Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back from vacation

I wasn't off at the seashore this whole time, that was just three days. But I've been on vacation at home since, some of it hanging around and some of it getting chores done.

Salisbury, Massachusetts was a good getaway... because we really didn't need much other than the ocean. Clearly, this is a town in need of some urban revitalization. The first impression is that most of it is run-down and mostly abandoned buildings. This is a very unfair impression; large stretches of town are actually shiny new and it's clear revitalization is going on with lots of new building. But you don't notice the nice buildings, you take those for granted. What stands out is the run-down old things with signs right out of the 50s. The seaside boardwalk area looked like Atlantic City after Biff stole the Delorean... though I bet it looks less that way during the high season when everything's open.

One thing's for sure, this was not a "touristy" destination, despite the seashore and all the relics of a touristy era. The shops and restaurants were inhabited by locals, and there was a conspicuous absence of the kind of retail presence that touristy areas have. I don't think I saw a single "gift" shop selling tacky crap. Nor did I see many license plates other than MA and NH (Salisbury is so on the border that most of our dining and shopping was over the border in NH).

What really matters, though, is that right outside the hotel room was a small porch which opened onto sand, and the roar of the surf was plainly audible and visible from my bed. There's no sleep so relaxing as sleep lulled by the smell of ocean breezes.

The only interesting dining found in the area was a little Mexican place of no particular significance, clearly catering to locals, but it was good stuff -- well-seasoned, authentic, and tasty. Their baja omelet, full of tender marinated carne asada, was remarkable. Otherwise, the food was serviceable and unexceptional.

Relaxing time at home was also productive. First time I ever did a tuneup on a lawn tractor, using only crappy and incomplete directions in the manual, and everything still went well; the tractor started right up and purred like a kitten. (Well, a very aggressive kitten with 42" cutting blades.)

Back to the daily grind today, but it's not so bad, the rest was nice. Lots more to write about, but that's for another day.

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