Day the first of staycation, in which we drink coffee, watch RED 2 and play games

Colton and I, as I may have mentioned before, have a different idea of what the ideal vacation should consist of. Colton’s idea is to play as many different kinds of sports as possible in the course of a day, and generally spend time outdoors expending energy. My idea is to hole up with a stack of books and movies and do as little as possible.

Interestingly enough, we haven’t had that hard of a time resolving these two positions since we became aware of them. Enter “The Staycation”. It works even better if we can pair it with a weekend away where Colton can play lots of sports, but it has enough versatility to stand alone also.

Part one of the staycation is buying lots of (a) fun, and (b) easy to fix, food. Fun food sets the right vacation tone, and easy to fix food is required to help me feel like I’m not doing anything.

Part two of the staycation involves planning a variety of activities that we *both* like, ranging from frisbee golf to at-home movie days to hiking to board games plus hitting a few of those ‘tourist attractions to close to home to actually visit’ spots. Generally this means that Colton gets in enough activity to feel rested, I get to intersperse my crashing with enough variety to extend it longer without getting bored, and we’re both happy.

Today we kicked off our staycation by… failing to sleep in very long and getting up to go for a run. Yeah… But don’t worry, it got more festive.

After finishing up a board game (technically it was a tile game, but you get the idea) over breakfast, we did some research on what fun places were open at 10 AM on a Monday morning, and decided it was good time to go out for coffee and play another board game. (Okay, technically that one was a card game. Picky, picky.)

We went to Caribou Coffee, which has the best straightforward coffee drinks if you’re more in the mood for sweet than subtle and sophisticated, but is sadly lacking in ambiance. Considering it’s inside a grocery store, I guess I should be happy it has even a fraction of a percent of ambiance, aka tables and chairs far enough back that you feel no danger of being run over by a shopping cart as you sip your coffee and deal your cards.

Rule of thumb for Peoria coffee shops: Thirty-Thirty for quality coffee, ambiance, and the aforementioned sophisticated and subtle coffee drinks. Caribou Coffee for blast of sugar and caffeine (which is not to knock the flavor of their coffee drinks at all, just to classify the types of flavors you get). Leaves and Beans is really just the ‘split the difference’ for quality-ish coffee, middling ambiance, and decent coffee drinks.

Oh, and Cracked Pepper is for eclairs.

Anyway, after coffee and games for the morning we went to see RED 2 at Landmark Theater. RED 2 was a lot of fun, and if you liked the original RED, I can highly recommend the sequel as more of the same. If you thought the original was dumb I’d avoid the sequel as it’s just more of the same…

After being out and about we came back home for a late lunch and some light computer gaming to recharge. (And some laundry that needed to be done, but that’s not really part of the official staycation roster…)

And if you thought that sounded like a fun day, stay tuned for part two of Colton and Raquel’s amazing staycation!

Things I learned from Agatha Christie: Times Change

Agatha Christie wrote sixty-six mystery novels over the course about fifty-six years. The world changed in the course of the those fifty-six years. As a teenager, getting a smattering of impressions from different points in those years, in no particular order, was sometimes startling and even a little sad.

Over that entire span of time there were always elderly people who complained about how times had changed, but at the end you could feel that they really had. ¬†Even with less stringent definitions a ‘proper housemaid’ made fewer and fewer appearances, and while young people might gallivant around solving mysteries in any era, they moved from nudging at boundaries to barely being aware earlier boundaries had existed. The feel of the entire world changed.

And yet, however much the feel of the world changed, the bones of it never did. From beginning to end of Agatha Christie’s stories, proper housemaids or no, people fall madly in love, do crazy stupid things that sometimes end well and sometimes end very badly indeed, eavesdrop on strangers, ignore close relations, throw parties to impress distant acquaintances, poison elderly aunts, bludgeon rivals, and sometimes drop everything and risk their lives to prevent the murder of another human being.

As a teenager I might have a grasped in a distant sort of way the concept that times change but human nature remains the same. In Agatha Christie I saw it happening, and never even knew it might be profound.