I was going a mile-a-minute up until the last second on Friday before we left for the coast. Otis, Kari, Susie and I stayed the weekend in a friend's cottage near Ocean Shores with Rudy and their two pugs. It was a really great time. We mostly just hung around the beach, ate a bunch of food, drank our beers, played with the doggies on the beach, and flew our kites. I found that there wasn't a single moment where I missed having wi-fi, e-mail on my cell phone, tivo, or even cell phone coverage at all. I didn't even notice.
Saturday was pretty stormy, and windy as hell. Otis and I got our kites well over a thousand feet up. Mine is a pretty sweet delta kite and it went almost straight above me. Otis was flying a little diamond kite that wouldn't get much altitude, but he still let it out on about 1200 feet of string. The result was that it was sitting about 200 feet off the ground in another county. We were standing on the beach and his kite was halfway to Olympia. The wind was so strong that it was actually quite a workout to hang on to the string. There were a few times I felt like it might snap. At one point, I contemplated tying it on to Rudy, but I determined that it was actually pulling hard enough that it would have easily carried him off. I attached it to Wednesday(the black pug)'s leash and it actually pulled her away a little bit. It was a pain in the ass to wind it back in. The cool part was that when we started winding them in, we were able to walk all the way back to the porch of the cottage without catching them on anything and roll them in from there. This was especially nice because it was raining. We flew them again later, after Otis bought a kite similar to mine and it was even crazier. The wind had picked up a bit from earlier in the day. Getting the kites up all the way to the end of the string was easy, but getting them down was a nightmarish task, even more than earlier. By this point, I'd bought a wooden crank-style spooler thingy to help me pull it in, but I found that it wasn't as efficient as I'd hoped. After a few hundred revolutions, the tension from all of the super-tightly wound string actually broke the one-inch thick dowels that the string was being wrapped around, so I had to abandon it and use a regular plastic spool again. Towards the end, the kites were pulling so hard that we were struggling just to keep a hold on them. My fingers have huge blisters and raw spots on them from pulling the string in. When we went inside, my spool had lots of cool blood splatters on it. Extreme kite-flying, yo.
Yesterday was much more calm. We couldn't even get the kites in the air, so we just played with the dogs and our ladies and hung out for a few hours before packing it in and facing the long drive home. Poor Rudy was exhausted from playing with those crazy pugs all weekend and exploring the beach for the first time. On Saturday, he actually took off down the beach (he was chasing a feather) and we almost lost him! He slept the whole way home and he's still pretty beat.
All-in-all, this was one of the most relaxing little vacations I've had in a loooooong time. Usually when I'm on vacation, I'm going to a scooter rally where I'm trying to stick to an itinerary or I'm going somewhere where I'm trying to cram 10 days of fun in to three days. I really needed a weekend of just not worrying about anything and that's what I got.
I'm always joking that if Susie doesn't get to the beach at least once a year, she'll implode or something but really I think that's even more true for me. I was really out of sorts before this weekend, but now I'm aaaalllll goooooood.