Vacation Final Report! I Succeeded in Recreating My Vacation Emotions Without Leaving Town!!!

Vacation, OVER!!!! In Hindi, that would be Vacation Khatm. One of those words, like “mutlab” that sticks in my mind because it sounds way more like what it is than the English word. Final, like thunking a lid down.

Picture a plant that immediately puts down roots. I am sure there is some plant like that. Anyway, that’s me. I leave home for a vacation, and immediately become homesick and sad and wishing I was back where I belong. And then I have a shocky-rocky day, and immediately put down roots in my new vacation place. And then I get all shocky-rocky when I have to go home again. And that’s what happened even when I was vacationing at my apartment!

First night, I came to my apartment, and spent the night in my bedroom like it was a hotel room. I was all worn out from the trip (car got stuck in the snow when my Dad was driving me over to my place, ten minute trip took 50 minutes), so I just sat on my bed and watched TV and ended the night by watching my favorite bits of The West Wing on my phone.

Image result for josh donna west wing
It’s all Josh-Donna stuff, but you could probably guess that.

First day, I felt all sick and tired and off and homesick. Felt better after I had breakfast and the car was freed, drove for about 2 hours which was SUPER fun. It was snowing all day, so I had planned to drive north into the suburbs where traffic/roads would be better, but it would still be a fun different kind of drive. And, the best bit, I listened to BBC Poirot radio plays while I drove. SO GOOD!!!! Came home by way of drive through for lunch, had a late lunch, and took it easy since I was still feeling sick-y. And then I finally took a migraine pill and immediately felt 100% better. This is how my first day of vacation always is. I have a migraine because of the stress and excitement, but I am in denial because I want to power through and enjoy my vacation. EVERY TIME. And look, even when I am just in my own apartment, I still get an excitement migraine! And I still try to pretend it isn’t there!

Image result for bbc poirot radio plays
This Poirot collection. I listened to Roger Ackroyd, so good!

Second day, feeling soooooooooooo much better! And that was my really great big sight seeing day. I live half a mile from the northern border of Chicago. The whole city is 25 miles north to south. I found copies of the Discovery of Witches book series at public libraries on the far far south side. So I started driving north to south, stopped part way to get coffee at a fancy coffee place in a neighborhood I don’t usually go to, and kept driving. I got to see the whooooooooooooole city, AND the grand finale was running into a library for the first time in 6 months! Libraries are so beautiful. I was only inside for 3 minutes, but it was AMAZING. Oh, and then I used a public bathroom!!!! For the first time in a YEAR!!!! It was at a Burger King, and then I went through the drive through and got Burger King chocolate coffee, because turns out I don’t actually like fancy coffee from a fancy coffee place, I like my Burger King coffee with “chocolate” syrup. And then on the way home I stopped by my favorite toy store and got a new puzzle (curbside of course) and then went by my friend’s house a couple blocks away and gave her a Valentine’s card and got to see her face in person for the first time since December when I dropped off her Christmas card. It was all just WONDERFUL. And then I came home and the dog was insane because he had been left alone without a Human Person for the first time in months and he couldn’t handle it.

Image result for mount greenwood library chicago
Look how pretty it is!

Third day, beginning to feel anticipatory homesick as I think about leaving my new “home” to go back home. Also, big breakfast problems. Once breakfast arrived, I felt a lot better. My plan had been to make this my spa day. Pedicure, manicure, hot bath, home facial, etc. And reading my new books. But since I was sleep deprived and hungry, I watched bad true crime and did my awesome new puzzle. It was the best day. I did end up taking a bath and painting my nails, but only late in the day when I had built up strength.

It’s a Ravensburger puzzle, and I honestly recommend it to anyone! It shows a bunch of people in a city doing nice things, holding doors for people and saying “thank you” and stuff. It’s easy to do because of how it is designed, and it just makes you happy when you are done!

And now, last day!!!! I will “travel” back to real life by doing a movie with y’all, and then clearing up my apartment, and finally having my Dad pick me up to drive me back to their place (my car is free now so I could drive myself, but then I’d never be able to find parking once I got to their place. Soooooooooo much snow).

34 thoughts on “Vacation Final Report! I Succeeded in Recreating My Vacation Emotions Without Leaving Town!!!

    • Still haven’t started it!!! I was too sleepy and grumpy yesterday, and today we just finished the watchalong. Prepare yourself for me to not have thoughts until an unknown time int he future πŸ™‚

      On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 11:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I am NOT bizarrely focused on bugs. Sent an email and photo to the landlords official contact (where I only get a response about half the time), nothing in return so far. Just send me an exterminator!!!! Let him do his magic!

      On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 9:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Because of his one line about eating crickets, I listened to Jay Abner all Sunday afternoon (while gardening). And then I remember when my book club vicariously travelled to Vietnam and I read this chapter all about catching crickets and roasting them, and now I kinda wanna try crickets. And I saw an add to give money to some organization that helps starving people somewhere and their picture was of a swarm of locusts and I looked at the photo and thought wow that is a lot of food. Obviously not enough, because the people are starving after the food eats all the other food. ANd yet, and yet, I don’t feel like going down town to catch cockroaches for the evening meal….

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        • When my Grandma was a little girl, her farm town got hit by grasshoppers I think it was. The only solution was for every farmer to skip planting for a year and starve them out. And there was one farmer who broke the pact and still planted. To their dying day, my grandmother and her brothers remembered the name of the farmer. It’s just amazing to me that the only solution was for the entire town to let their fields lay fallow for a YEAR and starve them out.

