I'm tanned, rested and ready to be back. I haven't had a vacation this fun in years, although maybe I always say that.
For 14 years straight my daughter and I have traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to watch San Francisco Giants Spring Training with a changing cast of characters. We have never gone "alone," there has always been somebody great who comes in at some point during our stay. Boyfriends have come and gone over the trips, it's true, but for the last seven years we've developed a fixed group: my best friend and her boyfriend (increasingly, my other best friend), me and Nora, three other close male friends, and for part of the time, a couple of their sons.
Uniquely, depending on which kids are there, we often wind up being a half-black and half-white crowd, which leads to a lot of fun conversations with other tourists about who we are, who's married to whom, whose kids are whose, and generally...wtf? Last Saturday most of the crew came into the gym to deliver me an iced latte, and a really nice woman from Fargo (getting ready to go home and toss sandbags) made conversation with all of us, and then, when they left, beamed at me: Are they all your family? In a way, I said...
I will admit that even amid all the fun that we had, a super-high point of my trip was visiting pretend_farmer and AZDavid's amazing non-pretend farm. Lauren and I traded messages back in the early beta days of OS, when I'd just gotten back from my last glorious Scottsdale sojourn (my blog banner features the haunting Praying Monk from Camelback Mountain, which is part of why I didn't want to trade it even for Ric Tresa's beautiful creation) and told her of my annual visit. She kept track and invited me over this March, and it was amazing. A lot of people think of Old Scottsdale as being Old Town, down around the ballpark, with some old buildings but mainly young people spending too much money. I think of Old Town as being the area around Lauren and David's, in the desert, where you can see what Scottsdale used to be (my best friend grew up there and I've actually been visiting for almost 20 years).
Anyway, I got tired of seeing that Selfish Grannies post, I still need a new hat, but I wanted to say I'm back, I experienced some genuine OS hospitality, I luxuriated in the company of my oldest friends, and I'm ready to work. We've all got a lot to do, don't we? I'm glad I have you to do it with. Congratulations on the National Magazine Award nomination, it's just a mindblowing honor -- that you deserve!