I wound up back in San Francisco this weekend. When my friends and I returned from a Muir Woods and wine tour, we collapsed into a mediocre restaurant that I realized only too late tacked on a 4 percent protest charge about having to provide healthcare for its employees. It was too late to ditch. Sigh.
I did get to see this person from the window, though. Seattle doesn’t really have living statues and other beyond-human busking oddities. It makes for an easier walk, but a less magical existence.
Related: wine tours are excellent for responsible people who have dreams of being winos on their vacations. High marks.
My inclination is more slow travel than mad dashes these days, but these maps laying out five-hour forays into a variety of cities are a great start when considering what to see in different places. I think they’re either a little optimistic on the travel time or a little pessimistic on the attention span, but that’s ok. Hand-drawn maps!
I do love miniature versions of things. For instance: Miniature World in Victoria, Mini-Europe in Brussels (which I will see soon), and the tiny reproductions of California missions in the California Mission Museum at Cline Cellars in Sonoma (which I tipsily shambled through this weekend). So how charmed was I to find this tiny, shakeable bridge on the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge? Extremely charmed. How much more did I shake it than is becoming for someone in her early 30s? Oh, a good sight more.
But I am also a person who went to an indoor trampoline park this weekend and merrily bounced for an hour alongside people a third my age. Or younger. There’s no accounting for me.
When I was very young, my mom presented me with dog tags embossed with her and my dad’s names and childhood addresses. I have always loved ephemera, so I adored these immediately – the texture, the sound they made clanking against each other, the idea of these elements of their lives before each other clanking together now on the same ball chain.
Then I thought about it and asked my mom where they came from. Neither of my parents were ever in the military; military makes dog tags; where did kids get dog tags?
That’s when I learned about the Cuban missile crisis and what threats became part of daily life for a weird period of my parents’ very middle Midwest childhoods.
I still liked the dog tags (see: “I have always loved ephemera”), but I appreciated that I got to wear them without the gravity that had once been attached to them.
99% Invisible (yes!) recently explored the fallout shelter economy and other weirdnesses that sprung up during this surreal part of American history.
Me? I share my mom’s opinion on this. No bunkers, no cement shelters buried in the earth. If I feel the end is coming, I’ll walk out on the street, arms outstretched, content to share the earth’s fate.