          On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 8:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Did they forever blame the existence of Grasshoppers on this one farmer? Can you imagine having the balls to NOT do what your entire community asks? And then living with that, and being remembered for that even after death?!?

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          • The grasshoppers must have left eventually because the community did survive. But yeah, it was a real moment of collective responsibility and who breaks away from it. I am sure you know this from California history, but the stock market crash in 1929 didn’t cause the depression on its own, it was also the weird random dust bowl and grasshopper plagues in the midwest. For my Grandmother, growing up on the farm, the stock market was meaningless but the grasshoppers and dust bowl were a big big deal. And thus, everyone went to California to hang out with you. Or to Chicago to work in manufacturing, which is what my Grandmother did.

            On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 9:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Grapes of Wrath should be retitled with Grasshoppers. If you want to know how your grandmother’s ilk fared in CA, listen to Merle Haggard. Kinda awesome to have such a clear connection to where your family is now and how they got there.

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        • Oh, I should also mention that much of my early gardening is about preparing the dirt so I can then soak it at night so that the dirt will freeze and hopefully kill a lot of the bugs. I had a terrible time planting last year, with bugs eating everything young and green. To get beans I had to cut off the bottoms of plastic beer cups, stick them in the dirt, and plant the seed inside to give it some protection. So perhaps the bug focus comes from more than just your tale.

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          • What you need to do, is get all your neighbors to not plant anything for a year, and starve them out πŸ™‚ Dust bowl style!!!

            On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 9:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Not sure the starvation thing would work for pillbugs, they’ll eat dead leaves, when there aren’t tasty green bean shoots to devour. But then I probably could eat pillbugs, they aren’t as gross as cockroaches. Crunchy and full of calcium I imagine, but not a lot of protein. Ancient bugs. Ancient food?

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        • Ooh! I had crickets and grasshoppers in Thailand a long time ago and I think I remember liking grasshoppers more than crickets because they were crunchier and less bug tasting. There is also a place in DC that serves Oaxacan Chapuline (grasshopper) tacos that are pretty delicious!

          Next time I go to India I also want to try the red-ant chutney! It is supposed to a delicious delicacy from Northeast India, which is an area I have yet to explore.

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          • bug tasting…. I don’t know how bugs taste, but I imagine it is like unfarmed snails. When I was in Cesky Krumlov I noticed that the snails had the fancy shells you get escargot in, so I gathered them up and cooked them in the hostel kitchen, and they tasted like wet dead leaves. Apparently people feed snails cornstarch before turning them into escargot.

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          • My grandmother used to make really tasty snails that my grandfather (who was a forest officer) and my dad would gather for her. I just remember they were TINY and it took her all day to shell them out. And I usually got bored having to help her. But the end results was quite delicious. I wonder what unfarmed snails eat in India. I can’t imagine it is cornstarch.

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          • HA! This was in college, so my memory is a bit fuzzy but I think I remember crickets just have a more gooey interior than grasshoppers and having a much stronger, eggier taste. They also have many different crickets in Thailand from tiny ones to GIANT ones so it could very well be the ones I had.

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          • I am sure I could get chocolate covered grasshoppers, I feel like that is a thing you can find in America. Maybe eat them aggressively in the kitchen as a show of strength to the other bugs?

            On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 9:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The 12 year old loves these lolipops that have bugs embedded in them. And come to think of it I think we once bought a small box of roasted grasshoppers or crickets (okay I don’t know the difference) at a museum, but they were really expensive and there weren’t that many so I let the kids eat them all. Also, I’m pretty sure you are supposed to eat them hot. Somehow an expensive museum box seems like a pair of stale crackers to me.

            We live near Mono Lake where the Native people historically eat the lake’s abundant black fly pupas. Crunchy salt.

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          • Can you easily buy the fly papus to eat? Because now I kind of want them!

            On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 9:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I read this whole exchange to the 9 year old and he wants you to know that he has eaten a scorpion (in a lolipop). He said it was crunchy and hollow inside.

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          • Oooh interesting! I have never eaten a scorpian but would totally eat it if I could have it hot and crunchy!

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          • Filmikhudhi – the IDEA of different kinds of crickets is bringing to mind a future of bug connoisseurship on level with wine! Oh the hidden market potentials!

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          • OOOOh I LOVE this!!! I do LOVE wine and while I am not a trained sommelier, I love learning about wine and trying to create interesting and fun pairings. And creating a wine and bug pairing sounds like so much fun!

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          • Margaret- To the best of my knowledge you cannot buy fly pupa. But I think it is pretty easy to gather, perhaps a spring project for the boys. Typically it is dried before eating. Maybe we can send you some in the future.

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          • All this bug stuff sounds like GREAT projects for the boys. Kids love bugs. When I was their age, I think we made bug-pudding. Which is exactly what it sounds like, and then didn’t eat it.

            On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 10:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Bug link: I found my Grandma’s bug story! It was Chinch bugs, and there was a system where you dug ditches and stuff according to this, but I know in her town they just were supposed to not plant corn for a whole year, and one farmer broke the pact. It was the year she would have been 15 and her little brother was 9, and I heard the same story from both of them. Made a BIG impact:

    https://ourlocalhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/first-it-was-a-tornado-then-a-drought-then-the-chinch-bugs-came/

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    • Chinch Bug, it looks like what some call stink bugs and I call squash bugs. The ones around me are STINKY when killed. I would not want to eat it. I don’t understand how a pint of chinch bugs would gain you entrance into the World Expo…

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