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Dos Factotum » Archive » A Summary of Recent Trips

A Summary of Recent Trips

January 4th, 2010

There was the one where we went skeet shooting in New Jersey. I held my own at the trickier stations and, like the ’07 trip, didn’t shoot anyone. At night, in the clubhouse, a guy named Guy taught us how to make a proper pink gin and told us about his emotionally unavailable father. We drank more than we should have and the next morning at breakfast I was shivering and sweating in my seat.

And we went to a house in Bearsville, NY, which is outside Woodstock, which has a restaurant named Oriole9 that is run by people who don’t like me. We played Wiffle ball and grilled delicious shit and drank and, at night, walked around in the dark. It was very dark out, compared to nighttime in the city. That is predictable and not all that interesting, but at the time it was terrifying and I had fun waving my hand in front of my face and not being able to see it.

We went to Ocean City, MD on a family vacation. My grandma lives outside town, in Ocean Pines. We played volleyball and ate crab and swam in the ocean. We grabbed a beer at the Purple Moose, a boardwalk bar. We didn’t do so great at the beach (crippling sunburn). Dumser’s Dairyland was more our speed.

There was the trip to Martha’s Vineyard that, like the ’08 trip, was delightful. I had a five-minute layover at the Nantucket airport, after which I boarded a plane the size of a Hummer and flew 10 minutes to the Vineyard. We saw Harold Ramis but didn’t introduce ourselves, in part because as he strolled by us he was telling his wife(?) that kids don’t make eye contact or exude confidence when they approach him. I ate my second-ever lobster roll (the first was in ’08) at a dockside seafood shack, which is perhaps my favorite restaurant outside the city.

We went up to a beach house in Cape Cod that wasn’t actually in Cape Cod but we kept calling it Cape Cod, or the Cape, just ’cause. And the house was near a beach, not on one, but it was still a beach house. On the beach one night we invented a truly stupid but engrossing game in which two players jog in a circle while throwing a football back and forth. The point is to avoid dropping it, which is hard because it’s dark out and you’re not sober. We really challenged each other and would often dive into the sand in order to catch the ball, and we’d shout Yes! whenever someone made an impressive play.

Directly from the Cape I went to Providence and caught a train to Philadelphia to attend a wedding. The unorthodox travel arrangements were made last-minute, but everything turned out fine and the wedding was very nice.

We drove up to an old house on the Hudson River in New Baltimore, NY. There was a row boat. We took that thing across the river and back a few times. We spent more time assembling the badminton net than we did playing badminton. We drove to the drive-in and sat through The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Final Destination but left before The Orphan. We went to a flea market and I bought a light box that a video store once used to advertise VHS tapes. At the time it was given to the flea market, it was promoting Ghostbusters II. Later, my friend John Lichman wrote about the light box over at Current.tv but erroneously reported that Emily had found it. In truth, Nick found it. I await a correction.

Two days after returning from Ocean City we flew down to Charleston, South Carolina. We took a tour of the city that was guided by a woman who was really into Pat Conroy. I remember her sharing her excitement about his then-forthcoming book, South of Broad. I mumbled something to her about how I would probably check out his books. We drove down to Kiawah and stayed at a lovely house on a golf course. We didn’t golf, but we did play tennis, kind of. The pool at the clubhouse with the clay courts was especially great and I felt lucky and spoiled to be there. The same clubhouse had a disgusting (read: luxurious) men’s bathroom. Our flight back was canceled so we had to sleep at a Quality Inn Suites and fly out the next day. The whole ordeal was a huge disaster. In retrospect, it was a tiny, almost fun disaster.

We took the train out to Long Island to go to the beach. South Shore, near Babylon. The night before it had rained a shitload (or had it hurricaned a shitload?) so in order to get to the ocean we had to walk through 25(?) yards of filthy salt water. I may have stepped in a diaper. Once we got to the ocean the lifeguards said we couldn’t swim because the riptide was so nasty. But we lay down on towels and read and talked and what not and had a nice time.

We drove up to Hyde Park, NY to tour the FDR House and eat at the Culinary Institute of America. There was some hiking. And there were two dogs. The bed and breakfast was delightful. On the way back to the city we stopped at DIA:Beacon, a former Nabisco box factory that’s now home to some DeWitts and Chamberlains and Judds and the like.

We went to Chicago to visit friends from high school and college. The new modern art wing at the museum was great; as was eating and drinking at the restaurant at the top of the Hancock building. Tip: Do not pay for the Hancock Building tour. Proceed directly to the restaurant and just order a beer or something. Much cheaper.

Around Halloween I flew to Cincinnati for my mom’s birthday. We went to a newly opened Alice in Wonderland-themed(?) bar downtown. At first we weren’t allowed to enter the cool upstairs area and had to party downstairs, but then a friend of my mom’s talked to a manager there and showed him emails on her Blackberry and we were allowed to go upstairs. My brother dressed up as a dude taking a shower. Like the costume Miyagi makes for Daniel in Karate Kid.

We went to Philadelphia for the Penn-Princeton homecoming game. Penn won 42-7. As the Inquirer reported, “Penn quarterback Kyle Olson went 20 for 32 through the air for 238 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Fullback Luke DeLuca scored twice on short runs, and wide receiver Matt Tuten set personal bests with six receptions for 92 yards. Meanwhile, running back Lyle Marsh had 99 yards on 12 carries.” The Princeton marching band’s uniforms were adorable.

Thanksgiving. Back in Ocean City with family. As usual, we played paintball. Typically I suffer a few hits to the finger and/or hand. Those are the worst. But not this year. So that was nice. The food was perfect, as always.

Christmas was in Ohio. I got a Flip video camera. The garbage I record with it will be dumped here. I had some good friends over at the house and we ripped through a 30-pack of High Life and sipped 20-year-old Jim Beam that had long ago lost its oomph. We checked out a goofy-as-fuck Michael Graves mansion that I can’t seem to find a picture of online can be seen here. Then the family and I flew to Orlando, rented a Chevy HHR and drove to Vero Beach, where we saw some dolphins and manatees. The Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in nearby Fort Pierce was enjoyable. UDT stands for Underwater Demolition Team. Those dudes were the proto-SEALs.

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