Jul. 12th, 2016

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We had a wonderful vacation. I spent Thursday and Friday desperately trying to rest and hydrate myself enough to be well for vacation and by Sunday, I was capable of being poured into the car and by the time we got out there, I felt sort of human. That evening we went out for Mexican at La Veracruzana and spent an hour or so at Groff Park in Amherst, which is a little playground. Nora met someone and they played on the seesaw for a while and then they played with Bubble Stuff and the girl's parents gave her a vial of it. We're not sure, but there were two women and we think they were a two mommy family, but it was hard to tell. It could have been a 30 something woman with a 20 something woman or it could have been a 40 something woman with her low 20s daughter.

Monday was July 4th. We took it vaguely easy and then went to Bub's for an early dinner before going to the fireworks. The fireworks show was great. Nora had a fantastic time and got to ride on the little kid rides they have for it. Bub's was disappointing though. The little rack of ribs that came with our ribs and link was... little. Really little. I thought maybe it was baby back ribs, but even for those, the ribs themselves, like the actual bones, were really small and thin, and had almost no meat. Given that, they were also pretty dry. I can do better myself, which is a big wow when it comes to Bub's. Well blah. Hopefully next time. If not, we'll just get the sides and stuff ourselves with those because they're still amazing.

Tuesday we went to Look Park and Nora got to play at the splash park. We feasted on the snack bar's offerings. The fries are fried food service fries like you'd expect, but geez, you can make a meal out of a $3.50 order. I have no idea how they break even on that, much less make money. We also rode the little train and looked at the animals. We were both exhausted by the end and decided not to do the paddle boats. Next year, that comes first while we're still in shape to corral a 5 year old and keep her out of the drink. That night we went to Panda East, which was our favorite Chinese food place back in the day. Nora had never been to a "real" sit down restaurant before and was very well behaved and very impressed--both achievements as she really doesn't like Chinese all that much. She kept mumbling about how fancy it was, which was adorable. Afterwards, we took her out for ice cream, which was home-made (well store-made) and has apparently ruined her for regular ice cream and she keeps telling us it's not as good as the ice cream in Amherst.

We ran up to Shelburne Falls on Wednesday before driving home, but honestly, I don't remember a lot about the day other than it being hotter than hell. Particularly given that Cape tends to be about 10' cooler than the rest of the state, so we're just not used to it. Oh yeah, we drove through Turner's Falls. We lived there for a year in college. I think it's pretty safe to say we wouldn't do that today. The stark grimness of our state's opiate problem was on full display in the person of a blond junkie prostitute who I simply cannot believe was over 18. I know it's more an aspect of it being more on display where here on Cape our opiate problem is better hidden. But geezus. And note that Tony Bourdain did a "heroin special" episode of his show that was Cape and Franklin County.

And every day we got delicious coffee and croissant at The Black Sheep, which is actually Nora's favorite place.

Unfortunately, the trip took it's toll and while I was "well" (if sneezy) for much of the middle of it, I was back to being sick by yesterday my first day back at work and today I ended up calling in sick because I couldn't stop coughing long enough to take a shower or do much of anything else. Hopefully a day of hydration and DM will help.

It's made us once again start scheming on how to get back out there. Fortunately, the housing on Cape is doing that thing where it goes up faster than the rest of the state. Eventually our tiny home will have enough for us to sell, buy a place out there, and stick enough money in the bank. (Right now, we'd be a better than even, but not with enough buffer for us to be comfortable. Maybe if it was just us, but not with Nora.)

Note: the air is so damned clean in western mass. Cape looks so nice and the ocean air smells pleasant, but we get Boston smog and our weekends in particular are bad because it doubles up the crap floating over the bay with everyone driving onto cape for vacation.

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