So, how does one spend one's vacation? Personally, I just aim for as many ways of doing utterly nothing as possible. My life in the semester is largely governed by to-do lists, an hour daily of putting out fires, and large moments of sheer panic...so it's nice to practice the sedentary arts. Vacations allow me to be sedentary in whole new locations...so they are, in some ways, learning experiences...and not just excuses for bad behavior.
Friday started out with a nice Japanese lunch (you heard me...you always start with lunch on vacation, unless there are stray bags of junk food nearby). Pork and sushi? How can you beat it? Afterward, we found a video store that was going out of business and shopped the fairly nice collection. I ended up with some good ones, including Serenity, Adaptation, The Wrestler, and Synecdoche, NY. Unfortunately, my host beat me out to Anvil: The Story of Anvil and Heavy Metal in Baghdad, but all's fair in war and discount clearance shopping, I guess.
We then found a classic barbecue place...not a restaurant, mind you, but a stand on the side of the road inside a hastily assembled screened-in porch. We got 1 1/2 pounds of pork and a chicken for dinner later that day. They were both awesome, even though the chicken was entirely the wrong type of meat to come from a barbecue stand. We then drove through the Land Between the Lakes (and around the lakes themselves) before returning to the homestead for a laid-back evening of barbecue and the aforementioned Anvil before our gentle slumbers.
Saturday, by contrast, was more about unadulterated hedonism. Lunch was at Murray KY's own Big Apple Cafe for fish tacos and beer. The strangest part of the whole experience was seeing people actually smoke cigarettes indoors; for some refugees from a state with a fairly strict smoking ban, it was unnerving. The Romaniac is a smoker, but he said that he nevertheless felt weird about lighting up indoors...but did anyway.
Afterwards, we went back to the Land Between the Lakes area. While the various spousal units decided to sit by the lake and read, us menfolk went to a lake front marina bar called Fat Daddy's. It's a floating bar that serves Yuengling and has a bikini-clad wait staff (which, if I weren't so non-sexist, I would admit was a huge selling point). The clientèle was strange: an interesting mix of boaters, bikers, and military...no fights, though. The band was even neat--they did some cool stuff, including a blues version of Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" that actually made the song palatable. Really, there were very few ways the afternoon could've been improved.
We ended up back at the host house, had some grilled food, hung out with the hosts & some of their friends, and talked about such wide-ranging topics as spicy potato chips, Romanian salt mines, how women learn about their menstrual cycle, Stephen Seagall versus Jean Claude Van Damme, feminism, ice storms, and the proper way to integrate food into all-day drinking binges.
It's been a blast so far. Really, the only thing that's been missing is a healthy serving of green vegetables.