Sunday, July 17, 2022

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.

 RHYS BOWEN: When you read this I'm on the beach in San Diego, spending a wonderful week with my whole family. Fifteen of us in a big, lovely beach house--sunbathing, reading, swimming, eating, drinking and laughing as we play silly games. What could be more perfect?











This is a repeat of last summer's adventure, which took the place of a house I had booked in England and of course we couldn't travel to. We had such a good time that we're repeating this year. It might be the last time that the whole family is together like this. Granddaughter Lizzie has just graduated from UCSD and plans to spend a gap year in Europe before going to dental school. The twins are college-bound. 

The situation is perfect, with the ocean and Mission Bay right on our doorstep. We bring kayak, paddle boards, boogie boards, volleyball etc. You might be interested to know that I still love to boogie board--a little more gently now, but the old girl has still got it!

I also love to kayak.  I leave the volleyball to the younger members.

The one thing I won't do is cook. I make it clear that I pay for the house and they are responsible for meals. So every night a different family cooks for us and we get a wonderful assortment of food from shrimp enchiladas to twice baked potatoes with smoked salmon. And we celebrate every evening: birthdays, graduations and Dominic and Meredith's wedding anniversary. A different cake every night!

After dinner we play silly games with lots of laughter. The name game is a favorite. Too complicated to explain here.  So I'm sharing pix from last year in the hope that everything will be repeated. What could be better than sea and sand and surrounded by those you love most?

Are you risking a vacation this year? Daring to fly? Going abroad or sticking to home like this?

38 comments:

  1. This sounds lovely, Rhys . . . there’s nothing better than getting together with family.
    Our summer is at home, enjoying the youngest grandbabies. And, of course, we’ll get to have some family time in a couple of weeks when it’s time to take them home . . .

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  2. What a perfect vacation, Rhys. I rented a house on a farm in Maine for all of us plus my sister a few years ago. It came with a pond and kayaks and bikes, plus fresh milk and the best yogurt I've ever had. I've been hoping to recreate that soon.

    We're going to New Hampshire and Maine in August for a week, part with family, part just the two of us. I'm working hard now so I can have a real vacation!

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  3. RHYS: I love San Diego and can picture you and your family enjoying the sun, water sports and yummy food cooked by others.

    My hopes for a summer getaway has been thwarted by both a seventh COVID-wave and the airport chaos across Canada. Toronto Pearson & other airports have ranked #1 in the world for flight delays & cancellations during the past few weeks.

    But I did manage to go by train for a 4-day extended weekend getaway to Montreal last week. The weather was perfect (24-26C/77F to 81F with low humidity) and there were multiple outdoor festivals, events I enjoyed. Plus having a drink & meal on a terrasse (patio) was wonderful.

    Ontario expanded the eligibility for the second booster last week to adults under 60 years old. My first COVID booster shot was in late December so I would like to get the added protection of a second booster before heading to Minneapolis for an extended vacation before attending Bouchercon in early September. And then I am hoping for a trip to Europe in late September/October when the crowds are less and the airport chaos has subsided.

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    1. I made my hotel and plane reservations the other day for Minneapolis, Grace and Edith. Can't wait to see everyone!

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    2. KAREN: Yay! Looking forward to meeting you in person. I booked an Airbnb a block from the Bouchercon hotel since I'm staying in Minneapolis for 10 days.

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    3. See you both there! Must get that plane ticket...

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    4. I'm staying in the convention hotel, for a change, but have to leave early (really early) Sunday morning. But I'll be there for three nights.

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    5. So frustrating, Grace! I’m also planning to go to Europe in September— fingers crossed

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    6. EDITH: Yes, book that plane ticket and see u in Minneapolis!
      RHYS: Agreed, fingers crossed for Europe in September.

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  4. It sounds wonderful-- and bears out my theory that, unless you inherit a summer home steeped in tradition, you shouldn't buy one. (Buying a place on a lake is a Wisconsin tradition). Why not? Because by the time we'd owned the place 30 years, the taxes were more than my grandfather had paid to buy it. Because someone will have to dedicate a weekend to setting it up in the spring and another in the fall to striking the set. Because repairs and insurance will take up yet more time and money. And because ownership generates battles.

    That same amount of money could go, as it does for you, to renting a place every year, with enough room for all in expanding and contracting families. It could be in different places each year. It could even be on a cruise ship.

    If you are a fractious family, you will fight-- but battles are less likely when the division of labor is more equitable. I envy your stay on the seaside. And while I miss the cottage compound my family owned, and the annual gathering for my dad's birthday every August, I do not miss the amount of work I had to put in to keep the place up.

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    1. Rhys: so true, we leave this place and someone else comes to clean it. And you can try somewhere different each yest

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  5. Beautiful photos, Rhys. Have a great week with your family!

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  6. What a divine vacation! Hoping you have many more get togethers like this,Rhys!

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  7. We rent a beach house, along the Cape Cod seashore, every few years, so that our family (12 of us) can all be under the same roof and frolic together for the week. It builds so many family memories. This year, we scheduled it to begin the day the grands finished school and was a great start to the summer. I do cook, as I enjoy it - though this year each family seemed to take turns creating surprise dinners and delicacies. But breakfast is my joy and the grands sing along to the the old Guthrie tune, “you can get anything you want, at Grandma’s restaurant “. Happy Summer to you!

