Monday, September 06, 2004

"You're the only guy I know who takes a vacation to get away from doing....nothing!"

That's one of my favorite quotes from my buddy Dave (sorry...David...he hates to see his name as "Dave" in print) from the last time I was in Chicago. But let me tell you something...I need a vacation. Being retired is a lot of work.
This weekend began with John and Rammy picking us up at our house on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. We drove up to Mulhouse (pronounced least that's how I pronounce it), France for the big weekly farmers' market. John and Rammy have been there before, but it was the first time for yours truly and Mrs. TBF. We finally made it after navigating around about fifty detours due to the insane amount of road construction in Mulhouse (I'm telling's NOT pronounce mull-house!) But, any aggravation we experienced was soon forgotten after we began walking around this massive market. Much to my delight, it had both an outdoor section AND an indoor section. Outdoors, you had your typical assortment of nice looking fruits, vegetables, herbs, blah, Blah, BLAH!!!! But inside, you had the GOOD STUFF - meat, fish, cheese, wine, etc. I bought a turkey drumstick that could choke a donkey, a turkey breast about as big as my head, and a kilo of turkey necks for some stock. It was great! The fact that I don't speak French, they don't speak English, and we were speaking in broken German did not deter me one bit. Next time, I'll be prepared - I'll bring a cooler and some ice packs.
On Saturday night, we went to Mark and Sandra's house (a couple of doors away) for a big BBQ. There were about forty or so people there, and it went into the wee hours of the morning. The police showed up at about 2:00 a.m. to tell us that neighbors had complained about the noise. When the police arrived, I was helping Markus (a professional hair stylist) cut our friend Jarl's hair. I'm not really sure how this came to be, but it ended up looking pretty good. Actually, Markus did most of the work...I just got in few snips. We had a really good time, and I didn't have to pick up even one BBQ utensil...nice bonus!
On Sunday afternoon, we had a neighborhood potluck BBQ. We call them Weberfests (after THE grill). Actually, we now pronounce it the German way...vayba-fest. We just bring a couple of grills down to a common area, and we keep them lit for as long as it takes for everybody to grill their stuff. I grilled up my mammoth turkey drumstick, and I ate it King Henry VIIIth style. That reminds me...where can one get one of those nice gold crowns with the red velvet???? Also, I ended up grilling a lot of other people's food. I guess that's what happens when you get a reputation as the "Grill Master". The BBQ wound down in the evening, and then a few of the straglers ended up on our patio for a night cap. My next-door neighbor Eli was the last to leave. I didn't really look at my watch, but I think he left around 11:00 p.m. Afterwards, I went right to bed. I was totally beat from all of the weekend's activity. I fell asleep, and I woke up at one point to Jo Ann telling me I was snoring. The next thing I knew, it was 8:40 a.m.
It's almost 8:00 p.m. now, and I still feel tired. I blew off the gym today because I figured my workout would suck anyway. I'll just hit the gym tomorrow after my German lesson. Thank God we're leaving for Spain this Friday....I need a vacation!

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