In my (unwritten, arbitrary) book, an ideal vacation should have two ingredients: books and naps. Oh, and good food. Everything else is just gravy! Good weather? Sure, terrific! Activities? Museums? Sightseeing? Why, sure! But, really, give me some books and guarantee a nap and I'm happy. (I know, what an exciting traveling companion I must be! Now no one will invite me anywhere...)
This time the books I picked up from the library have been duds (or I'm a dud and can't get into them) but lucky for me, the house here has a good little library of its own, with everything from the Iliad to The Golden Bowl to Jane Eyre to Winnie the Pooh to Paradise Lost to spy and detective novels, etc. I could spend a lot of time just browsing all the quirky titles and imagining who brought them here and when/why.
So I picked out a PD James mystery that takes place by the sea (Unnatural Causes). Maybe I'll have time to move on to a classic. Here's what we look like most evenings. (Notice the bongo drums? Believe me, they make a regular appearance as well... What 11-year-old boy can resist bongo drums?)
Although it's on an entirely different coast, this place reminds me of my great-grandmother's beach cottages I grew up visiting each year (one in Pacific Grove and Capistrano Beach). Modest and cozy and wood-paneled with pine cupboards and a jumble of secondhand furniture and squeaky floors and scenic views. It feels kind of familiar.