Tuesday, July 26, 2011

cloudy on cape cod

i feel like i haven't traveled nearly as much as i want to this summer, which is weird considering i've been to western michigan, pennsylvania amish country, and now cape cod. the one thing i can say assuredly that i miss about being in school is having the summers off to spend as i please. being an adult is not nearly as fun for that reason if no other, though paying bills isn't really that fun either. going to cape cod, though? that's really, really fun, even if only for a quick weekend jaunt.

brett and i were going to wake up at an impossible hour on saturday morning and head up in time for a hearty irish meal at our very favorite breakfast restaurant, keltic kitchen. we couldn't contain ourselves, so we left friday night instead, arriving at an impossible hour on saturday night.

the good news is that we woke up in time to beat the lines for that hearty irish meal.

clockwise from top: freshly baked brown bread, the best home fries in the world, and black & white pudding atop egg beaters.

due to the crummy weather, we sight-saw and enjoyed each other's company. we did not go to the beach (boo), but we did eat a lot of goodies.

cape cod has always been a place that i could go and enjoy, no matter what the circumstances. i could be there for a day, or two weeks; it could be raining and gloomy or sunshiney and gorgeous. days can be spent at the beach or at the hotel, the trampolines or ocean state job lot. either way, it is my mecca.

in a lot of ways, it's been hard lately coming to terms with the fact that the completely carefree days of my youth are gone. trips to cape cod are now contingent upon whether or not i have the time, or the money. those are bigger worries and concerns now than simply sand collecting in my bathing suit, or whether or not mom will take us to sundae school two nights in a row. (pleeeease, mom? please???)

and at the same time, it has been astonishingly easy coming to terms with the newfound responsibility of young adulthood. i don't have children, or pets, or anything tethering me to anywhere or anything, so that helps. i'm like the child who wants to go to sundae school two nights in a row, but now the difference is that i'm also the adult who decides whether or not i get to.

there's something really liberating about having responsibility for yourself. i'm finally at a place where not only do i understand that, but i take full advantage and even pleasure in it.

oh, and for the record? i only went to sundae school once.

Friday, July 22, 2011

the pennsylvania dutch

for whatever reason, i am really in love with amish country.

the first time i visited as a kid, it was like an entirely different world to me. for all intents and purposes, it is a different world. i didn't understand why someone would want to live that way. why are they wearing that? don't they want to express themselves through style? why don't they drive cars, or have electricity? don't they know how convenient technology is?

a few weeks ago i visited again, for the second time in my life and realized that, now, as an adult, i can fully appreciate the simplicity.

there is something so cool about the idea of a permanently unplugged existence. yes, technology is helpful and impressive and FUN and everything else, but it can also complicate things. i can say personally that i feel totally helpless if i accidentally forget my iphone at home one day, forgetting that people have lived quite well without all the gadgetry for hundreds of thousands of years.

so, i relish the escape to a place where the people live so modestly. it really puts things into perspective.

[comic book segue]
meanwhile, in bird-in-hand, pennsylvania...

if you didn't know that the amish mennonites have their own subcategory of food, word to the wise:

peanut butter schmier is utterly delightful.

my boyfriend and i enjoyed a late lunch at a great buffet called the family cupboard. it was a sweet, unassuming little place, and i liked that their marquee told me to have a safe and happy "independance" day. and the food, well, it was great. i dare say german-inspired down home country cooking at its finest. who doesn't love a little shoo fly pie on a hazy summer day?

another thing i love about the amish? their unwavering faith in God.

nothing like a billboard declaring Jesus is Lord to inspire me to restore my own.

and nothing like a summer road trip through amish country to inspire me to read some beverly lewis! (has anyone read this stuff? i have to admit i'm intrigued...)