All this nothing has been me getting ready for vacation and then enjoying it. And now here we are, one week down and one week left to spend in beautiful, hot, charming Seaside, Florida. We spent a week here with my parents last summer, and this year we made it two. I had forgotten how lovely it is. It's such fun to bike the few blocks to town for dinner. You go to the beach in the morning and stay a little sunscreen-sticky and windblown all day, like a kid at summer camp. The beaches are the prettiest I've ever seen, better even than Hawaii, I'd say. Having grown up enjoying the tarry sand and brown water of Galveston, I was shocked the first time I ran onto the beach in Destin, when I was a teenager. We had driven from Texas and ran from the car down to the beach, which was perfectly white, and into the water, which was perfectly clear. I had had no idea such water existed outside of waterparks and swimming pools.
Bits of oil just started washing ashore two days ago. I had been expecting big, muddy globs, but it is, so far at least, more like little tar pebbles that bob in the waves and land on the beach. It's such a shame. It's still gorgeous and awfully fun to be here, but it's hard not to feel angry on behalf of the people who live here, not to mention the birds and the fish and the waves.
Here is Bee in the smock-top sundress I managed to make her before we left. It's from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing and truly couldn't be easier. I made it out of an ancient pair of man-tailored seersucker pants that never really suited me. What a triumph!
She was scared of the ocean at first but now delights in going out deep with my parents. She still dislikes the sand, which is much softer, finer, and sticker than the stuff she finds at home at the playground. It sticks to her legs, and in great distress she tries to remove it with her thumbnail, grain by grain. She's learned many new words: ocean, beach, hose, rope, flag, turtle...
The house we rent has an amazing gulf view, even from the kitchen! It's very odd to look up from chopping and remember where you are. I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to feel a bit stressed about using up our food before we leave. Last year I had a great triumph of leftover disposal when I combined leftover spaghetti in tomato sauce, Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, and whatever cheese was around to make little baked pasta nests in a muffin tin; they went over very well. This year nothing has quite matched it. I meant to plan in advance some meals perfect for the limited kitchen of a rent house, but oh well. That isn't really in the ad hoc spirit of vacation, is it?