Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacation Log: Day 3? 4? (I can't remember)

Here's the thing about a vacation log, or really any log at all, if you are truly logging -- your notes regarding your vacation (or experiment, or navigation around the globe) should be somewhat contemporaneous with the the vacation, experiment, or global navigation. Otherwise, you forget what happened on your vacation, or what chemicals you combined to result in the explosion that killed your chia pet, or at what longitude and latitude you took a wrong turn.

For example, here are some pictures I took during the last two days of our vacation, from which we returned over a week and a half ago. Already, my memory of our vacation is fading to the point where I actually tell people, "Oh yes, we had a great time!" and leave out the part about the leaking trailer and leaving North Carolina a day early because it was raining. Had I logged the trip properly, I would have spent a few paragraphs on Day 3 describing how the bar across the street from the campground was having a karaoke contest until 2:00 in the morning and it was too cold to run the air conditioning in the trailer to drown out the noise, and for some reason the propane heat wasn't working so we had to use the "emergency heat" function on the air conditioning unit which was really more of an "on/off" concept and not a "select a temperature where you're comfortable" concept, so I had to get up six or seven times between 11 and 2 to turn the heat off because it got too hot, then back on a few minutes later because those dang rednecks were still singing, "Love in an Elevator" at the top of their lungs. But because I did not log properly on Day 3, I have forgotten all about that and only remember my children sleeping in until almost 8:00 the next morning, which was fantastic.

I do, however, remember stopping at the J. Strom Thurmond Dam & Lake on the Georgia/South Carolina border on our way back to YaYa and Pop Pop's house after we fled the rain in North Carolina.

And look at the composition in this next picture! Are you not impressed with how I have framed the curve of that wall in the photo so that it calms your restless spirit and draws your eye to the three people gazing out at the lake? I thought you would be impressed. I am very impressed with my accidental framing of that shot as well.

Later that same day (probably only about 2 1/2 hours later to be more precise) we stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere to get the kids ice cream. And who is that pretty pretty lady in the picture? Do you know her? Me either. She needs some makeup, a shower, and a tan on those legs for pete's sake, that's all I know . . .

Because we'd left North Carolina a day early, we were able to spend an extra day with my parents in Douglas and I was able to see a good friend of mine from junior high/high school. This is her daughter with my two kids. They all look a little tipsy if you ask me. That sweet girl (my friend's daughter) is Casey's soulmate -- they both have the vocabulary of a sixth grader and you should have heard her singing! It's too bad we don't live in the same town, I think those two would be lifelong buds.

The restaurant we're in is Danny's Pizza, a Douglas, Georgia institution. No lie. They have the BEST sweet tea ever. Better even than (dare I say it?) Chik Fil A. I drank six glasses of it (no, I didn't sleep that night, thank you). I think it's the ice that makes it so great -- when I was in high school, we used to call it "rat turd ice." I know it's crude, but you know now exactly what kind of ice I'm talking about don't you? Anyway, Danny's Pizza has all kinds of Trojan memorabilia on the walls. If you're from Douglas, you know I'm talking about the Coffee High School Trojans. Our marching band (of which I was a proud member), wore those helmets with the four-inch tall maroon brushes on the top. They were heavy. And hot. And after one year of wearing that on the field and pretending to play my oboe while marching, I decided to try out for the flag corps, 'cause they got to wear itsy bitsy skirts with cool gold belts and white knee high boots. It was a much better gig.

So here's my friend Dana and I in Danny's.

When we were in high school, you had to be thin, popular, and beautiful to work at Danny's. It helped if you dated a football player. When we were there last week I didn't see that their hiring requirements had changed much, but unfortunately for you, I also didn't take a picture to prove it. Dana and I didn't work there when we were in high school. I can't remember where Dana worked, but I worked at the Golden Corral and wore a brown uniform and a handkerchief on my head. I wore a name tag, as if everyone who came in the door didn't know me already, and at the end of my shift each night, I would reach into my apron pocket to pull out my tips, and all the tea, cracker crumbs, and ranch dressing that I'd been wiping off the tables all night and apparently into my pocket where they would become a repulsive paste, would squish up underneath my fingernails and stay there until I could get home to the shower. I can still remember the smell of that paste -- yeasty, tangy, and bleachy. Ick.

But like our vacation, memories of the repulsive paste have faded to the point where I never think about them unless I see a 1979 Chevy Malibu (my first car, paid for with Golden Corral tips) or get disgusting things under my fingernails (now that I'm a parent, that happens more than I care to admit, actually). In my wisened (wizened?) years, I am becoming more and more a fan of selective memories, reinvented memories, and repressed memories. Junior High -- completely repressed memories. High School -- some repressed, some selective. College -- all selective, except for that one repressed memory. Graduate School -- all repressed, except for memories of Joe, which are selective. Law school -- repressed mostly, a few reinvented. Facebook is not really helping me in this regard, because every time I turn around, a repressed memory is trying to "friend" me and a reinvented memory is unreinventing itself. This analysis is wearing me out. I need another vacation -- our last one was great! Have I told you about it?

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