Vacations do not always meet our expectations. We tend to approach the "vacation" with a mix of anticipation, excitement, and, given our own proclivities, expectations that might include anything from "time to do nothing" to getting sloshed every night for a week. My expectations tend toward the former. I enjoy the opportunity to do things other than working, cooking, cleaning, entertaining and thinking for other people. And time to do nothing at all. Call me selfish. A friend (who I honestly don't remember inviting) stayed with us for almost a week. He was thoughtful, considerate and cooked breakfast and brought groceries. But we, Leon and I, had looked forward to the two of us having alone time. Oh, well, I figured I must have invited the guy, so I was accommodating.
Leon looks forward to social interactions, talking with friends and strangers alike, kidding around, making small talk, talking about cars, and doing things to ensure that others have a good time. Like inviting friends and acquaintances to enjoy the things and activities that we have come to enjoy. Unfortunately, this sometimes interferes with my "doing nothing".
When that happens I get cranky. I don't like always being the cranky old fart, so I go along. We go through contortions to provide others with a nice time, then ... well it just seems like more work than it's worth. Labor Day beach picnic. An Over-sand Pass, a Beach Fire Permit, a grill, two coolers, drinks, ice, pork ribs, sausage, paper plates, plastic utensils, grill utensils, condiments, firewood, chairs, a folding table, beach umbrellas, blankets, dog food, dog's water, dog dish. Two trips out and back to get everyone to Race Point. Others brought dogs (both canines and wieners) and rolls and cole slaw and drinks. Fun for six. Then after a stress test, five more people show up. This is supposed to be fun. Yeah, I know, so don't lecture me. Not fun for me. I went beyond cranky. It gave me a sour taste for days.
Leon got his bubble burst too, when a friend commented on his somewhat grating sense of humor. He likes to rib people. He can dish it. He does like to kid around and sometimes gets repetitive - I guess that might translate "annoying" to some. But Leon would walk over hot coals to help you out - drive a few hundred miles if you asked him. He's towed campers for people. Bought a used car for an employee so he could get to work. Helps out perfect strangers. But he got told.
And even Benni got a new view of the dog park that he enjoys so much - when he got attacked by another dog at the dog park. He got scared and seemed shocked by the reality that not all dogs are nice.
So, between the hurricane Earl that fizzled out but delayed our trip, and some dashed expectations, our trip to Paradise this year was not all heaven.
Still, as I always say: "A CLOUDY DAY AT THE BEACH IS BETTER THAN A SUNNY DAY AT WORK". (unless of course you work as a beachcomber or something). We are fortunate to be here:
Pines in the Dunes
Cranberry Fields Forever - Wild Cranberries in the Dunes
Bayberry - the Wax Berry Was Used For Candles
Tide Coming in Through the Dunes
Drive on Beach