Friday, July 25, 2008

Going home

After a wonderful week and a half visiting family and friends while exploring the Pacific Northwest Carolann, Cricket and I are on our way home, relaxed but sensing a measure of home-based stress that increases by the mile.

We get sad when we have to go home. We look like a couple of little kids who dropped their lollipops in the dirt.

We've always been lousy at ending vacations. Once, while waiting to board our flight home from vacation in Hawaii we looked at each other and and knew what we had to do. We got out of our chairs and walked out of the airport in Honolulu to find a new hotel room and spend just one more day in paradise.

When Jeremy and Nathan were young we took them on a cruise to Mexico. When we returned to Southern California for the drive home to Sacramento we decided, in a burst of spontaneity, to take the kids to Disneyland, which we did. The next morning while preparing for our drive home I noticed on the map that the Grand Canyon was only about six hundred miles away, so off we went.

Thataway.

Driving south in July is a predictable experience. The air grows disagreeably warmer, the sky less blue. The forest-green forests of Washington fade in the rear view mirror. Mountain peaks give way to rolling farmland, scrub oaks and the mundane fast food and gas stops of I-5.

Yesterday we passed a sign that read, LEAVING MEDFORD. That made me laugh. Medford is nice enough but I don't understand why Oregon felt it necessary to tell us we were departing the place. To me the sign said, LEAVING VACATION BEHIND. GO HOME, SUCKER. GET BACK TO WORK.

I know, I know... What good is vacation if you have nothing to compare it to? I'd love to find out and report back to you.

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