I had to take vacation time last week before my employer took some of it back. With gas prices over $4 a gallon and plane tickets almost doubling, I decided to take a vacation in my own city and do some things I always wanted to do but never seemed to find the time.
During the early part of the week I had brunch with a friend from high school at a quaint coffeehouse cafe. I think my brunch totaled about 10,000 calories, but it was well worth it. I Indulged with a chocolate-whipped cream-concoction masking itself as coffee along with a to-die-for croissant sandwich followed by an extremely rich piece of Oreo cheesecake. Sounds fantastic, doesn't it? It was good laughing and catching up with my friend. We sat in the covered patio while it rained, then the sun came out and it rained again before we called it a day.
Gotta take time to do that again.
I finally made it to the aquarium and it slipped my mind that it's summer and everyone is fitting in their last vacation before school starts. Many times I was almost run over by kids saying "excuse me" in various languages. The only two I understood were in French and Russian(I think). At least most of the patrons were friendly (especially when I almost walked through a family photo) and I took some great pictures. The two above are a few of the best.
The baseball game was my next stop in the week as I love, love, LOVE baseball!!! There are a variety of reasons to go to the stadium but the most important is the great hot dogs! They cost an arm and a leg, but I swear they are the best dogs I have ever had and they are huge. Top that off with cotton candy (the kid in me :) and a great game that came down to the last out in ninth inning. My friend (pictured with me, it was extremely hot until the sun went down) is not really into baseball, so I gave her a crash course. We really enjoyed the variety of theme-music for each player as they came up to bat, and we REALLY enjoyed the pitcher's mini-video as he made his appearance. (We both have degrees in Film & Television so it's in our blood) We were still singing "one, two, three, you out" when he was pitching, that song was definitely catchy.
To top that off, along with the drunk college kids that decided to battle it out by shouting their college at each other after the beers kicked in (we had great seats, BTW), it was Fireworks Friday. We got a free fireworks show after the game. Gotta love this city!
The Black Arts Festival is in town so my week ended with a tribute to Judith Jamison dance performance. There were three groups performing (picture to the left is of the second group, I forgot my camera so I missed a great photo op at the end) and the first two were okay, but everyone seems just okay when you are followed by anything with Ailey in the title. The third piece was a duet danced to A Case of You. Let's just say I would be grateful to drink a case full of that male dancer. Even Ms. Jamison gave props to that great specimen of a male (her words, but I agree :) at the interview with the three Artistic Directors after the show.
The female lead was wonderful as she executed lifts that had the audience gasping. Yep, they had me ready for my own performance group to start back up. As usual, women were flocking the male dancers outside. When will we learn to appreciate without having to have it? My people, my people...
It was a great week. I highly recommend anyone to take a vacation in your own city. I did all of that and still found time to be lazy on at least three days. The next time I will bring my camera with me everywhere, since I missed a LOT of great photos.
Oh well....back to work.