A Meditation on Vacation Juxtaposition

Our first day of vacation in the woods of Vermont was an odd mix of country living and science-fiction:

1) I supervised a wood delivery (the truck driver was very pleasant, but when he dumped the wood, he missed the tarp . . . the driveway was fairly icy);

2) our dog tried to eat a chicken;

3) Ian set up his Anki OVERDRIVE track in the main and only room of the cabin, under the only table, so he could race Alex . . . the track is wide and magnetic, and you use a cell-phone or Ipad to steer the cars and deploy digital weapons and force fields and such, which then affect the actual physical cars zipping around the track;

4) Alex played with his BB-8 app controlled droid robot-- he taught it some voice commands and made it navigate an obstacle course;

5) the kids built a snow fort and did some sledding, and incorporated their battery-powered Nerf machine gun into both activities;

6) we drove to Brattleboro and walked out on the frozen river to get a closer look at the ice fishing shacks, while I bored the children with a description of the ice industry in the 1900's;

7) we tasted delicious cheeses at the Grafton Village Cheese Shop and then hiked the retreat trails behind the farm, climbing the mountain overlooking the river and then passing the Ice Pond and the Harris Hill Ski Jump . . . I had never seen an Olympic-style ski jump up close-- it's much steeper, bigger, and monumental than I thought;

8) we ate at the Whetstone Restaurant and Brewery . . . and it may be my favorite place in the world: a great view of the Connecticut River from the bar and nearly every table, wide selection of delicious and obscure beers-- and fairly cheap too . . . the beer they brew themselves is only $4.95 a glass-- the food is awesome, and they kept giving us free stuff: the beer I ordered was kicked, so the waitress brought me a taste of the Off the Rails Imperial Double Black IPA, which sounds insane but it was delicious . . . so I ordered it, and then she brought me another tasting pour, which someone didn't want, and then she brought me another full glass of the beer, because the bartender had poured too many . . . by the time we left I was feeling quite good . . . and she also gave the kids free cookies, and to continue sci-fi/country-living theme, the beer menus were on little tablet devices so you could scroll through the many types and descriptions, while everything else about the place said Vermont-style microbrewery;

9) once we returned to the cabin--  in the spirit of a family vacation in the woods-- we started a fire and sat down to play a board game . . . we decided to play a new one (for us) that we got for Xmas: Carcassonne . . . but it's fairly complicated and while we don't have cell-service, we do have wi-fi, and so we watched a couple YouTube videos which explained the rules of the game and then we were able to play (I won!) without the usual bumbling (it took us six or seven times to learn Settlers of Catan);

10) the cabin doesn't have a DVD player but it does have a big TV and Netflix, so we finished the evening with a 30 Rock marathon, our new favorite family indulgence . . . how could you live out in the woods without Russian mobs, invisible motorcycles and sex pooping?


zman said...

I can't wait for your kids to get a little bit older and call bullshit on your pedantry. What do you know about ice, let alone ice from the 1900's?

Dave said...

ice purveyors convinced people it was necessary and then sold blocks of new england ice around the world. they packed it in sawdust and it stayed frozen in the holds of ships. that's about it, but it's still enough to bore a child.

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