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Monday, August 07, 2006

What I Did on My Summer Holiday - Part I

Well, I promised in my last post that I would fill everyone in on the goings-on of the Fando family and so here it is. Please take into account that I've taken my allergy medicines for the day and so my memory may be slightly fuzzy on one or two details. Wherever that occurs, I'll take great care to embellish things to make them more interesting than they probably were.

Given that I read once that blog posts should be short and pithy, I'm breaking this up into a few parts. So here's part one.

What I Did on My Summer Holiday by Earl Fando - Part I: The Expanding Universe

Day One - Saturday:

We spent most of the day in the car, which wasn't so bad given that it was 184 degrees Farenheit outside. For those of you from Europe, particularly Britain, complaining about the recent heat wave there, you haven't really experienced heat until you've watched local wildlife burst into flames on the highway. Unfortunately for our auto insurance, the armadillos leave shrapnel.

We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant we'd eaten at before in a town somewhere on the Mississippi River... All right, alongside the river. Don't be so technical. The food at this establishment was slightly more flavourful than corrugated cardboard. They also had something that resembled sushi, but tasted like rice, seasoned with styrofoam. I did eat some boiled peanuts that afternoon. They were overcooked to the consistency of mushy peas.

We spent the night with family, avoiding overpriced hotels and the everpresent "strange bathroom hairs" that come with them.

Day Two - Sunday:

Some more travel to my mum's on the Gulf Coast. She's lived there since divorcing dad ages ago and lives in a bungalow right on a very attractive bay. I use the word bungalow because it sounds much nicer than economy flat. We have dinner at a Red Lobster's which is alarmingly similar to our hometown, non-coastal city, 600+ miles from a large body of water Red Lobster. Except that this one has fried oysters on the menu, which I order just to be different. They are all right, tasting moderately like oysters.

No boiled peanuts today, just the oysters and breakfast at a Cracker Barrel. The Cracker Barrel is one of those quaint places done up like an old southern "general store" (that's "shop" to those of you in Islington), except the products are all familiar brand names or made in China or both, and there are no large rats under the floorboards. Just to give you and idea of the quaintness of this old postbellum atmosphere, my child managed to purchased a stuffed doll here... Patrick the Starfish from SpongeBob SquarePants. Even now I can hear SpongeBob's mocking, bubblish laughter accompanied by the underwater strains of Dixie.

Day Three - Touristy Stuff:

We spend day three sleeping in, napping, eating at a much better Chinese restaurant than the one on the road (the sushi actually resembled sushi here) and then blowing a mind-numbingly large amount of money on things like carpet golf and go-carts. My child once again demolished me in go-cart racing, having the advantage of being 100 pounds lighter whilst driving vehicles with only 5 HP engines. At one point I was passed whilst climbing a hill by a go-cart attendant with a pegleg.

She also beat me in carpet golf for the first time ever, although I confess to stabbing at my penultimate putt rather recklessly to concede the victory, depsite the fact that Stew has seen me attack putts in much the same way on a full-sized golf course.

We did get the opportunity to walk out on a large pier. We saw a large school of small fish jumping out of the waves in unison to catch insects, which was a fairly uncommon sight, even in these parts. My child was completely uninterested, preferring to sit and grouse about wanting to go out on the beach and frolick in the waves. I explained to her that I despise the beach because of the way in which sand finds its way into every single orifice of the human body. Indeed, even on the pier a steadily rising layer of sand was forming between my toes and at least one other location which shall remain nameless, but rhymes with "coin."

After dodging the numerous fishermen on the docks, their hooks, and at least one dead fish of indeterminate species and expiration date, we were on the beach within five minutes. Less than 20 minutes after that my child bought a "boogie board." I'm still not absolutely sure of the function of this device, other than to observe that it seems ill-suited for dancing, and is much too large to fit in anyone's nostril.

No boiled peanuts today, as I forgot, being distracted by sleep. Also, the sand is in my ears and all over another part of my body which rhymes with "drum."

Next: Part II - The Gloaming

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