For the last two weekends, Nate and I have been on stay-cation. The first weekend, we stayed at a friend's house out of town. We came with groceries, including ingredients for chicken basil fettuccine, a garlic roasted leg of lamb, pineapple, grapefruits, and a case of South African cider the supermarkets have started to import. We watched back-to-back new US releases on ripped DVDs. We read books. We wrote. We took naps. We went to the beach and played around shore-blown waves. We even stayed an extra night and helped my friend cook Canadian Thanksgiving, and although it was more like Whatever-We-Have-in-the-Fridge-and-Freezer, it worked out alright.
Last weekend, we found ourselves still in need of a break from our usually routine of weekly consulting and weekend community work. We tried. We planned to wake up, pack the car...we'd even shopped for camping meals. But it didn't happen. We've been doing this every weekend for five months -- except the weekend we both had malaria -- so fair enough.
So, last Saturday, on the second round of our Monrovia stay-cation, we spent a sunny, dry-season day drinking white wine with fresh grapefruit in it on the balcony, swinging our hammocks with our feet on the railing. It was marvelous. I made spinach and two-cheese quiche, which paired nicely with the pineapple upside-down cake I'd baked the day before. Maybe we would leave for Robertsport on Sunday?
On Sunday, we took our surfboards and made for Kendeja, the new five-star hotel on the other side of town that boasts a "brunch" which is, in fact, a lunch buffet. We discovered this when we arrived at 10:00 AM only to be informed by the staff that "brunch" started at 12:00, but we could order (and pay) for breakfast if we wanted. More confusing was that "brunch" in fact had nothing breakfasty about it, and was instead a bland lineup of nearly-boiled meats and overcooked vegetables.
Not to be daunted, we went for a dry-season surf at the Kendeja beach break with almost no wind and head-high sets coming in pretty regularly. I got caught in a set during my first paddle out and turned around to bodyboard back in, marveling at how point breaks have spoiled my commitment to making it outside. Then Nate rode an amazingly long right and came in to paddle out with me. That helped -- I made it, dodged the big waves and got my courage up to ride a little one in. I'm getting braver!
The rest of the day was spent on deck chairs under a large umbrella, jumping in the pool and people watching as the local Monrovia crowd came to see and be seen. I have no idea how I got so sunburned on the front of my body. But it was fun.