Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Actually, yes, I do recall feeling relaxed.

I was a little worried that taking a vacation to go nowhere (aka my house) rather than somewhere (aka Hawaii) was going to be a bit boring and not all that relaxing and something of a bummer.

Not so!

Well, not so once I decided that a No Rules approach was better than an Apply All The Random Rules People Spout When They Hear You're Taking a Vacation at Home approach.

Man, people will make rules about any old thing, won't they?

Don't do any laundry!
Eat out at every meal just like on regular vacation!
Remember to cancel/postpone/hold all your stuff like mail and cleaning ladies!
Don't run errands!
Don't work out!
Sleep in every day!
Don't watch TV!
Visit new museums around your house!
Go to the movies in the middle of the day!


I'm proud to say that, while I was planning on abiding by a few of these rules (laundry and working out come to mind), I didn't. I think, in fact, that I DID do most of the shit on that list. Because you know what stresses me the fuck out?

Coming home from a Somewhere Else AKA Hawaii type vacation and having to do laundry, go out to dinner because we don't have any food in the house, collect mail, clean the house, run errands, work out every single moment to regain control over my waistline from a week of drinking cocktails at every meal, make up sleep, and catch up on the TiVo.

Going to museums and movies doesn't show up on my To-Do list regardless of the occasion, so those rules fell on completely deaf ears.

But don't worry, friends, it wasn't all Hey Bubb, Do We Have More Detergent? the whole time.

Oh no. We did things.

Think things like cooking, canning, beach-going, impromptu road tripping, running, going on bike rides, sewing, gardening, drinking of new cocktails, drinking of old cocktails, accepting delivery of local-raised chickens, shopping, *censored*, wine country visiting, wedding going and just plain sitting on our asses.

As you can plainly see below.

It was relaxing in the sense that I cleared my mental mind list of a lot of stuff that's been sitting around taking up space in there for a long time.

And relaxing since I did sit around a lot in the garden and stare at the birds, plants, my book and the bottom of a cocktail glass.

About those salty stories...well, I can't say that any really come to mind since I didn't kayak into a boulder, get washed ashore face first, take pictures of dead fish on a beach, or narrowly avoid being buried in a snowstorm.

I did, however, try a new cocktail and now my life is forever changed. Mostly because it gives me another way to use the garden produce and enjoy my gin in one sitting.

Welcome, Cucumber Cooler.

A friend of mine dropped this little Hendrick's booklet on my desk the other day, an act that would normally elicit very little response beyond that of throwing it in the trash since I don't deal in clutter, but something told me I should take it home and absorb its contents.

And absorb I did.

Mostly because Bubba's been plying me with a different gin cocktail every time we go to a new restaurant or bar because on a recent work trip he tried, "a gin drink with ginger beer and cucumber something in it and it was so good and I knew you'd love it but I can't remember what it was called or where I had it" (helpful, this one).

So, when we were in Anaheim for the All-Star Game, we went to Morton's and I had their "Cool as a Cucumber" drink, which was good (I swapped Hendrick's for the filthy vodka the thing called for) and since I determined that this change from plain old gin & tonic or vaguely more interesting gin & ginger ale (Gin Buck) to something more exotic was actually not a pointless activity, I set out to recreate the magic at home. Where I could also control the amount of gin going into my drink (more) and also use up some of the vegetables and herbs trying to take over our front room (cucumbers, mint).

Good call, me.

So I made one of these Cucumber Cooler things, even though it called for about a hundred more ingredients and dirtying a dozen dishes unlike my typical G&T.

And that garnish you see on top there? Yeah. That's a garden cucumber after a meaningful run-in with my melon baller. SCORE!

I haven't used that melon baller since I bought it and am only now beginning to realize it's potential. Awesome.

And the drink was awesome. And I had many. And then maybe Bubba lit the fire pit and we got so into our cocktails that we maybe had to take a bike ride to the booze store the next day so that we could relive it again that night.

And that, my friends, is a big benefit of staycationing - all the comforts of home, like your own bike, patio, fire pit, bar and booze store are, RIGHT THERE because...well, you are at home with all its comforts.


  1. When you mentioned chickens I thought maybe you had decided to raise chickens. And I was both excited and a bit jealous. Excited because can you imagine what kind of blog material you'd have with chickens running around your backyard? And jealous because I live in a city that doesn't allow chickens to run around in the backyard. Although, my husband insists that the law isn't the only think keeping me from getting chickens. I was still a little bummed when I saw the chickens in the photo. You should get chickens!

  2. Hold up, Finn. Where's the recipe for your cucumber drink? You can't post about a drink that disposes of cucumbers in a pleasing (meaning alcoholic) manner and NOT give me the recipe. You wouldn't do that to me.

  3. Alisha - Oh nooooooooo, I don't want chickens. Firstly, Bubba is NOT a fan. Secondly, our dog would certainly BE a fan, but not in a good way. Thirdly, we don't eat that many eggs. So, sorry, friend. Bees? Do you like bees?

    Kris - I'm the rudest!

    Actually, in my pea brain I thought that the recipe would be legible in the photo, but now that I look at it, I realize that no human being could possibly decipher that.

    So, here you go:

    Cucumber Cooler
    1 1/2 parts gin (Hendrick's, obvi)
    3/4 parts St Germain (or other elderflower liquor)
    3/4 parts fresh lime juice
    1/4 parts simple syrup
    soda water
    5 mint leaves

    Place all ingredients except soda water in a tall cocktail glass, muddle gently, add ice and top with soda water. Add a cucumber garnish. I obviously like the melon balled cucumber garnish the best. I made a hundred.


  4. sounds completely perfect. all of it. and i love the photo collage. LOVE it.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.