The one where I brag about how I'm on vacation and you're not

I'm on vacation in sunny, scenic Northern Virginia. We're freeloading off my sister and her boyfriend. The kid is having a great time playing with her cousins. It is challenging at times to keep an only child occupied, so it's nice to be able to turn her loose with my niece and nephew, and then just check on them periodically to make sure they're all still alive.

I purposely did not over-plan our days while we're on vacation. I do enough of that back home. Once I recovered from the long drive (I've blocked most of it out, particularly the part where my child lost her mind somewhere in Pennsylvania and started speaking in tongues), I settled into vacation mode: sleeping past the time the dogs would normally allow, drinking a bit more wine than is ordinarily prudent, and buying things I don't really need.

We hit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall on Sunday, which was our first full day after arrival. The weather was iffy, which seemed to result in smaller crowds than usual. Normally when we go to this festival, it's 100 degrees in the shade and I rapidly spend my paycheck on $4 cups of lemonade. This year, the festival featured Latino culture, the role of the spoken word in African-American culture, and Wales. I particularly enjoyed a performance by the Welsh Choir "Only Men Aloud!" They were talented and adorable. I started looking to see if any of them were wearing wedding bands but on closer inspection it occurred to me that many of the gents are probably dating . . . each other. Oh, c'mon - you know the cute ones always are! On Monday, we went to Potomac Mills for a bit of shopping and then took A and my niece to see Ice Age 3 (it was watchable, but you may as well wait for this one to hit your Netflix list). Mostly, we've just been relaxing, hanging out on the deck, and eating stuff we'd never buy if we were at home (it's probably for the best that we don't have a Trader Joe's within 100 miles of our house).

Today we visited my grandma and my stad. We hung out for a while and chatted, but I decided it was time to go when my daughter found a tassel hanging on a knob, attached it to her butt, and announced that she was farting just like a horse. Isn't she precious? We stopped at the grocery store on the way home after our visit. The kid proceeded to grab a handbasket and then informed us that she was "a different person." Apparently, if she isn't HER then we have no jurisdiction over her and can't tell her what to do. The logic is fishy, but you can't blame her for trying. Different Person ran around the store, chatted with a few strangers, and then started tossing random crap into the basket. "Different person," I kept telling her, "Put that back. We're not buying it."

I may try this "different person" tactic when I get back to work next Tuesday.