Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Promises!

 I recently came back from a winter vacation at the Grand Strand. Technically, it was "Spring" Break, but the temperatures at the beach were cold enough to make the Canadians blink. I still managed to have a good time and there's something to be said for vacationing alone, although I missed FryDaddy awfully. (His schedule didn't let him come with me, but we talked every day.) It took a few days for me to actually "unlock" enough to enjoy having unstructured chunks of time. I took a stack of movies with me and multiple issues of Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Smithsonian. (Look, I have eclectic interests, okay?) I napped when I felt like it, walked on the cold beach up to the next pier and back - I even visited Fat Harold's Beach Club for a free shag lesson and some dance history!

I took a day trip across the state line back into North Carolina to have tea at the Calabash Garden & Tea Room, which is run by the kindest people to ever boil water. The tea room is in the same picturesque area as Nell's Fine Consignment, which is a sort of Mecca to the "in the know" bargain safari hunter. See, every time I go to Nell's, it's a celebration of being female and being alive. Invariably, I find three or four things I like and Marcy  nods and says, "But what you really need is . . ." and then she pulls out things that I'm positive weren't there before! She pushes my sense of style to get away from well-made, but somewhat boringly traditional, basics, stocking the dressing room with wildly-printed jackets, swirly skirts, and secret items that just make me feel more -- ME! Seriously, going to Marcy's with a whimsical attitude and an open mind is like raiding your big sister's closet. (Wealthy snowbirds consign really interesting things - for example, just for fun, I tried on a full-length Canadian beaver coat.)

I had so much fun that I began planning a "girls' weekend" (it's actually more like 5 days) in about two months. Shag dancing, tea, and shopping are required. I'm hoping for a "pajama day" as well. Secrecy will be maintained - pinky swear!

Oh - and I'm still working on my low-key French lessons - the library at my college has the introductory discs for the Michel Thomas method, which I'm finding to be fun and I'm pleased with how much I'm retaining. For instance, I can now ask, "What is your opinion of the political situation in France?" among other things.

And today I tried my hand at something I enjoy, but rarely take the time to do - baking from scratch. Hello, lemon-lavender cupcakes! That's honey-vanilla frosting on top. Yum, if I do say so myself!

Self-care rules!