Somewhere In Time

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Book a Day
Vacation Bureau

Welcome to the third and final day of the Wetzel family vacation. If today’s book hasn’t already given away our location then your second clue is the length of our vacation. And clue #3: We ate breakfast today in a place that was Grand. I'm very impressed that you were able to make any guesses at all in light of the fact that I realized this morning that one of my clues from yesterday didn't make complete sense because I left out half of the sentence (sorry), I've now corrected the clue in question so maybe it'll make more sense.

As I write this entry we are on our way home - and I mean that literally. I’m writing this on the laptop from the back seat of the car, as my Dad snores in the seat next to me and Motown plays in the background. I'm going to post the entry as soon as I get home and establish an Internet connection again - so please excuse a slightly late blog entry dear readers.

Today I’m still reeling just a little bit from my restaurant experience from a few days ago in which I was told the salad had no dressing on it, but it really just had layer of dressing free lettuce thrown on top of an already dressed salad. Since then I’ve accidentally had something that I’m allergic to, on average, once per day. I'm enjoying my vacation, but I'm struggling with restaurant staffers who refuse to take my allergies seriously (with one exception.) The upside is that I’m not having a very severe reaction to any of it. The other bonus is that I’ve discovered that I actually have self-control (who would have ever thought?) In the past I would have figured Since I’m already have an allergic reaction anyway, why shouldn’t I eat that pasta. But I decided not to assault my immune system, and I stuck to my boring allergy-free stuff instead.

I did have a delightful encounter in an ice cream/candy store (the aforementioned exception), in which the staff let me read all of the labels on the candy they had there (fun fact: fruit slice candy has egg in it - which is a detail that threw me for a loop.) The people that worked there were as delightful as the staff at Disney World, who not only make it easy to be allergy-free but who also pretend like having allergies is fun! You’re allergic to dairy, eggs, and wheat - no problem. We’ve been looking forward to such a challenge!! I’m pretty sure that no one actually looks forward to dealing with someone else’s food allergies - but I enjoyed the lie anyway. It’s always such a refreshing change of pace to be around people who pretend like my food restrictions aren’t the pain in the butt that they actually are.

The other people that made having allergies easier this vacation are my family members, who never complained when I couldn’t go to certain restaurants, and never acted like it was weird or mortifying when I showed up at all of the restaurants with my own salad dressing, fake mayo, and dessert. But the crowning achievement of their “your allergies aren’t the pain in the butt that they really are” routine, was when my sister and my cousin Jennie pretended like I was eating the ice cream they were, instead of the weird fruit flavored candy that I was really eating. You better hurry and eat that before it melts. That candy looks like it was made fresh this morning - it definitely wasn’t flown in. You better grab another napkin, that candy does tend to drip in this heat. - It’s another one of those this-isn’t-funny-to-anyone-but-us-moments which made a challenging situation feel more fun than difficult. So, as always, thanks for playing along Wetzel family.

After we finished with our ice cream and ice cream-ish candy, I helped my sister pick out C’s birthday present (which I think she's going to love). C has generously offered to be my plan B this weekend, and remain on stand-by (or as I like to think of it, "on call") the whole time so I could dictate the entry to her over the phone if I had connection problems. Thank you so much C, I appreciate your offer of help - and I came dangerously close to needing it tonight.

We finished off our vacation by going sailing - an activity which certain members of our family took to more than others, but we all enjoyed. My Uncle Andy briefly stopped stalking me and we had a delightful conversation about 80s TV - proving that no matter where I am, or what I’m doing, my mind always turns to TV. And then my Aunt Cindy let loose like she was a celebrity on her own personal yacht. And my Mother - who is afraid of water, heights, and everything else that has the potential to be even remotely fun - even had a good time. Once she finished with her usual, “I don’t like this. I don’t like this. I really don’t like this,” she loosened up and had a good time. And Alissa posed for some Grace Kelly-esque photograph, involving a long scarf and her Old-Hollywood style sunglasses. In short - oh oops, too late - a good time was had by all.

Today’s book, “Richard Collier, a man of the modern era, becomes obsessed with a woman of another time, a celebrated actress at the turn of the century. His fascination with Elise McKenna proves strong enough to physically transport him back to 1896, where he meets and woos the woman of his dreams. But for how long can their passion resist the relentless tide of history?"

I enjoyed today’s book more than the other two books I've read for vacation - but that's not saying much because I really disliked those books as well. I watched the movie about ten years ago, so the plot of the book wasn’t entirely a surprise to me. However, I don’t remember the movie well enough to have remembered the smaller details, or to know if I liked the movie or the book better. My Uncle Andy - who likes to stay approximately twenty years behind the times - has graciously offered to let me borrow his VHS of the movie. But, since I live in the present day, I've decided to record it on my DVR instead - so I'll soon be able to report which I liked better. Although, maybe I should take Andy up on his offer - watching the movie on VHS would give me a chance to do a little time travel of my own.
Overall, I was not a fan of the book - I found it kind of dull. I like the idea of time travel, but I'm a child of the 80s, so I have a hard time accepting time travel that doesn't take place in a time machine that looks like a car. The skeptic in me wants to say, Oh come on, does the author really expect me to find this story, about people from different time periods interacting with one another, believable. But, I'm related to people who still watch movies on VHS - who also search for new vehicles that contain tape players and are horribly disappointed when they have trouble finding one - so I'm fully aware that it's possible for people from different time periods to communicate with one another.

Shallow vacation thoughts:

• Here's a quote that provided a sad reminder of the ghosts of my past decorating mistakes, “Thank God I found the bookstore easily and thank God it was an oasis of peace in that desert of Now.” - I used to love quotes about books. In fact, I loved them a little too much - so much, in fact, that I once tried to paint some of my favorite quotes on my bedroom wall. Don’t look at me like that dear readers, everyone has had moments of really, really bad taste. Okay, on second thought, go ahead and judge me. I deserve it.

• This may be my shallowest blog comment yet, but here goes: There was a brief mention of Fritos in the book, and it just seemed so right. I’m on vacation with my Dad, who never travels anywhere (and I mean that literally) without a bag a Fritos. He loves to eat them while driving and singing the jingle from 60s. My sister and I - in one of our more hair brained childhood ideas - somehow came up with the idea that Fritos always taste better after they’ve been sitting under a flashlight for two or three minutes. So that’s your food tip for the day: Place 2 Fritos under a flashlight that has been turned upside down (don’t ask me why you can only do it two at a time), and leave them there for three minutes. I think you’ll find that it’s far superior to ordinary Fritos.

Even though I'm home now, I'm still feeling in a vacation kind of mood - plus I had an extra vacation book picked out that I never got around to reading. So tomorrow, I'm going to read a book about a person who is reflecting back on their vacation - and I'm going to include vacation pictures in the entry. So, please join me tomorrow dear readers, as I reveal my Top Secret Vacation location (which I'm sure you've already guessed by now), and I have tons of fabulous pictures to share.