It's summer, which means it's time for summer vacation.
I haven't actually been on a traditional, week-long summer vacation so far this year, but I did get to Rehoboth Beach over the weekend, which still makes it pretty hard to be focused on much of anything else.
On our last day, I found a short story called "Rehoboth" in Delaware Beach Life magazine.
The gist of it was about a group of beach visitors who tried to make their annual vacation an idyllic getaway from the complications and busyness of their normal lives.
It was a somewhat odd story, but I do think there's something about going to the beach that feels like you're far away from the rest of the world.
People always talk about the weather, and my parents wanted me to point out that we had clear skies the whole weekend in Delaware while it apparently rained cats and dogs in the Baltimore area.
So there you go. Even the weather is totally different just a couple of hours away. Actually, we got caught in pouring rain the whole day Friday, but that was just while we were driving.
I caught little bits of news over the weekend, but it just didn't seem to matter.
When I checked my Facebook feed, people were talking about George Zimmerman getting acquitted or Orioles games.
But people at the beach were just talking…about being on the beach.
A lot of times I like to rent a bike there and ride it around town, which is also something that's totally different on vacation.
Normally you couldn't pay me to ride a bike, because in most contexts, it just seems miserable. I know some people ride a bike to work or on rural roads where you're barely skirting traffic, and I honestly can't picture doing that.
But on the beach, a lot of people are riding bikes, it's fun and carefree, and even drivers are (usually!) more considerate of bike riders.
Can you imagine someone riding those family-size surrey bikes around a non-beach town? There wouldn't be anything too fun about that. Although I guess it would be a pretty entertaining sight.
Sometimes I think about incorporating "a little piece of the beach" in my normal life, but I honestly don't know of a good way to do it.
Some people have dried starfish or a little wooden plaque in their house or office, but those little mementos, like "I'd rather be fishing," somehow seem sad to me. It's like a reminder that, well, you're NOT fishing (or whatever).
In middle school, I bought a tiny sand dollar in Ocean City and was heartbroken when it broke on the way home.
It was my only souvenir from the trip, plus I don't think I realized there were literally thousands of those sand dollar souvenirs sold at gift shops on beaches across America.
One thing that always reminds me of the beach is Sonic Drive-In, which makes no logical sense since Sonic comes from Oklahoma, as land-locked as it gets.
It's only because I often stopped at Sonic on the way to Ocean City, until those restaurants began to open west of the Eastern Shore.
Maybe the best way to have a little piece of vacation is to hold on to the feeling of being carefree and not caring about things that, when you think about it, don't really matter.
It's hard to keep in mind from one day to the next that life can actually be pretty simple. That's the real souvenir from a vacation: You realize most of the craziness and busyness in your life is totally self-created.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun