Sunday, May 23, 2004

Vacation. If you have the means, I highly recommend going on one.

Greetings guys and dolls. Back from 4 lovely days at the beach. I had forgotten what it was like to go away on holiday to a place where your only agenda is to sleep, eat, read, swim, and sleep some more. *That* is recreation. I like destination trips as much as the next girl, but you so often come home from those feeling as tired as when you left. This time 'round I spent the days at my mom's place which is conveniently situated on a marina and a beach (and a Naval base...sigh) and I slept late, ate well, read 2 books, swam in my sister's salt-water pool and went for runs on the shore. HEAVEN HEAVEN HEAVEN. Never mind that while driving home just now I got an oh-so-fetching drivers burn on my left arm and leg (this after successfully getting even sun and no burn at the pool yesterday, dammit!).

Remember when I was down there a few months ago, and said that I get the sense that life in D.C. is turning me into a snob? Well, I still maintain that that is partly true--and there really are an unreasonable number of Grave Digger-esque trucks rumbling around down there--but I experienced a vestige of small-town ways that warmed the cockles of my heart. For awhile now I've been wrestling with the issue of whether or not to replace the oil pan on my car. I've gotten lots of conflicting advice and conflicting estimates on the work. However, on my last trip down south, I went to a garage there for some seasonal stuff and an oil change (I'd been using this garage for awhile, but not for anything drastic--just state inspections, changing tires, that sort of thing). They said that I needed a new oil pan, but check this--proposed multiple scenarios whereby I could do that but SAVE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF MONEY. The hell, you say? A mechanic with my best interests at heart? Who wants to--gasp!!--develop a relationship and not just fleece me in the short-term for all he can?! I never thought the day would come. The deal was, he'd get the part I needed from a junk yard at about 1/7 the cost, thus cutting the total costs of the repair in 1/2 (labor on this particular job is still pretty steep). I think, "Great! Where do I sign on?" and let them go on about the business of getting the new pan. Drop the car off, blah blah...go to get it Friday and they explain that they decided to try a quicker, cheaper, equally satisfying fix before replacing the pan. If it worked, great. If it didn't, they wouldn't charge me for that job (as I hadn't asked for it) and replace the pan as planned. Well, the cheaper, easier fix (namely tapping a new hole in the pan through which to drain old oil) worked like a charm. The total cost, parts and labor? $140. On what had been quoted to me as a more than $600 job by other (*cough* Northern Virginia) garages. These guys were good old boys, and...I won't lie...I had the hair and makeup thing and the big smile going on, but I genuinely think these guys are the last of the small town gentlemen. It's a look-you-in-the-eye, "my handshake is my word" kind of ethos that I never see anymore and I found it endearing, and of course helpful, in the extreme. For real, it's worth the trip to get an honest mechanic. Lake Wright Exxon. Look that S up.

I saw one of these on the way home. OHMYGAHIWANTONE. SO EFFING SWEET.

I also stopped into Williamsburg on the way home to score a sandwich from the Cheese Shop and some house for a barbeque I'm attending later in the week. I was wrecked by the nostalgia!!! Whenever I go back there I remember only the good things about being in school, wishing I had those 4 years to do again--both to change some things and to relive what was so great about them. Good times.

Had this wine at a seafood place on Thursday (hibachi tuna...mmmm). I'm a sucker for the Aussie stuff, no lie.

And a belated shout-out to all the graduates in my life. Adam, Jeannette, Samantha, and Whitney, y'all rock the house and then some. I'm sorry to have missed the festivities yesterday, but I was drinking Flying Fish in your memory and, Adam, I made time with some Navy guys for you. They're waiting for your call.

Tomorrow? TOUR OF THE PENTAGON. I swear to God, I'm gonna stroke out from all the goodness.


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