Bread School Post-script: Staycations Are Cool

Don’t worry, I’m done talking about bread for now. Bun there, doughn that.

What I did want to mention is, how cool it was to spend five days in Mt. Vernon, a town barely 17 miles from our ferry terminal. I’ve never had a “staycation”; now I want more.

To avoid going back and forth on the ferry each day, the Mate proposed renting an Air B ‘n’ B place so we could do our own cooking. He planned to spend the days exploring via foot and bike while I baked. So we got this cute lil’ ol’ bungalow on a street of cute lil’ ol’ bungalows.

See what I mean?

Mt. Vernon is famous for its bulb fields: daffodils, iris, and especially tulips. 

Can you tell?

Every morning I rode to class, crossing the Skagit River on a bridge (with a scary-narrow sidewalk). The weather was pretty grey and windy each day, but that’s just April here.

Who needs sunshine when you have tulips?

In the name of exploration, I took different routes to the Bread Lab each day, but of course one of them took me past the tulip fields. Since they weren’t open for visitors yet and I didn’t want to trespass, I settled for this shot of alpacas with a tulip backdrop.

Just another day in Paradise…

Not pictured: the coyote I saw

Each evening we dined on Things You Can Eat With Bread, brought from home or purchased at the wonderful Skagit Valley Food Co-op. One staycationy thing we did NOT do: dine out at restaurants. (Did I mention all that BREAD?)

So this isn’t a travelogue post about the delightful town of Mt. Vernon–though we did find it delightful. I didn’t visit stores, poke my nose into quaint corners, or even take very many pictures.

What I did: appreciated how simpatico it felt to be in, essentially, the next town over. Like being invited over to the home of a neighbor you don’t know well, and finding out you have the same taste in food, decor, and books. 

Happy spring, neighbor.

This is simply an ode to the Staycation. For those of you who’ve already discovered that delight–good on ya! Care to share? 

 

Travel Brain vs. Stay-at-Home Brain: a Win-Win

Most of us know folks who LOVE to travel, taking off every chance they get–whether “taking off” means a weekend jaunt or an international tour.

And most of us also know folks who really, REALLY don’t want to go anywhere.

Guess what: I’m both those people. Nice to meet you.

All the way home from my recent trip to Germany and Switzerland, Stay-Home Gretchen was happily making lists of how she’ll spend her time this week. (Grocery shopping. Revising Chapter 7. Making soup…sorry. Won’t bore you.) Meanwhile Stay-Home Gretchen’s brain kept up this chorus: “No more international travel! This is way too distracting for work, not to mention expensive! And what about your carbon footprint?”

But it's...so...BEAUTIFUL out there!

But it’s…so…BEAUTIFUL out there!

And then Travel Gretchen looked out the plane window: “Oooh! Iceland!”

Wanna go!!! (Photo courtesy Wikimedia)

Wanna go!!! (Photo courtesy Wikimedia)

Anyone else experience this tension? I LOVE going away: new adventures, amazing scenery, old friends, culinary delights…And I LOVE staying home: comforting routine, old friends, culinary delights, amazing scenery…

Hey, wait a minute. I just realized those two lists are almost identical. 

But home ain't no slouch either, right?

But home ain’t no slouch either, right?

So…win-win for both Gretchens? Certainly sounds that way. Y’all know what I’m talking about?

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