Every fall Sean and I book our “vacation” aka travel without the kids (for future reference a “trip” includes the offspring.) In the past we have been horrible parents and missed Homecoming events, confirmations, you name it we have missed it. This year we “threaded the needle” and decided to go before JHS Homecoming, during a Hamline football bye week and ended up picking “Hurricane Month”.
The week before we left Hurricane Irma was creating a sensation and every time we looked at the weather we made a percentage prediction of whether or not we would go. The week before we left the most common prediction was 50%. But Irma passed by the Bahamas so off we went!
We landed and the weather was beautiful. We rented a little white car and cruised the islands. We saw a lot of boarded up windows but upon further inspection it appeared that much of the work was not recent. Like many tropical islands there is a wide range of beauty and upkeep. We stayed at the gi-normous Atlantis hotel and marveled at the magnitude and beauty of the place.
And of course we did what all well informed American’s do: we watched American politics and the weather. No comment on the politics. Sheesh. But the weather! Who is this Jose? And what about Maria? Crazily it appeared they were going to again miss the Bahamas and the weather remained hot and gorgeous. We were so sad to see many of our favorite places ravaged by these storms (St. Maarten AND St. Croix) and felt a little bit guilty that we were sitting on a beautiful beach while these storms raged around us. In many ways it feels like the same good fortune I feel when I think about being born an American – more on that in a minute.
But this is a book blog and I digress….yes I read many, many books. There is only so much weather and politics and sunning I can take. The best of the books I read was “The Latehomecomer” by Kao Kalia Yang about growing up as a Hmong woman in St. Paul. READ IT, you will learn much about what it’s like to come to America – again with the thankfulness!
I also read the super snarky and very funny “Don’t Get Too Comfortable” by the late David Rakoff. He laments about first world problems in a series of hilarious essays. It was great to have a little bit of comedy and relief amid all the politics and weather.
Then I went and got all depressed when I read “What the Health” by Eunice Wong. Many of my family and friends have become vegans after watching this on Netflix. I already AM a pretty healthy eater but this talks about the dangers of meat, dairy and even eggs and is a proponent of a plant based diet. I tried. I did. I ate veggie wraps at lunch. Sean kept calling me “Plant Head”, yet I broke down the last night and we had a meat lovers pizza. YUM! The good news is that this book doesn’t rip on my best friend in the world – the CARB. Go carbs go!
I also read “Everything you want me to be” by Mindy Mejia, another Minnesota writer. Plot: A high school senior is killed and her boyfriend and English teacher are the main suspects. It is very well written and was the most entertaining of the books I read.
I ran out of books and had a very interesting experience trying to find something else to read. Amid the land of plenty (aka Atlantis) people furrowed their brow and looked confused when I asked them if there was a book store nearby. One woman actually said “you mean like to read?” We had to venture off the property to BookWorld to find a mega store that had more school supplies than books. I knew it would interesting and I am glad we got there at 5:15 because it closed at 5:25. Yep, not 5:30 or 6 but 5:25. Amazing the things you see when you travel!
It’s good to travel and even better to be back home.