Back from vacation…

I had the company of three congenial adults last week, as I took  my first out of town trip in two years. We went to Emerald Isle, North Carolina, one of our famous barrier islands.

Rather than the crashing tumult of the Atlantic, our cottage faced the Bogue Sound, a calmer body of water. This led to a tranquil mood among the four of us. My navy veteran father spent seeming hours behind his binoculars, examining sailboats, power boats, egrets, and seagulls.

The other three of us (two brothers and a female friend) also looked to varying degrees. We saved much of our energy for card-playing (Uno and Skip-Bo) and watching DVD’s For the latter, the connection of our TV, the cable system, and the DVD was so complex and so poorly mapped we had to call maintenance to explain it to us.

Really, the best entertainment was the cards. Dad likes to dramatize his shifting fortunes with extravagant gestures and proclamations. He also gave us two impromptu concerts of folk favorites on the guitar, achieving an impressive result despite his protestations of lack of practice.

More adventures of the family Bliss to follow…

Where I would go on vacation…

If I had oodles of money (an oodle is close to a bazillion) I would first travel west, to the Painted Desert of Utah and Arizona. I went there in ’99 and was transformed by the beauty of the landscape and that big sky. The distances involved amazed me. I am used to North Carolina, where there’s always another locality just around the bend. I would pack a new Nikon DSLR and have a fine old time with it.

Then I would head east to Scotland, rent a car, and drive around on the wrong side of the road. I have been there before, and still remember the quiet-but-astonishing gorgeousness of the glens. I would drink in the thinner, purer air (at least purer outside the cities).

Then with more of my oodles I would rent a seat on Richard Branson’s suborbital spaceships. I have a feeling there is a long reservation list for it. I would be torn between floating around and staying put long enough to take pictures.

Ooh, I have oodles left over! Time to travel south to Cape Canaveral, where I could see the Space Shuttle and watch rockets launch.

And then, home. To rest, and edit my pictures. And give away a few oodles to friends…