Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seafood & Jazz

For me, a vacation in the Florida panhandle just isn't complete until I have enjoyed a meal and some good music at the Red Bar. I love that it is crowded and loud. I love that parents dance with their kids in the tiny open area in front of the band. I love that even though it is terribly well-known and always busy, you still feel like you've stumbled onto a little hole-in-the-wall gem when you're there. It was Josh's first time, which was very fun for me. I love showing people new things and taking them to new places so that they can be excited about those things and places as well. It was a great first experience for him: our wait was only 30 minutes, we got a table close to the band, and the band started a new set just as we were seated and finished as the waiter brought us our check. Perfection.

We've had a great week in Florida. A big discovery that I made this week is the usefulness of umbrellas at the beach. I've never stayed at a place that provided free umbrellas, so I've never used one before. I had no idea what I was missing. My body has an aggravating tendency to develop a horribly itchy rash after prolonged, direct sun exposure, such as occurs when I lay out at the beach. Usually my beach trips go like this: Day 1- lay out; Day 2 - lay out for 30 minutes before realizing that I feel like a colony of red ants is living under my skin. Retreat to air-conditioning, ice body, try not to cry. Day 3 - continue to hide from sun's rays in hotel room; Any following days - timidly flirt with sun. The use of an umbrella (oh yeah, and sunscreen) has revolutionized my beach experience. I didn't develop sunrash until the 3rd day of the trip, and even then it was only mildly itchy. Funny how frequently I think the rules don't apply to me. "Sunscreen & umbrellas? Eh, other people might need 'em, but I'm tough." Great reasoning if it were true, but it's not. How could I have missed something so common sense all these years? Would I really rather spend half of my vacation in pain than just apply sunscreen regularly and get myself into the shade every once in a while? Kind of makes me wonder what other simple suggestions I ignore that would make my life easier, better, or holier if only I was willing to heed them.

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