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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Lost Week Found in Pictures (Friday and Beyond)

Continued from yesterday...children seen and mentioned...

By Friday, I had not really checked email in three days. I had not cleaned the house or packed our bags or slept for more than four hours or shaved my legs (I wanted to give the Senate staff a true Melissa experience with stubbly legs and a nice white skirt). And then Josh left for the office to work for a few hours before we got on the road and I baked 24 bagels to eat during Vampire Weekend.

Vampire Weekend contained neither vampires (unless you count Edward) nor took place solely on the weekend. But doesn't the name sound intriguing?

Every year, we go on holiday with our friends to their beach house and they endure the shifting moods of the ChickieNob and Wolvog (and our friends' patience constantly amazes me). Their house is on the Intercoastal Highway and you can sit in the backyard and watch the boats pass.

The ChickieNob and Wolvog usually come with "good ideas." Such as hole digging. Holes must always been made in the beach.

M, beginning the first hole of the day

The hole was large enough for the twins to climb inside

Every day went much in the same way: we woke up, tried to figure out ways to grab more sleep and contain the twins, slathered on the sunblock, parked ourselves at the beach, frolicked in the water or read Twilight, came back to the house to begin the arduous task of removing sand from bodily crevices (the ChickieNob's beach nickname is Shake n' Bake because she likes to drop to her knees when she reaches the sand and roll through it, encrusting herself like a skinless chicken breast dipped in sweaty sunblock), grabbed dinner, and then gave all of the money (that didn't go to Stephenie Meyer) to Funland.

And every day repeated the same way.

Another day, another hole

On our second to last day at the beach, we all piled into our cars and drove to Crisfield to catch the ferry to Smith Island. It was a little nerve-wracking because Smith Island is certainly my favourite place, but it is always hard to show your favourite place to another person because it may not translate. It is the same with favourite recipes, favourite books, and favourite paint swatches. Sometimes, they just don't mean the same thing for the other person.

Either our friends had the kind-heart to lie, or they enjoyed it too.

We ate lunch by the water and the staff remembered us from our last visit. I know that the twins gather attention sometimes as multiples usually do, but they weren't the ones who triggered the woman's memory. "You!" she exclaimed when I passed her to go to the bathroom. "You're that girl who had waited years to see Smith Island! You came here last year."

No crab cakes or rockfish for me...I brought my own peanut butter and jelly sandwich

We tried to get to the other island this time, calling Waverly over to Tylerton to see if he could pick us up. But we never heard back from him so we rented golf carts and took a ride around the island, pausing to take pictures.

It was hard to leave. I again broached the idea with Josh of purchasing land on the island, of taking off the year to live there, especially since his blackberry still worked on the island and ferry. I think because our time there is so limited and I love it so intensely, it makes every trip feel a little frantic. I love Smith Island like Bella loves Edward. There, I said it. The reason I love the books is because I have the same smouldering intensity with a piece of marsh land.

Wearing braids because Entertainment Weekly told us that buns were out, pigtails were five minutes ago and braids were in. And we take all of our hair advice from Entertainment Weekly

A photo taken by the Wolvog

Before we went home, we spent one more day at the beach and returned to Funland for a final visit. The ChickieNob wanted me to win her a stuffed pony and I sat down to one of those midway games where you need to roll balls into a hole and it makes your horse jump ahead. Even though I am the most uncoordiated person in the world, I managed to win on my first try and it was such a high that I ran around the boardwalk shrieking.

I tried again to win the Wolvog a stuffed dog, tossing a wiffle ball onto a painted muffin pan, which I sucked at big time. I used up six tries and then looked down at him, his lower lip quivering and heard him say, "why can't you win something for me?"

And, please, tell me that you wouldn't rig a game for a heartbreaking moment like that.

The four adults all went to play each other at this game where you squirt a target with a water gun in order to make your marker rise. One of us obviously had to win, and we did, though it didn't have the same high that came from the pony game. We went on some rides, ate Thrashers, and walked the main drag, coming to a pause by our car.

Some vacations, you're ready to leave once you get in the car. And some vacation-ends only fill you with dread because you're thinking about what you'll return to once you reach work and home. But leaving this vacation filled me with sadness because I've always wanted to go on holiday with friends; been one of those couples who children grow up with fictive kin that they holidayed with year after year. And it occurred to me as we got in the car that we have that. That we're grown-ups and we have those friends and it fills me with thankfulness and emotion.

And now back to our regularly scheduled week.


Cassandra said...

From the photos I wouldn't even have guessed at the frantic vampire reading.

Glad you had such a good holiday!

Lorza said...

awww. I love it! I love the idea of vacationing with fictive kin. Looks like you had a great time. No better smell to me than sunscreen, hot skin, and a pop top of some canned cold beverage. :)

Michelle said...

Wow looks like you had a WONDERFUL time. I am jealous! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL!

Beautiful Mess said...

So much fun! It's nice to have an "I'm an adult" moment and have it be a nice one! I love those.

Amanda said...

Looks like a great weekend, but I wanted to warn you about hole digging. There are certain types of soils (sand included) that can collapse in on you without warning and easily crush you to death. In the case of sand it is particularly difficult because it's very hard to dig someone out of it and children have been known to 'drown' in sand holes (from sand, not water). Here is a link to explain this a little better than I can ('ve taken a lot of soil science courses and this was always a big concern with my professors and we were always warned about digging our own trenches. Also, many, many construction workers are killed annually from trenches caving in one them. I just don't think many people know how dangerous a little whole in the ground can be. Ok, Paranoid assvicer stepping off her soap box now.

Sunny said...

Wow, beautiful pictures! Looks like such a lovely time.

I too hope that we can "holiday" with another family or two one day. Especially since we moved 2200 miles from all of our family. I worry that our son will suffer from the lack of relationships. Nothing like that desire/pressure help me get over social anxiety!

Melissa G said...

"The reason I love the books is because I have the same smouldering intensity with a piece of marsh land."

Love it.

Love the pictures too. Your vacation sounded glorious.

Thank you for sharing, as always.

Erin said...

I live like 30 minutes from Crisfield! and, wow, I've never been to Smith Island, LOL.

annacyclopedia said...

I absolutely love this post, Mel. That last paragraph just made my heart swell up with longing and gratitude and contentment and love for my own life. Thank you for being you and saying so many thoughtful, beautiful things and in so doing, helping me to enjoy the special and the mundane parts of my own life that much more.

calliope said...

what a great trip! & I love you rocking the braids!

Vee said...

I love this post. I loved your pics AND I am so jealous you have been to the beach and I am sitting in the cold and listening to the rain.

Glad you had a wonderful time.

MrsSpock said...

The Wolvog takes good picture...

Meghan said...

Great week and pictures ;)

Kristin said...

Those are the very best kind of vacations!

Lavender Luz said...

I like the bottle tree because it's colorful and reminds me of a Lollipop tree.

What terrific memories you made!

'Murgdan' said...

Awesome pictures...looks like a great trip. I've always wanted to make a bottle tree.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

Love the "missing" week's snapshots between the two posts!

The Island looked like a fabulous place to be and I can see why you'd want to stay there for a long time.

Io said...

I'm pretty sure cheating was justified in this case.
Feel free to bring me along next time. Please.

Cara said...

Oh yeah, braids are the new thing! Pity the folks that didn't think to grow their hair out!

Great vacation!

Bea said...

You had ten kinds of blast! I am appointing you to organise our next holiday.