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Staycation Part II

July 7, 2010

Staying “home” for a week of vacation went so much better than I expected.  Partially because WD and I purposed to make something happen each day, but mostly, because of the girls.  They were sweet, and grateful and fun.  I was so pleased that they were as agreeable as they were, and how easily they moved from very intense “school’s out” social days to intense family time, with smiles.  It erased much of my bitterness about being forced into this stay-cation situation in the first place.

On the Friday of our staycation week, we went to the beach.  Yes, again!  I have never been to the beach so much outside of a traveling vacation.  Because (a) I feel fat in a bathing suit, and (b) I burn like a crisp.  To solve (a), I lost 20 pounds, but still being “fat” – decided to get over it and put on a bathing suit anyway.  To solve (b), I slathered on the sunscreen.  Some sun still squeezed in to add some color to my face, but that’s not always a bad thing.

So we beached it up, I swam a lot, and the girls had a lot of fun.  Even WD had a fun time, for the most part (he’s more of a sun-wimp than I am).

And so ended the week of stay-cation.  We couldn’t say goodbye to the week, though, until after we had a quintessential New England Fish Fry dinner on the way home from the beach.  A first for all of us.  It was alright.  I mean, I’m sure that for what it was, it was excellent.  but fried sea food is pretty bland.  I had shrimp – and the shrimp itself was very nice.  Plump, good quality, yummy. But I found myself wanting nothing more than some good cocktail sauce, and determining that if I were to return, I’d squirrel some into my beach bag for dinner purposes.  It was still fun, though.

We then had to rush home and ready L~ for a 3 day trip to Martha’s Vineyard with a friend and her family.  WD and I drove 1.5 hours at 6 in the morning to take 2 girls (my friend is so kind – taking her own two kids PLUS two extra 12 year old girls?) to the ferry to the vineyard.  S~ had plans for the day, and we didn’t.  When we got to the ferry and said by to L~, we looked at each other and said “why not?” and hopped on the next ferry.  Oh yeah. Martha’s Vineyard for the day!  Woo hoo!

Turns out – it’s not the best place for a day trip.  Especially a day trip where you don’t pack a bathing suit or a towel, and you didn’t bring your bike, and you’re taking a bus from town to town on a 90 degree day.  And you’re exhausted, because you just had a week’s worth of day trips and sun and swimming and fun.  But it was a great place, and we did find ourselves checking out rental options for next year when we got home.  And, we got some awesome photos:

This one is my photo contribution.  The above were taken by WD.  I love this shot of the lighthouse – it was a surprise to me that it came out as great as it did.  Funny how a simple little iPhone app can make something so dramatic:

Sunset on the ferry home was absolutely gorgeous.  The picture doesn’t capture it fully (all we had were our iPhones), but it was amazing:

We both ended up with surprise spots of sunburn after the day at the Vineyard, so we spent the day of the 4th chilling out and being as mellow as we could.  Then we went to friends’ house for a BBQ, and walked with S~ and a few friends down to the Charles River to watch the fantastic Boston fireworks:
The first couple years that we lived here, we spent the day of the Fourth along the bank of the Charles.  WD got out early (10 a.m.) with a cooler and a sun shelter and staked us out a spot.  The girls and I followed around lunch time, and we enjoyed the fair-like atmosphere throughout the day.  We were never too close to where the Boston Pops play, and never really tried to get inside the hatch shell.  But we had a blast, and heard the music, and enjoyed our time.  We thought about doing that with S~ this year, and offered that she bring a friend.  Then we ended up with this nasty heat wave, and none of us felt like spending the day sitting by the river in the blazing sun.  But when we were watching the Fireworks from behind a tree, I was regretting (again) that we didn’t make the effort to have front row/river-front seats.  Maybe next year …
Then, on the 5th – despite the fact that we were still in the heat wave, and despite the fact that I was up late walking at some sort of race-like pace that the 14-year-olds set until midnight-thirty, I agreed to take S~ and a friend back to the beach.  Along with 40-billion other people who thought that would be a good thing.  The same beach we’d been to on Friday, parking in the second row of the lot and having our choice of  spots, was now “full.”  Fortunately, just the parking lot.  We were directed to a parking lot a few miles away, where we could then take a shuttle to the beach.  groan.  It ended up fine, though.  The girls stayed helpful and happy, and we lugged our stuff on the shuttle, off the shuttle, down the beach, and then periodically UP the beach, running from the incoming tide.
(S~ in the water — those lines in the sand are where I dragged my chair to escape the encroaching ocean)
And after 7 days of successful sun protection, I had sunblock failure.  It was the first time I’d been out in the sun without another adult to help with back-side sunscreen application, and I ended up scorched!  In odd and inconsistent places:  the backs of my arms, weird smudges on my chest around the bathing suit straps, and on the tippy top of my thighs.
Bummer.
Now we’ve moved on from the fun, and into the doldrums.  Laundry, packing — getting the girls ready for a 3 week trip to visit their father in the Middle of the Country.  L~ is tearful, S~ is neutral.  More posts to come on that, I am sure.
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