here's hoping his next outing borrows the tightly drawn short stories' characteristice so amply displayed in his blogging entries.
While the movie, #4, that I had a chance to see in Philly (after loading up/imbibing with tasty/mind soothing carbs @ Eulogy Tavern), was not life-changing, it left an aftertaste of pleasantries (just like the Belgian mayo dipped fries). The French-Canadian film, La Grande Seduction, (English titled as "The Seduction of Dr. Lewis") has been compared to Waking Ned Devine. Granted, both picture are somewhat lightweight, but the photography and the regional taste that both exhibit is marvelous. Personally, I'd compare Seduction to another Canadian film, Rare Birds. Personalities, faces, Canadian island life, and small unexpected twists makes it an enjoyable picture to see.

With a bit of spare time, I added activity #5, How I almost killed my wife. That explanation will follow...as soon as I can cull some humour out of a fairly scary event.

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