Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great Escapes



Whew! Well, I made it through our evaluations unscathed and now I feel like a kid on the last day of school: freedom for a whole summer! Indulge me just a moment...

aaaaaahhhhhhhh.......


I am thinking knitting and painting sound pretty good right about now. That and I ought to be able to get to re-covering the dining room chairs and perhaps even the cushions for the rocking chair.

Yesterday we had our day at the beach and can I just say... ow? I usually don't underestimate the sunshine, but obviously I did yesterday. Both Maia and I are a bit pink - not too bad, but enough to have made us uncomfortable last night and Maia even a bit queasy.

You know, I realize I live in Florida and it's almost sacrilegious to say this, but I am not the hugest fan of the beach. I'm not saying I don't like it, but I know people who love the beach and say they would be there all the time if they lived down here. Now, whether or not they really would is one thing. And I imagine, for a kid, like snow, the beach is just pretty darn great. But for the adults, the beach includes packing plenty of food and drink, sunscreening and re-sunscreening all of the family, packing all the beach toys (and there are plenty), packing the umbrellas and the implements to get them to stay lodged in the sand (ours still blew away once yesterday), gathering towels and blankets and beach chairs,etc.

I guess I have kind of a love-hate relationship with the beach. The beach itself is always beautiful. Siesta Key has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in our country. The sand is a very, very fine powder white quartz. You really must experience it to know that there really is a difference! That said, that superfine sand loves to blow into your lunch quite easily and coat everything, everything else.

Also, I love sea creatures and I enjoy studying them and watching them. Yesterday we were treated to at least six of the dolphins that call Sarasota Bay home. They were so close and like the change of the leaves in the autumn, I never tire of seeing them gracefully moving by. There were schools of other largish fish, approximately 1 foot long each, swimming in the shallows where we swam and the kids - ours and others around us - all seemed to try to catch them in their hands and obviously never could. But the waves would sometimes push the school right into someone and that was always funny. "Hey, I just got slapped in the chest by a FISH!" one of the kids yelled as the wave moved past him.

The pelicans are also a favorite. I know many love to see them dive, but I especially like seeing them glide literally inches above the water. They get so close to the surface and yet just skim on by.

But I don't like the way my skin feels after a day at the beach: tight and dry. I always feel weathered upon returning home. And my hair always manages to lighten a shade, which is great if you are blond, but my hair always gets a bit red and brassy.


So, enough whining, I know. But it's funny, because as I said, it's almost sacrilegious to dare complain. So many times the picture of a dream vacation is planted somewhere on a beach, but I guess it's just not that for me. I can't help that it's not my first choice. Perhaps it is because I have not traveled much that I imagine that seeing Italy or the English or Irish countryside is more appealing to me when I think of "escape." Experiencing those cultures and old, stone buildings are the things that call to me. Perhaps if I lived right among them, they would not hold such appeal, but presently, those are the types of things that do that for me.


So, what do you think of when you think of a vacation paradise? Are you going to get to do any of that this summer or sometime in the future? This summer won't hold any travel plans for us, but we are saving our pennies - quite literally - for a trip to Europe someday.

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