Vacation Day 6: Reading, Shopping, Dancing, and Eating

Today was a lazy day, and is there anything better on vacation than having absolutely nothing to do? I woke up and it was raining, so I drank some coffee and finished my book, Beartown, by Fredrik Backman, which I’d begun reading on Saturday upon arriving at the beach. I was introduced to Backman last year, and the two books I’ve read by him, “A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Asked me to Tell You She’s Sorry” were both really good, so I was very excited to read his latest novel. Despite hearing good things about it, I was not all that impressed and it didn’t really wrap me up in the story the way his other books have, but even so, I will continue to read what he writes in the future, because his first books were just that good. The rain continued, so my brother thought it was the ideal day to go to the outlet mall and do some shopping, so my wife and I drove to Foley to meet them there. It took us too long to get there, confirming my suspicion that it’s not just the state of Tennessee that has criminally slow drivers, and when we arrived it was raining.

We called my brother to meet up and while we waited for him we walked into a shoe store to look around. Unfortunately, being on vacation doesn’t just magically give us an unlimited boost to our income and we quickly realized that we’re not rich enough yet to just shop without giving any thought to price tags, which makes shopping much less fun when you have to actually think about your purchases before making them, so because of this and since we didn’t want to walk from store to store in the pouring rain, we decided to call it quits on the outlet mall and head back to the house. When we arrived back at the beach house, my wife and I were both exhausted for some reason, and since we had nothing that needed to be done, we decided to take a nap, which is always a good idea.

Tonight we went to dinner at The Hangout, a place I’d seen for years but had never visited. There was about an hour wait, which wasn’t a problem since there was a stage for live music with beach chairs gathered around it, a fooseball and ping-pong table, and various things to take pictures in front of, all for the sole purpose of being entertained while waiting for a table. I got the shaka wrap, which had grilled shrimp and cheese, with a “secret sauce” that had a little bit of spice to it, all rolled up inside a flour tortilla, with french fries. The wrap was really good, the shrimp juicy and flavorful and the fries were cooked to perfection, crispy and perfectly seasoned. Given that these french fries are the best kind in the world, it’s crazy to me that more restaurants are stuck in mediocrity, serving steak fries with no flavor whatsoever. While to food was good, the atmosphere was a little more party-like than I care for when out for dinner, although their name kind of gives that fact away. It was so loud between the live music and the DJ that I had to yell my order to the waiter and couldn’t really hold a conversation with anyone else at the table. Halfway through the meal, somebody with a microphone encouraged everyone who was on vacation to get up and do the cupid shuffle while the music blared around the restaurant. It was at this point that I realized that perhaps this restaurant might not be the place for me, especially given my pessimistic outlook on life, but even so, the food was good and no amount of embarrassing dancing around me, can change that.


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