Sunday, November 22, 2015
There and Back Again
Well, if nothing else, we certainly picked a good week to have a news blackout. Instead of dealing with the multiple awfulnesses and idiocies of the past seven days or so, I got to look at Caribbean sunrises. Here's one, in case you need it.
It was very nice, our cruise. As an experiment in travel, it was a success (hell - anytime I make it to the end of the day and can say, "Well, I didn't die..." - after the past nine months, that's a success). That said, my goodness isn't domestic flight in the United States barbaric? Hardly a novel insight, I realize, but every experience only intensifies the feeling. The Mister has come to regard it with a kind of awed wonder, the raw hideousness of it coming slap up against the childhood belief with which he was raised that everything in Amreeka must be better.
Nothing like a two-hour flight on American Airlines to shatter the last vestiges of that little pipe dream, I'll tell you that.
And while I'm complaining - and after a week of bliss, it's really rather fun - my God, when did Americans get so trashy? And grim? We got so we'd watch the people passing by - and cruising involves a lot of walking, and therefore many people passing by - and pick them out by nationality. Strolling along, clad in resort wear, laughing, glass of wine in hand? Brits, probably, or German. Stomping self-righteously from bar to buffet in tight shorts and tee-shirt proclaiming an unsavory political belief, on the lookout for the latest slight or Massive, Vacation-Ruining Inconvenience? Gotta be homegrown. By the end of the week, we were genuinely startled when the dressy couple chatting and laughing next to us would turn out to be from, say, St. Louis or Cleveland rather than Strasbourg or Surbiton. It was rare, but it did happen.
But, undaunted, we had fun. We were remarkably lazy, doing little but lounging poolside, lounging in the spa, or loitering at our ship's rather festive Martini bar, where we witnessed bartenders doing things to vodka and chilled glasses that would wither James Bond's hardened soul (but which we enjoyed immensely). I learned, too, to my pleasure that my current favorite tipple, Aperol, was widely stocked, and so I sampled it widely, usually in combination with the line's lovely Prosecco.
All good things, alas, and so here we are back in the chilly north, but the dogs are happy and so, really, are we. I feel better able now to face the inevitable snows, knowing that if I want I can once again hie myself to somewhere better. Back on the diet wagon, but after a week of rich eating (and lots of time at the gym - oh, I wasn't a total sloth, mind you, and I'm still mindful that I have an obligation to take care of myself) it's really rather pleasant to go back to simple fresh things, the mainstay of home kitchen.
As for the rest of what's going on in the world? For the moment, the less said, the better. I'm going to try and keep my mind on those sunrises...