You Can’t Spell “Vacation” Without “Relax.” Well, Obviously, You Can, But You Get My Meaning.

November 29, 2011


I was thinking about blogging the whole time, I promise.

We’ve spent the better part of the last week in the San Juan islands, up in northern Washington, staying in a cabin looking out over the ocean.  It was not terrible.  I am more relaxed than before.

A few key moments:

There’s a woodstove and I love getting fires going in it.  I love it in a Primitive Male “I Make Fire” kind of way (as opposed to a “That Guy Needs Help Right Now” kind of a way).  One evening, I couldn’t get the fire going.  Just died and died again.  So my wife took a crack at it.  She shoved two big pieces of wood in there, each wrapped in a sheet of newspaper.  I, of course, quietly scoffed and mocked her foolish naivete in the area of fire-starting.  Then, as it dwindled, she put in another piece of paper.  Maybe one more.  Then it started roaring away, because of course it did.  Sometimes she drives me nuts.

There was an incredible wind-storm while we were there.  It was beautiful to watch, but it also woke us up in the middle of the night.  First from sheer volume, and the creaking creaking creaking of the giant tree right outside the tiny window-box bedroom.  Then it kept us awake because once you start thinking about a tree falling onto you at two in the morning?  Yeah, pretty much nothing’s going to make you stopthinking about a tree falling on you.

The cabin, and a very suspicious looking tree.

One morning we were getting up and I looked out the window and said to my wife, “Hey!  There’s two seals swimming by!”  “Where?!”  She rushed out but by then they were gone.  So we wanted to go out and see them.  As she got her shoes, I went to the front door.  “Cool!  There’s a whole bunch of rabbits right out front!”  “I want to see!” “Oh, they all ran away.”  Out we rushed, down the steep hillside to the water. I went ahead a little ways and saw an entire family of otters on the rocks.  I tried to get her attention without alerting the otters.  I waved, I whispered, I jumped up and down.  Finally, she saw and got over to me… just as they all noticed me and slipped in to the water.  So, there was a ton of wildlife… but you’ll just have to take my word for it, apparently.

The Byronic butt, slightly chilled and thoroughly basted.

There’s a sea kayak for guests’ use, and a little island within paddling distance.  It was cold, and I didn’t have any good pants for kayaking, but what were we supposed to do?  Not go kayaking?  When we got back, and my jeans were soaked, you could have hit me in the ass with a shovel and I wouldn’t have felt a thing.

I read Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day while I was up there and it’s fantastic.  Not a crime-mystery, as his works usually are, but absolutely worth your time.

Had a revelation: Being on vacation is better than not being on vacation.

, , ,

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

View all posts by The Byronic Man


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

28 Comments on “You Can’t Spell “Vacation” Without “Relax.” Well, Obviously, You Can, But You Get My Meaning.”

  1. BrainRants Says:

    A vacation sounds awesome. I’d even sign up for the wet ass.


  2. Blogdramedy Says:

    I’m glad you explained the wet butt. I was thinking all the excitement around wildlife caused a wee accident. 😉


  3. madtante Says:

    Sounds like a lovely time. Welcome home.


  4. becomingcliche Says:

    You forgot to mention that you saw Bigfoot.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, in this part of the country we’re all pretty blase about bigfoot sightings, anymore. “Hey, I saw bigfoot in the park.” “Hey, Bigfoot was in the grocery store this morning.” “Hey, Bigfoot was parked in a handicapped space and said he was just running in for ‘two secs.'” That sort of thing.


  5. midsummerdreamsandwintertales Says:

    Sounds fabulous. I will try this method of starting fires. Except that I’m not allowed to start fires.


  6. angrymiddleagewoman Says:

    So did you really see the wildlife or were you just trying to get back at your wife for the fire success stuff? Sounds like a wonderful vacation – I’m very jealous!


  7. gojulesgo Says:

    That’s awesome. Peppermeister said almost the exact same thing to me last night when we both got home from work (“being on vacation is better than not being on vacation”)!

    “Then it started roaring away, because of course it did.” Rah! Girl power! (Sorry. Had to say it.)


  8. k8edid Says:

    In our family, I am known as the Goddess of Campfires. I can start one in minutes using nothing but a handful of pine needles, 1 match, and other assorted gathered items, sticks, twigs, and the like…makes my husband so jealous.


  9. truthspew Says:

    Ok, this had to be one of your funnier posts. Glad you had a good time. And yes, I’m spending the holiday in Gum Neck, NC. You can bet your ass I’m bringing my 10×50 binoculars with me and making sure all the cameras (phone, point-and-shoot) are charged. That’s prime night sky territory.


  10. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface Says:

    So, if you were smaller and quieter, maybe your wife could see an animal once in a while? Let her lead the exploration next time.
    Sounds like my kind of vacation. My mother makes a good fire. I should get her to write down her fire secret for prosperity.


  11. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Ahhh. Now I see what I’m doing wrong- forgetting the “relax”ing part. I always come back from vacations feeling like I need a vacation: “lets hike up a mountain – both sides!” or sailing, which requires muscles never used for anything else. A cabin & otters eh?


  12. JM Randolph Says:

    Sounds like a great vacation. Can we still hit you in the ass with a shovel? Personally, I have few opportunities to do that.


  13. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    That final thought? That’s something I don’t have to take your word for, although I’d be happy to.

    Three days removed from a four-day weekend, and it’s already like it didn’t happen. D’oh.


  14. She's a Maineiac Says:

    This was one hysterical post. The shovel to the ass was the perfect ending.

    Kudos to your firestarter wife. After so many years of marriage, you need to learn by now that she earns the right to do all of the scoffing from now on.


Every Time You Leave A Comment, An Angel Gets Its Wings.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: