Tag Archives: vacation

Scenes from Saturday + So Long, Canada

A whirlwind two weeks, three countries, and thousands of miles of vacation came to an end yesterday with a long drive back from Canada.

We had another great week in PEI doing our favorite things and also doing not much at all.

I did get a lot of reading done between all the miles, including some fiction: Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane, A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny, Zero Days by Ruth Ware, and Valdez is Coming by Elmore Leonard. Plus, some non-fiction, as well: How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy, The Best of It by Kay Ryan, and Play: How it Shapes Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown.

All worth the time. I’ve reached the point where if the book isn’t working for me, I don’t plow through it, I just put it aside.

Anyone else read any great beach or vacation books this year?

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Scenes from Saturday + Bores & Bits

Two Saturdays, two very different climates. Last week, I was drinking sweet Dominican coffee and sweating over the keyboard. This Saturday, I am cool as a cucumber. A Canadian cucumber. If they grew cukes in Canada. Which they probably do, but not in PEI, based on roadside sides they only grow potatoes here.

We have returned to Prince Edward Island for another year. “You’re going there again?” Yes. It’s hard to explain our love for this remote little slip of land but we are not denying it, just embracing it.

The underrated beauty of going back to a place again and again is that you’ve done it all. The only thing left to do is nothing. Idle away a day without the guilt and let your mind wander.

GK Chesterton said there were three types of leisure: “The first is being allowed to do something. The second is being allowed to do anything. And the third (and perhaps most rare and precious) is being allowed to do nothing.”

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Scenes from Saturday + Stay Cool in the Pool

We are trying something different. We are doing nothing. Typically our vacations often end up with an itinerary longer than the menu at a Cheesecake Factory. Not this time.

We made a conscious decision to find a place to just chill and truly take a break. Our itinerary did not need to be extensively researched nor be jam packed. There would be no pressure to be efficient or fulfill a sightseeing checklist. The only imperative would be to go somewhere new and just hang out.

You only get so many summers with your kids. We can see the finish line with Cecilia, so we took away Michelle’s laptop, took away the power tools, took away the washing machine, and headed to the Dominican Republic for a land cruise and hang out at a resort for a few days.

That’s it. Get up. Go to the buffet. Go the pool. Go to the beach. Read a book. Call it a day. A successful day.

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Scenes from Saturday + Sweat & Swim

When I was in sixth grade, I decided R.E.M. were my favorite band. I had recently burned out on UB40.

Forty years ago, they released their first album. Guitarist Peter Buck commented on the occasion: “If, on the way to the first day of recording Murmur, we had chanced upon a radio rebroadcast from exactly forty years previous, we would have heard speeches from Franklin Roosevelt, news about World War II, and the swinging sounds of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.”

Time is elastic and weird.

For instance, this past week, I became the parent of a fourteen-year-old.

She cannot fathom how R.E.M. could ever be popular. Taste is wasted on the youth.

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Scenes from Saturday + Truck Stops & Timbits

We are back from a week’s vacation on Prince Edward Island. Canadian internet has improved in the three years since we last visited but it was still mostly a respite from screens and emails. For both parents and kids. As much as I enjoy the internet and much of my livelihood depends on it, I have to admit I’m relieved there was no social media when I was a kid. I am likely the last generation of parents to grow up with this divide where we didn’t have the internet all the time as a kid.

The dysfunctional side of the internet is difficult for adults to handle. It must be strange and crazy for kids. Maybe the next generation of parents will find it easier to parent amid this weird often unhealthy online world. It will just be normal. Sort of. You will have an innate understanding that Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok is not real life and you need to be disciplined when you use these tools or they become traps.

My kids will never know what it was like to live in a world without the internet. But I will also never know what it’s like to grow up in a time where it is ubiquitous. Getting away even for a week and reminding each other that there is a life to collect and curate outside the strictures of the internet was time well spent.

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Scenes from Saturday + Bridges & Borders

The kitchen reno is well underway and we are escaping the dust and chaos for a week’s vacation. There was just too much temptation for Michelle. Power tools everywhere.

With the end of August approaching, the girls wrapped up their last set of summer music lessons. I didn’t have to tell them to practice every day, but more often than not their was some Dad nagging. This parental prodding often led to huffs, puffs, eye rolls, or worse.

This self-flagellation for discipline, even to do good things, is tough. Sometimes it’s necessary, of course, but it’s difficult to maintain for any length of time. What does work? For me, it’s curiosity. It’s remembering the things you’re trying to force yourself to do are often things you find fun or satisfying. At least you did at one time. Once I managed to change my outlook on my daily tasks, whether they are writing, exercise, design, or baking, as things I’m curious about then they often become a lot less onerous.

Oddly, once i started doing this, my days often looked much the same as they did before but they now feel a lot different.

Yes, sometimes things still need to just get done. I don’t find paying bills or vacuuming all that curious, but instead of bullying yourself to get things done, try being disciplined about things that bring you joy. You’ll feel a lot better.

I only learned this recently but hope the girls can learn it a lot sooner.

Now and blog about 12 hours in a car…..

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Scenes from Saturday + Stayin’ Classy at 50

We are on vacation, visiting family in San Diego, and celebrating Michelle’s parent’s 50th anniversary. That’s an increasingly rare and wonderful milestone showcasing a long and successful partnership.

Michelle likes to tell the story of how my grandmother pulled her aside a few weeks before our wedding and told her in no uncertain terms that there were no divorces in her family and she didn’t intend to start now so Michelle better be sure. Either my tiny, little grandmother had a terrifying side that I never saw or she was working some powerful voodoo because 17 years after that chat, and many weddings later, there are still no divorces in my large, sprawling, extended family.

Or maybe we just all had good role models. I’m a big believer in modeling how and what you want your kids to learn. Fifty years of marriage is a heck of a strong example.

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