Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On Vacation

The Wife and I are spending a week of vacation, along with the cats, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, hence the radio silence. My grandmother had a trailer down here, and when she died she left it to my parents and aunt and uncle. Yes, I do usually go through that circuitous way of explaining why I have a place to come to here; I hate the idea of saying that "my parents have a place in Rehoboth," because I hate the idea that people will think of me as coming from that sort of class background. The truth is, my parents are broke, and I was raised broke but middle-class in a very non-broke, upper middle class town. I don't like to sound like I came from money, which is why I say it like that. I also avoid saying where I went to college for as long as possible, because I attended somewhere that bleeds blue (and that's a hint), and I don't want people to think that I'm one of them when I'm talking. Anyway. So we're in Rehoboth.

Haven't been here long enough to have complex thoughts, but here are a few:

1) The Wife and I rented a Prius for the week. I have to say, it is a mighty fine car. I can't drive, but the Wife assures me that it drives excellently; she says she would like it a lot even if it weren't a hybrid. The little screen that shows where energy is being pulled at any moment is really great, especially for a passenger who doesn't have to do anything. Not great trunk space, but the rest is fabulous. As much as I like it, though, something bugs me about the emphasis on hybrid cars, as opposed to biodiesel, all-electric, or other fuels for cars. I mean, sure, it's fabulous that we're getting 47 miles per gallon, but we're still putting out exhaust. Less is good, but it does not equal none, and none is a good target to aim for. Especially on today, when it was seventy in January. Guess what? When we came down last year, it was seventy in January too. It shouldn't be more than fifty.

2) Once you get out of Wilmington, Delaware very quickly becomes rural. Most of the drive down route 1 is through fields, now barren, but full of corn and strawberries and other crops in the summer. Why, then, is it so impossible to find local produce down here? In the summer, there are a few produce places along 1, before you get to the actual beaches, that sell locally grown food. But there is nothing available once you get into the town. Where does the food grown not ten miles from here end up? Why isn't it feeding people here, en route to feeding people elsewhere? And why, then, are people who shop in this town stuck with buying lousy vegetables and fruit trucked in from elsewhere? Something is seriously wrong with the food economy in rural Delaware.

3) When I asked if the huevos rancheros were vegetarian at the wonderful Mexican restaurant down here, the waiter looked very confused for a moment. And then he said, "No, not really..." and I expected him to let me know that everything in the entire restaurant was cooked in gallons of lard. Which was very possible. Then he said, "You know, it comes from a hen." And I was extremely, extremely happy. (It remains possible that everything there is fried in gallons of lard, but I'm choosing not to ask. Also, they changed their salsa recipe, and not for the better. Boo.)

4) A really surprising amount of gluten-free food in the regular supermarkets, and more in the health food stores. Thumbs up to Kinnikinnick chocolate-frosted donuts, Gluten-Free Pantry cornbread mix, and GluteNo bagels. However, organic produce selection is lousy, organic butter costs $6/pound, organic eggs are $3/dozen. Again with the ambivalence.

5) I'm ambivalently a fan of outlet shopping. Discuss your opinions on the subject.


Anonymous KathyF said...

I don't know if this qualifies as discussion, but I have actually been to the outlets in Rehoboth. That one time I was in Delaware.

I was sort of put off by how many there were, and then I started thinking that that's all people did when they came to Rehoboth for vacation, and then I felt sorry for them.

I was there for a wedding, so I didn't have to feel sorry for me. We did, I remember, write "Free Tibet" on the beach, since my daughter was into that at the time.

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