Wednesday, July 02, 2008


We just returned from a whirlwind East Coast vacay. It began with Cape Cod, to see the in-laws. I've never been much of a Cape Cod kind of person, even though I desperately love beaches. I've gotten spoiled, I think, by the Mexican beach model of palapas for shade and grilled mariscos lunches while watching the kids play in the sand. But we hit Sandy Neck and Peter's Pond and managed to find our groove with the Atlantic side of the world.

Then we popped up to Maine to a place called Squirrel Island which was a very different experience. It's a summer colony, meaning, I guess, that the weather is a little too desperately cold for unheated beach cottages once October hits. Steve's sister Mary invited us to stay in their 5-bedroom cottage rental. I'd never been to a place like this. No cars or bicycles are allowed and there are no restaurants or shops. You bring everything over by ferry and, basically, only the residents (or renters) are there. This is a pretty cool setup when traveling with two young children. They loved running all over the grassy fields and through the forest of fairy houses (built from shells, sea glass, rocks, and strange little objects). The sea glass beach brought out the obsessive collector in me. Maxito and I spent a couple hours poring over the glittering jewels, which are also known as Mermaids' Tears. Other beaches have rocks for climbing, tide pools, or some decent wading. The library is in a gorgeous building with window seats. There are strange little art books and even some multicultural children's books. The house where we stayed had a wrap-around porch and a big hammock and I noticed (as did Mary) that, as time went on, outdoor life became the default and indoors was where you went to fetch something before returning outside. This was a great experience.

We managed to sneak into Boston to the Fogg Art Museum and Indian food (hooray!). We also hit New Hampshire (new territory for me) and then, my favorite, Chicago! What a blast buzzing around the inner city after all the languid beach days. The Art Institute is incredible, and borders Millenium Park, home to a sprayground that is now Yeni and Max's fave spot in the city.

Now I'm back in Oaxaca which, after all these far-flung places, is home, more than ever. But I'm also left with a longing, I must admit, to still be looking at the sea glass in the sun, with nothing more pressing than a date to make s'mores at the fireplace that evening.

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