Bakerina says there’s an Existential Plague going around. Apparently I never got vaccinated for that one. Dammit, Mom, it’s all your fault!
In what is perhaps a futile attempt to escape further infection by such diseases of the soul, Science Girl and I are planning a small vacation to one of the islands next month. It’ll be more of a long weekend, really, but three nights in a small cabin on the beach with no TV/phone/internet (sorry, kids; you know we love you, but Mommy and Daddy need some alone time) sounds close enough to heaven as makes no difference right now.
In the course of researching the trip last night, SG found herself looking at a real estate webpage covering the San Juans. Out of curiosity she did a little window-shopping, as it were, and found some surprising “bargains”.* She showed me a few of them today. Most of them were undeveloped half-acre lots – undeveloped and undevelopable, due to the steep hillsides they were situated on. One item caught my eye, though; a small late-fifties/early-sixties vintage café, for a very reasonable price indeed.
Now, I’ve worked in/been around what is euphemistically referred to in polite society as the food service industry long enough to know that most new restaurants die a horrible agonizing death, usually just after they’ve bled off every last cent the owner could scramble to come up with. The mortality rate is incredibly high, even among life-long professionals who know what they’re doing. I’ve seen really great places disappear, seemingly overnight sometimes.
All that knowledge did not stop me from indulging in a little wine bar/café fantasy all afternoon. Seriously. I desperately needed to catch a nap before work, being so very hungover today, and yet I just lay there planning out the menu rather than sleeping. (Northwest/Mediterranean, if you’re wondering – Mediterranean dishes with Northwest ingredients. It made sense at the time.) If I had the money sitting in a lonely pile under the mattress and, let’s be honest, the cooking skills required to pull off such an endeavor… well, I just might be giving that real estate agent a call. As it is, we’re going to swing by the place while we’re over that way, just to see what it’s actually like. We emphatically will not be looking to buy – just to string out the fantasy a little further.
This is how I keep from succumbing to the Existential Plague altogether.
* Including an entire island for about what you’d pay** for a small “fixer-upper”-type house here in town. We suspect that said island has sheer cliffs all the way around.
**ADDENDUM 4/30/04 Well, Science Girl now says that she, um, misread the price on that island. She saw the decimal point a few places to the left of where it actually was. Sorry, no discount islands available at this time.