When I left on vacation 13 days ago I had every intention of blogging at least a little bit along the way. Granted, I was desperately in need of a vacation from our current climate of political insanity, but I was in a surprisingly good mood, fresh from the big win in health care legislation and ready to take on the next uphill battle on the list. So I packed up the MacBook along with everything else and went on my way.
The first couple of days I kept up on the news and in spite of very little free time I was able to crank out a quick post from my iPhone while traveling on Amtrak. (Not an easy task for someone like myself with big thumbs and poor typing skills, making due on a teeny tiny keyboard while bouncing over rough rails at high speeds.)
After that? Well, good intentions became just that: intentions. After a couple of mornings of missing newspapers there was this period of calm that came over me and I found that political ignorance can indeed equal bliss. Even so, I found there really is no political proof bubble. You can ignore the papers and turn off the television, but sooner or later your “happy place” will be invaded. Mine was no exception. The first time it happened I wrote about it in my one and only vacation blog post, where dining with friends gave way to nausea in the form of a campaign photo of John McCain and Sarah Palin pretending to eat barbecued ribs that stared back at me from the wall above our table.
The second time was the following day, and it was then that I decided I didn’t need the stress and that I would rather enjoy a week off from angry typing and that the blog posts could wait. Part of the reason for the trip was that my offspring will soon be graduating from high school, and we have toured various colleges both in our state and all over the country for the last several vacations. On this day we were looking at Washington University in St. Louis. We were taking the walking tour of campus, and as we headed into the athletic center there, our student tour guide became quite animated as she paused to point out excitedly that “this was THE very site of the 2008 VP debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin!” She went into great detail describing the event and how excited they all were to be hosting it, how they had to transform the entire area, on and on and on. I thought my head might explode as I heard equally happy chatter among the parents in the group as they echoed various well-known quotes from that night like “Can I call ya’ Joe?” Apparently one or two of them were actually Palin fans and were absolutely bubbly while reminiscing over that line from the debate. As tempting as it was, I restrained myself from ruining their day by telling them Palin was merely stupid and not just being “folksy” when she asked “O’Biden” that question.
As if having a college tour oddly associated with Palin trivia wasn’t unlikely enough, there was yet a third odd injection of politics into an otherwise normal vacation. This one was rather ugly, (well, more so than the other two anyway) and while it was “Palin-free” I would not have been the least bit surprised to see Palin herself hanging out with this group, except for the fact that there would probably be no pricey fees in it for her. Besides, it’s more likely that she would have been shopping inside the building rather than protesting out on the street in front of it. This little event took place while we were sightseeing on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. We were walking past Water Tower Place where there was a charming little group from the LaRouche movement protesting outside and holding up the now familiar pictures of Obama with a scrawled on Hitler mustache, encouraging impeachment for no particular reason. Not surprisingly they didn’t seem to have many takers. They were getting about the same reception I would imagine one getting if there were a bunch of Tea-baggers recruiting outside of a Neiman Marcus. Avoidance and LOTS of whispering.
So those three interruptions in my otherwise stress-free vacation were enough of a reminder to convince me that a politics-free vacation would be the better way to go. I spent the rest of it for the most part avoiding any headlines that didn’t just jump right out and present themselves to me.
Of course, I’m sure nothing really eventful happened anyway right?
So, what did I miss?