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    1. Celia here, I remember the first movie I saw after arriving in the USA in 1969 was Alice’s Restaurant. I didn’t understand the various references at the time but I did buy the cookbook. That was the mists of time.

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  8. Sounds completely delightful! Enjoy your time together in that beautiful place. We had a long family weekend at the beach in March for 7 of us. Not warm, but surprisingly dry for Oregon, so we had lots of walks on the beach, great meals, and games every night. So fun.

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  9. That sounds perfect, Rhys, especially the others cooking for you part! Have a fabulous time. Go, Boogie Board Lady!

    We are going to my daughter's northern Michigan lake house (between Torch and Traverse Bay) later this week for a long weekend. We helped them buy it 17 years ago, with the idea that we would always have a room there, but every summer they have so much company there they have had to post a schedule. After we leave they will expect something like 17 guests for a week, their dearest friends, SOs, and kids, all who have grown up having summer vacations together. This year there are so many that they had to rent a second house to hold them all.

    As Ellen Kozak points out, having a place means that's where you go, and you don't end up going elsewhere. While I'm pleased for my grandson to have all these memories, he hasn't spent much time in most other parts of the country. He has had a great childhood, for sure, just not a varied one.

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    1. Rhys: does your daughter cook for all those guests? I think one week is delightful. All summer overwhelming!

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    2. They eat out a lot. And maybe have cookouts.

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    3. I used to tell day-trip guests that I was providing beer, soft drinks, snacks and coffee. If they wanted to eat or drink anything else, they had to bring it themselves, and bring enough to share.

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  10. Oh my goodness, that sounds like wonderful fun, Rhys. Enjoy every minute! Especially the meals you're not cooking -- and the cake every night. Wow!

    No big trip planned here, but your post brought back memories of a few family holidays we spent decades ago with another family in the south of England, maybe Cornwall. That family taught my family how to play Racing Demon -- a great card game that gets more wild the more people playing. Really fun memories.

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    1. Rhys: Cornwall with my sister in law is usually part of our summer. We’ve missed it for 2 years but will be going in September. We love it!

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  11. Wonderful memories with the grandkids! We'll have a family get-together over Thanksgiving.

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  12. Hi Rhys, I live here in SD - in Bird Rock just up the road from Mission Beach. Maybe our paths will cross at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, or the Flower Pot Cafe at The Lot. Don't forget to check out the Cove in La Jolla where you can swim with the sea lions!

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    1. Rhys: hi neighbor! My granddaughter leads kayak and snorkeling tours around the cove! Also as a waterpolo player at UCSD they had to start their training by a swim from bouy to bouy and sea lions swimming beside them. Scary

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  13. I'm so happy for you, Rhys. That sounds glorious. My husband and I are having a pleasant summer, but it won't have much family in it. However, in October my sister's son is getting married in Napa Valley, and nine members of my family--the oldest 88 and the youngest 29--are using that joyful event as an excuse to rent a house together in nearby Santa Rosa and enjoy each other's company for five days. I can't wait. I only wish there were small children involved. But we'll have to give that a few more years.

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    1. Rhys; Napa will be wonderful. Also make sure you drive down to Sonoma, up to Healdsburg. Lots of wineries

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  14. Hank Phillippi RyanJuly 17, 2022 at 10:04 AM

    That sounds completely idyllic! Wow. Rhys, you have this down to an art and a science! And your cooking edict is absolutely perfection. I love that picture of you in the kayak!
    (The kids and grandkids were here for Fourth of July week, and every day it was glorious, and we had every meal outside, under the twinkle lights of the patio, and swam in the pool, and played “you are a liar.” And laughed and laughed. So many restaurants around here have outside seating, and we did that too. Everyone wore masks in the house, so it was wonderful to be able to be outside. They are so adorable! But well, when everyone left, I was so tired even my face hurt. :-) )

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  15. What a lovely family, Rhys, and what a great vacation idea. Everything is better at the beach!

    Sticking home for this summer, but then we are lucky enough to live in the place that others plan to come for vacation.

    Enjoy the shank of the summer Reds!

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  16. Rhys, I'm with you. At this point there is no vacation I would enjoy more than spending time as a family. We had a 5-day get together in May for youngest graduation, and nothing planned in the near future, alas. Luckily for me, when you live in Maine, almost every day between Memorial and Labor Day feels like a summer vacation..

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  17. Celia here - what a lovely holiday Rhys, I know you are savoring having the family around you. My daughter and husband rented a three condo block at San Diego last summer taking her 2 boys plus 3 friends and his 2 daughters. The condos were between the bay and the beach, so perfect location. Four of the boys were home from their college freshman year spent in their bedrooms and ready to party! My daughter commented to me on the cleanup needed in the boys space before they went home and I replied, they were on Spring break, which of course they had also missed. No beach this year as everyone is working. But for years we had the run of a friends camp up here in Maine. Delicious water to swim in, lots of lobster, and eventually we retired to yet another Maine lake.

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  18. My hometown and old stomping grounds! Have a blast and say hi to my hometown from me!

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  19. Have an amazing week, Rhys. I’m headed to Nova Scotia soon. Looking forward to getting away!

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  20. It all looks perfect, Rhys! So glad you're having a lovely time!

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