Saturday, May 27, 2006

Biker Week at Myrtle Beach

Good Times in Myrtle Beach! I went with my dad and sister and we rented a little house called the Ocean View in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. It was just what I needed. I could feel the annoyance and stress melting away as I hurtled down I-95 in my little rental car. As you leave DC, you can tell you are entering the South. There is nothing on the radio but classic rock and the air even starts to smell different. Honeysuckle, dark thick brown rivers, pine trees cooking in the sun.

Summer in South Carolina - eating shrimp, tomato sandwiches and my dad's famous potato salad, drinking cold beer, buying fresh peaches and tomatos from the roadside stand, sitting in the sun on the beach with my toes dug down in the sand, reading books until late in the night, jumping over waves in the Atlantic. Heaven on earth!

As for activities, we went down to the Strand and played some skeetball (but were unable to collect enough tickets to get a backscratcher) and bought Alyson some new sunglasses. The hucksters were bored so tried to sell Dad a henna tattoo. We drank a beer and ate some fries at my dad's favorite boardwalk hotdog stand. Alyson kicked our asses in putt putt at the Mt. Atlanticus Minotaur Golf. The only thing I didn't do is eat boiled peanuts. I guess I have to save something for next time.

The weird thing about Myrtle Beach is that it hosts two biker weeks which overlapped while we were there. One is the "White" Biker Week - fat bald white guys in black tee shirts with skanky looking old women on Harleys and the other is "Black" Biker Week - muscley rich black guys on Kawasakis in neon colors and hot black women with bandanas in thong bathing suits. Two completely different cultures. I saw a bunch of guys in matching vests that said "Dawgs on the Strand." I think I prefer black biker week.

It was fun hanging out down in the cheesy downtown near the Pavilion and watching the bikers show off but I'm glad we stayed in the "family beach" area which was quiet. I've turned into such an old woman. What happened to the 16 year old girl that used to borrow her dad's car and drive up and down Ocean Drive shouting at boys with her girl friends? What happened to those days of greasing up with Hawaiian Tropic Oil in a bikini and flirting with the carnies on the Tilt-a-Whirl? Now it's 45 sunblock and a 'tankini' and a big hat to keep my nose from burning off my face. In bed by 11 with a book. Lame Lame Lame.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Anyone got some frequent flyer miles to donate?

So I finally got up the gumption to tell my boss that if I don't take a vacation, I"m going to go postal in Africa somewhere. I finally did it becacuse I realized what a huge bitch I was being to everyone around me. Controlling, angry, petty - the whole nine yards. And so indecisive - which is unlike me. Normally I know what I want all the time.

It didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. Despite his assertion that he didn't want me to burn out, that there was no reason to burn out, and that he thought my work was valuable - the bossman flipped out when I told him I didn't think I could travel. He tried everyway to make me feel guilty which only made me mad. And then numb. And then incredibly guilty later on. And then ashamed of my weakness.

I guess, I'm back to that old place where I don't actually think my job is that stressful and that instead, I'm being a giant wimp. But remembering how close I came to the UNHCR compound shootout in Yei and how that scared me - I know I need a break.

I've been online researching someplace I can go that will be soothing, blissful, tropical, cheap, and with possibilities of bootie. And I've come to the conclusion that I MUST go to Bali. But I can't afford to go to Bali! I've finally managed to save money and save for my retirement on my piddly NGO salary and I can't bring myself to spend all my savings account on my airplane ticket. And because I fly on cheap tickets around the world, never the same airline twice, and because in general US based airlines are the epitome of evil - I don't have more than 35,000 air miles in anyone carrier. They never manage to credit my account for flights from UK to Sri Lanka, for flights from France to Guinea, for flights from UK to Zimbabwe. It really sucks.

So - I'm exploring Mexico (where one can fly for $250) - Tulum sounds nice but I'm afraid its going to be super hot and cheesy. I need to stay someplace that is filled with beauty right now. I can't tolerate more sad poverty everywhere I go. Costa Rica also sounds nice. I'd go back to Guatemala but I don't want to ruin the magic of the first time I was there. I'd love to take cooking classes in Oaxaca but they seem super expensive.

I want to sit on a beautiful beach and sleep in my own cabana or villa. I want to dine on fabulous food and meet fascinating gorgeous men all week. Too much to ask for in a vacation? So I'll keep looking. According to my boss, I have to decide when I'm going asap so he can 'structure' my work time and produce deliverables. Which pisses me off.

Anyway... ta ta