Tag Archives: biking

Present Participles of Vacationing

Although my time in Florida wasn’t long enough (such is life), I did manage to fill it with as much goodness as possible, primarily in the form of:

Lounging. In my family, the unspoken daily plan, the activity that trumps all other potential activities, is going to the beach. We convene in the den each morning to eat our breakfasts and slather on sunscreen, then head out to spend the day in the sun. Thus, I logged many, many hours stretched out in a lounge chair facing the ocean, admiring the scene before me, swirling my toes in the sand, and listening to the melody of the waves washing upon the shore.

Reading. What better way to spend my time relaxing beachside than indulging in a solid literary binge? I finished a deep philosophical discussion on pain by C.S. Lewis, drank up “To Kill a Mockingbird” (somehow I made it through school without reading this classic), then read half each of Donald Miller’s “Searching for God Knows What” and Tim Tebow’s “Through My Eyes”. Wish I always had the luxury of dedicating countless hours to reading for pleasure.

Kayaking. Our beach club provides complimentary kayak usage, which happens to be one of my favorite activities ever. I love kayaking out to the clear waters, rocking with the motion of the ocean, and peering down at the uninterrupted sea life below. During one of my outings, I spotted a large stingray gliding through the water; the next, a swarm of gloppy purple jellyfish. I’ve decided that when I’m not directly in harm’s way of their tentacles, I actually find jellyfish to be quite graceful and mesmerizing creatures.

Tossing. Bean bags. Into small holes. On the beach. Not exactly my forte, but luckily I was on Jax’s team, and he carried us to victory.

Napping. Laying on the beach is exhausting work, but somebody’s got to do it. It is scientifically proven, there is something about being under the sun all day that makes you drowsy. Luckily, vacation naps are the best kind, so that works out perfectly. Having the option of dozing at your leisure and then comfortably waking without an alarm is a rare gem, and I made sure to take full advantage of this while on vacation.

Devouring. A beach vacation just isn’t a beach vacation if pounds of fresh seafood aren’t involved, so I did what any reasonable vacationer would have done. I consumed as much grouper, shrimp, scallops, and lobster as I could comfortably get away with, and then I ate dessert. Don’t judge; you would have done the same thing.

Running. There are so many picturesque paths winding around the grounds near our condo, it would have been shameful for me not to lace up my running shoes at least a couple times while I was there. Despite the nearly suffocating heat, I got my miles in, and as always, I enjoyed the fresh change of scenery. See previous description of food intake for motivation explanation.

Playing. We spent many of our evenings engaging in some form of family game night consisting of hilarious rounds of either Taboo, Apples to Apples, and/or Catch Phrase. Not for the faint of heart.

Dancing. Saturday evening, the family enjoyed a tasty meal at a local restaurant that features live music. Just as we were on our way out the door, the band breaks into “My Girl”, and you just can’t walk away from a song like that. We detoured to the dance floor and twirled to a few tunes. I giggled the entire time, mostly because Jax is my favorite dance partner ever. It was one of those moments that just makes you thankful to be alive.

Biking. Jax and I devoted the morning of our last day to taking the outdated bikes at our condo for a spin. We explored the grounds a bit and unexpectedly came across a tucked away nature walk/bird viewing exhibit. There, we found a secluded swing set to play on, then continued along on our merry way. We road to the Marina and walked along *the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away, watching the ships roll in*, then it was back to the condo to pack our bags and head home.

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Books and Bikes

I’ve got another day of Portland stories for you!

Tuesday morning began bright and early with a trip to Powell’s City of Books, the largest used and new bookstore in the world. It occupies an entire city block in downtown Portland, and I nearly fainted as we walked through the doors. There are rooms upon rooms and floors upon floors filled with rows and rows of books; it is absolutely the mecca of all bookstores, a bibliophile’s dream. We grabbed a scone and a couple cups of coffee and ambled through the bookstore to my heart’s content. It was totally overwhelming (Jax even described it as dizzying), but so much fun browsing through the multitudes of books. We didn’t buy anything, purely because there were too many titles to choose from. I wanted them all, but since that was slightly unrealistic, I settled for none. But oh, my heart rejoiced in the presence of all those words.

Jax had to drag me out of there, and he succeeded only because we needed to get lunch before our bike tour started.

Insert delicious deli sandwiches and potato salad from Kenny & Zuke’s.

A bit later, we found ourselves cruising around Portland on rented bicycles. Portland is great because biking is such a common part of the culture there that drivers are extremely courteous and totally willing to share the road. We had covered a lot of the same ground while exploring on foot earlier in the week, but we also saw some new areas and learned some new facts. Plus, it’s always nice to get a fresh perspective on things. We cruised around town for several hours and miles, occasionally stopping to tour this or that interesting landmark.

The weather was perfect for being outdoors, as we were delighted to find was the case each day we were there. I’m told that we (unintentionally) chose the single most perfect week of the year to visit Portland. The skies were warm and sunny, yet refreshing in a way Memphis doesn’t offer, and there was not a drop of their characteristic rain to interfere with our many activities.  

Books, bikes, and beautiful weather with the boyfriend. Doesn’t get too much better than that.

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