Sunday, August 8, 2010

Our Summer Vacation

It's been a very busy three weeks and I haven't had time to really sit down and write something decent, but it's time to get caught up.

I'll start with our summer "vacation" at the end of July.  "Vacation" is in quotes because out of a two-week trip we actually end up with about three days to ourselves as a family.  We headed to Washington, DC on the 15th and spent five days with Tanya's parents.  Alicia was practically raised by her Grammy and Pop-Pop for her first three years when both of us worked in DC.  In addition she now has a four-year-old cousin to play with.  And I have to admit that the backyard pool is not bad, especially since it was ROASTING HOT on the East Coast.  A visit to the National Zoo was almost more than we could manage--even the two little ones wilted after a couple of hours.  Tanya wanted to see the Vermeers at the National Gallery, which she did while Alicia and I played a nifty little treasure hunt game that they print up for kids.  The we slogged through the ROASTING HEAT to the Museum of Natural History, which is only a block away but it felt like ten miles in the ROASTING HEAT.  Once you get used to the lovely dry heat here in Southern Oregon, the humidity back east is pretty draining.

Anyway, we headed up to Maine for the AudioFile Lobsterbake the following Wednesday, stopping overnight to visit our EVIL COMPETITOR friends Kevin and Laura Colebank of Tantor Media.  We had a lovely overnight stay there in Connecticut and I won't tell you what we gossiped about but it might well have been YOU!

Then on to Boothbay Harbor, ME and a cabin we rent every year in the Sprucewold community on the hill above town.  To our surprise and delight the owners had added a new kitchen which made all the difference in the world.  It was "cozy" before but now it was really comfortable.

Friday night the gang met up at McSeagull's on the waterfront and typically I had too much to drink.  But it was a great way to start the weekend.  Saturday everyone wandered over to Robin Whitten's lovely cottage on the water in East Boothbay for the traditional afternoon of steamed lobster, clams, sweet potatoes, boiled eggs and Robin's fantastic salsa mixes.  [Robin is editor of AudioFile magazine, the premier news and reviews magazine for the audiobook industry.]

Last year it was jammed.  Not only did the Audio Publishers Association hold their board meeting in Boothbay, but a whole crop of new faces showed up from New York and other points.  It was very festive, but the traditional round of evening readings got very long.  This year Robin cracked the whip and held us to five minutes.  I pleaded for TEN and suggested that everyone bring something they were currently working on or had recently completed.  This invariably peaks listener interest.  Well, it was an exemplary presentation this year.  Every reading was riveting and pertinent.  Too bad most of the publishers begged off this year!  But I met some new faces and got a refreshing take on some older ones.

Sunday featured brunch at Robin's--leftover lobster salad and other concoctions, and a nice group of folks who were able to arrange their schedules as to be able to stick around for another day.

Monday we were finally able to get some time to ourselves and luckily the weather was beautiful.  We spent some time at the beach and took a whale-watching cruise during which we actually saw some whales!  During the cruise my cellphone rang, which was shocking because AT&T in those parts is awful.  On a whim I decided to check the internet signal and got the best reception of the whole trip.  Do not be too hard on me when I tell you that I spent a portion of the four-hour boat ride catching up on my email.

Thursday we reluctantly left but headed down to Portland for a pleasant two-day visit with narrators Tavia Gilbert and Bill Dufris.  Tavia took us to one of the best restaurants I've ever experienced--and I've travelled all over the world.  It was Thai/fusion and just spectacular.  We ate there again the next night and it was even better than the first night.  [It's Boda on Congress Street in downtown Portland if you're ever in the area.]

Finally we flew out from Boston on Saturday wishing we had another week.  I'm usually glad to get back but this year I could have used a few more days at the beach.  But kudos to United Airlines for a flawless round trip.