I've been working extra weeks out here on Steel Beach for a while now.
When my Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife successfully guilted me into a world-class and life-altering vacation to Brazil earlier this year, I started 'working over,' filing in on tugboats and oil barges when I was supposed to be home relaxing on my scheduled time off. This had the tripartite effects of adding to the bank accounts, weight gain for me, and the beginning of what I suspect could have been depression had there not been an intervention.
Now that Brazil is just a memory, and Ye Olde Chequing Accounte has finished hemorrhaging my hard-earned shekels, for the first time in 9 months, I worked a mere 28 days and went home for the next 14.
And it was good.
Our time off started with a romantic weekend in Vermont. I was already patting myself on the back for coming up with this- my boy was to stay with his Aunt, Uncle and nephews, and Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I had our first ever solo weekend together.
Whoops, forgot about Irene.
Turns out, while I was getting damp about the ears from hurricane Irene, Vermont got nuked. I never knew.
The ride to the mountain Inn and spa was pretty and also romantic. Until we came to the washed-out bridge and saw the busy and inspiring level of activity that Vermont has pulled out in their reconstruction efforts. So, rerouting around a mountain pass, we found another closed road. What followed was a 3-hour tour that culminated in a drive up and down a mountain (unpaved) road and, eventually, to the inn. Which was nice, and quiet. Then it rained all weekend, which killed my plans of horseback riding, but had the ancillary benefit of a good excuse to stay in the jacuzzi and drink.
So the romantic weekend was a bit of a draw, what with the environmental damage, but we met some great local folks, and had some nice 1-on-1 time.
Fast forward another 2 days and I was up in Maine.
In my undergrad days, I worked in Downeast Maine at a remote biological field station along the Canadian maritime border. Later, after I changed careers, I became close friends with the chief mate on my ship, who was from the same area. So, for the past almost 20 years, I've been coming up to Maine to blow off steam. More drinking, more outdoorsy stuff. Last week was the most fun I've had in years. Since Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife is reluctant to put on less-than 4" heels, downeast Maine isn't really the place for her. I went up for a weekend of manly activities- hiking, fishing, eating drinking, lighting things on fire and drinking more, you get the idea. It was awesome.
So, in my 14 days home, I actually spent 5 days at home. I packed a lot of living into my time off. Isn't that what we're supposed to do?
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