Sunday, December 23, 2007

As Close to Perfect as It's Gonna Get

Last day of vacation in the north looked like this:

9 a.m.: Wake up in lovely, historic B&B. Wander downstairs to a sunny, snowy morning. Consume blueberry pancakes, bacon, grapefruit juice and coffee.

9:45 a.m.: Wander back upstairs, have lengthy conversation with husband regarding what to do and where to eat during the day.

10:30 a.m.: Now gussied up, drive 10 miles from teensy mountain town to slightly larger mountain town. Find free parking. Wander up the main drag, in search of coffee.

11 a.m.: Eat at Rachael Ray-recommended cafe. Chicken chili with fresh baguette. Eat in view of frozen lake and mountains. Drink coffee, read Shelley Jackson novel.

1 p.m.: Rent ice skates and spend two hours going round and round on Olympic speed skating oval (see below. Thank you, New York Times.). No falling, no knocking the teeth out. Just looking at the patterns of metal blades on ice, and fog on snow-covered mountains in the distance.

3 p.m.: Limp off the ice, wander up the street to the local brewery for a pint and some nachos.
4 p.m.: Explore used bookstore. Mock its crappy selection good-naturedly.
5 p.m.: Wander up the hill to the fancy-schmancy restaurant, and wonder if they'll let us in, since we're wearing fleece and salt-stained jeans. Not only do they let us in, they get us drinks, offer us the pub and the restaurant menu, and give us a tour of the wine cellar. Dinner=tomato bisque with lobster thermidor and a organic, grass-fed rib eye with porcini mushroom sauce. Heaven. And a glass of El Felino Malbec.
6:25 p.m.: Pay bill and wander down the hill to the tiny local movie theater, clearly built in the art deco period. See Will Smith movie, which didn't suck.
9 p.m.: Drive back to historic B&B, take a bath in clawfoot tub, crawl into bed.

Lessons learned:
Everything is funnier on vacation.
Lots of small meals can give you room to try different kinds of food.
Exercising on vacation can be fun.
Snowy mountain towns require warm waterproof boots, rendering the every day, constant search for cute but weather-appropriate shoes unnecessary.
A good plan can allow you to do a good number of activities in a single day.

If this is what not going home for Christmas looks like, then I may never go home again.

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