How I vacation with my best friend

People have all sorts of ideas of how one should spend vacation. Touring around cities; looking for the best night spots and parties; drinking your face off, or at least until it’s numb, at the beach.

We do none of those things.

Day 1: Arrival.
1. Some times we arrive together, but this is not guaranteed, as we are adults with different schedules and travel styles. She is fine traveling economy and on occasion will run through the airport to catch her flight, barely making it as they close the door. I try to travel economy, some times I fail, and I do not like being late for flights. I do not run. I never run.

2. Whoever arrives first walks around and gets the lay of the land. Whoever arrives second comes home to an artfully arranged meat and cheese plate with tasty, tasty red wine. There is a picture taken which is then distributed purely for the purpose of inspiring envy. (There is no shame in acknowledging that’s why we do it – we’re honest about our shallow joy). After, we try to eat most of it, but we are both people of abundance and poor planning skills when it comes to cooking and/or arranging food for two. There is leftover food which will be nibbled on throughout the night; there may be leftover wine in the sense that we’re almost certainly on bottle number two.

3. We go to bed. And then, underneath the covers, we play Words With Friends. With each other, of course!

Day 2: Still here.
1. One of us will get up at some point in time and decamp to procure provisions from the neighborhood bakery. We have yet to do a resort together so I’m not sure how that would work, but for urban meandering (exploring has more intent and adventuring is an over-used word), we always find a bakery and make good use of it. Fresh bread, fresh baked goods, little bits of honey and jams, and quiche if we can have it. This is also arranged on a plate, artfully; a photo may be taken but it won’t necessarily be shared immediately. Priorities, for we are hungry from the night before as we did consume two bottles of wine.

2. Wash, shower, giggle, and leave the premises into the light of day. We continue to walk around and mostly avoid tourist areas other than cursory visits to send photos home. Little art galleries are lovely to stumble into; tiny tucked away wine bars and swarthy taverns are fun distractions; sitting in comfy coffee shops with indie soundtracks and apple spice cake are delightful. Everything, really, is nice and warm and wonderful when spent in good company that has no expectations save comfort.

3. Soon it is time for this night’s meat and cheese platter arranged by, well… One of us is always the curmudgeon by this point and needs a little alone time. (Probably me, but not always me). Whomever it is that needs alone time gets the shower; the other makes the plate. We nibble, we drink, we determine if it would be gluttony to go outside for an actual dinner or if we just want to roll over and play dead.

4. 50/50 on which option is chosen, but at some point we then retire to our separate beds, get underneath the covers, and play Words With Friends. This is the point in the vacation where if someone snores, coughs too loudly, or has a weird yawn, there will be giggles and mockery and shaming. Because what is true love without a little shaming?

Day 3: Not done yet.
1. Because we are who we are, this day most certainly begins with tea and wine. In fact, we are on Day 3 right now as I type this, and yes, there is tea next to me (Earl Grey, piping hot) and wine (the remainder of last night’s bottle of Côtes du Rhône), and is this normal behavior? No clue, doesn’t matter, because we this is how we vacation.

2. We will emerge into sunlight around noon-time because the day is too beautiful to spend indoors. We will find a thing we want to conquer – for this trip, it’s a ferris wheel – and we will continue to meander about this fresh, virgin city, which, and I quote: “Does not smell like home, of desperation and crushed dreams.” (Perhaps we tend towards the melodramatic? Is this surprising?) There is no rush; there is very little plan; this is a chance for us to indulge one another’s company and to enjoy life for its simplicities.

3. Wine? Yes. Meat and cheese? Yes. Bread with jam and fruit? Of course. Tonight, we will be good and will go to dinner somewhere. I’m certain it will be fantastic and when we get back, you already know what is going to happen: Words With Friends. And a dash of mockery and crowing at whoever gets better words.

Day 4: Generally, we are gone by now.
This is a longer trip and so we are entering new territory. I can’t be sure of what to tell you here, but I can say this…

There will be laughter. There will be hijinks. And there will be wine.

[Good lord, there will be wine]

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