The Both Coast vacation begins…

Keeping better track of my trips was one of the first reasons I started blogging, so for those who don’t find it interesting to get a play-by-play of my travels, you might want to tune out for a few days. 10, to be exact. Because that’s how long my vacation is, baby! Wahoo!

Just a brief mention of how much I need this break. Ok, that was brief enough.

So, day one was about travel. XNA to MHT. Last summer, when traveling to a conference in Chicago, I discovered that I’m missing a “networking gene“. I discovered another genetic deficiency while traveling yesterday. It’s the “strike up fun and exciting conversations with my fellow travelers” gene. Flight one, I sat next to a man who, as we boarded, was on his bluetooth complaining to his wife about their daughter’s bad attitude. Try starting up a “hi, how are you, what do you do?” conversation after that. Flight 2, I’m in the very firstest of the first seats on the plane, and I can’t get the flight attendant to do more than give me a fake smile. And as much as I made like a 6-year old and craned my head to try to see the buttons in the cockpit, the pilots weren’t talking, either. It is me? It must be me. I have a secret fear that I’ll miss a chance to chat up [insert really interesting or important person here] because for some reason I give off the “don’t talk to me” vibe. I’ll have to work harder on flights 3 and 4 later in the trip.

To recap, on this Both Coast vacation, I’ll be spending 4 days in NH and 5 days in CA. For a total of 6 plane flights.

So now I’m hanging in my old ‘hood for a few days. As happens every time I come home, I’m surprised by how much smaller it is in reality than in my head. Last night I walked up the hill from where my grandma’s mobile home used to be, remembering playing Star Wars in the snow with my cousins and brother; I swear that hill was like a mini-ski slope when I was a kid. Surely the stairs to the 2nd floor were steeper and longer than they are now. What I don’t get is why it’s the kid-sized memories that stick with me. I mean, I also lived in this house as a teenager and adult. How come I remember so clearly the woods where we beat back the bushes to make a fort? Or the old, creepy treehouse that was razed to the ground for safety reasons at least two decades ago?

Regardless, I love coming here. The weather gods have sent me 80 degrees with low humidity and blue, blue skys that are pierced by the tall pine trees I miss so much when I’m not in New England. There’s a wind, a special NH wind that rustles the trees. The cicadas sounded different from their Arkansan brethren last night. And there’s JoJo’s Country Store, aka the Store (as I’m writing this I realize that’s what I always do in my head when talking about it – I capitalize “Store”), our family’s business that is just one year younger than me. My apologies to the rest of you who have to make due with supermarkets, but you just can’t beat “going shopping” with your mom in your own deli, bakery and grocery store. Want dessert? Head out to the Store to get a whoopie pie. Need a muffin for breakfast? Wheedle your dad into getting one for you. Want lunch? Wait ’til the lunch rush is over and then make yourself a “Damn Good Sub”. It’s awesome.

Today will be about nothing much other than reading (my current read is Seaworthy, by Linda Greenlaw, and I’m enjoying it immensely), writing, walking down to the beach, and vegging out. Ahh. My kind of vacation.

And PS – it was great to watch the Pats play – I’m so ready for football.  I’ll say this, though – Tom Brady needs a haircut.  Badly.

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