Every January (or February now, in the New World Order Fiscal Year), I look at my calendar, and at the days of vacation I have to book, and I start slotting days into spaces. First on a sticky note, then into the DayJob vacation booking software. I neither have concerns nor illusions that my coworkers can’t function without me. No boss present or future will have to chase me about taking my allotted time off. Done and done.
Some years are blocks-of-time vacation years, and some are 5-day-workweeks-are-for-chumps years. This year is one of the latter. Mid-June to labour day, for 12 glorious weeks, I’m on a 4-or-less workday week rotation. Woo-hoo. Some of that is due to Statutory Holidays, so I actually have more vacation to book, but fear not, dear reader, no day will go unused.
But I’ve been pretty adamant that I didn’t want to visit the USA while The Royal Cheeto was in power. I don’t want to contribute to the GDP. After there were so many Canadians turned back at the border from attending the Women’s March after the Angry Sweet Potato was elected. For reasons like saying snarky things about His Orangeness, or being pro-choice, or pro LGBTQ. So maybe they wouldn’t take me even if I wanted to go.
But I found myself on the horns of a dilemma. The opportunity presented itself to me to actually get away. To the ocean. To the seaside. And, to sweeten the deal, to see my sister. And I love my sister way more than I despise the POTUS.
So I went to the sunny Gulf Coast for a few days. No international incidents!
My family has been vacationing in the same area of the Gulf Coast for ages. Madeira Beach has proximity to both St. Petersburg and Tampa. You can watch dolphins swim in and out twice a day. One year, there was a manatee in chest-deep water. Sea turtles nest on the beaches. There are all kinds of fish and sharks and stingrays in the intercostal waters. There’s a church that looks like a giant chicken.
There’s a wonderful little candyshop that sells ice cream and fudge and pecan rolls. There’s a tiki bar that marks the entrance to a now-gentrified little sea-side boardwalk. Just up the coast there’s a Greek sponge-fishing village. Just down the coast, there’s a giant bridge that spans the entrance to Tampa Bay. And, there’s the Sea Hagg. The glorious, glorious Sea Hagg, and all the marine salvage, curiosities, and delights.
I often find myself planning my vacation around other people’s needs. Like the days when Child needs a ride to (or from) the airport for his own adventures. Or to places that someone else prefers, at times when someone else prefers. There are a few exceptions when I’ve said “I’m going, if you want to come, I’ll book additional tickets”. This has been the even rarer exception where I say, ‘Peace out, bitches”. That is the case here.
So I miss you already, little coquinas, as you bury your colourful-selves with the ebb and flow of the surf.