Tag Archives: vacation

Summer adventures

imagesW and I are headed to New York state next weekend.

We’ll be visiting Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is another bucket list item for me.

First, an Olivia cruise to Alaska. Now, Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.

I’m wondering if I should be worried. My bucket list isn’t very deep.

“Just add more things,” people tell me.

Um, that’s not how it work. I prefer a carefully culled bucket list.


Say cheeze!

After Cooperstown, we’re headed to Animal Adventure Park outside of Binghamton, which is home to Internet sensations April the Giraffe and baby Taj. W is a huge fan.

Usually, I’d be stressed out about leaving town and heading to a new place (or vacation, as some call it). But our Alaskan adventure has me feeling like I can do a short road trip no problem.

So, we’re looking for things to do in the Cooperstown and Binghamton areas. Send your tips and suggestions my way.

Where are you headed these last few weeks of summer? Crossing anything off your bucket list?



IMG_1511Smack in the middle of the week, we cruise the Hubbard Glacier.

It’s a wall of ice approximately 75 miles long and 1,200 feet deep.

The glacier is the most beautiful shade of blue I’ve ever seen. The brilliant blue of a rare bird or a Van Gogh sky.

The blue color is an optical illusion. Something about the sun and the ice and refracted light. I don’t pay attention because I want to believe this shade of blue is real.

This blue, the color of a diamond or a lover’s eyes.

IMG_1480I drink a bottle of beer because I want to feel the chill of the ice inside me. W drinks a coffee with Kahlua.

As we get closer, we hear a noise that sounds like thunder and watch as a chunk of ice falls from the glacier and into the ocean, leaving behind a large puff of white.

We feel the repeated rumbles in our bones.

Ohh and ahh at the explosions of white.

Hubbard Glacier is an advancing glacier, which means it’s being replenished by precipitation faster than it’s melting.

The ocean is blue, too. A dark blue like a new pair of jeans.

IMG_1503Pieces of ice float in it as if it were a giant cocktail. I angle my ear to the water to better hear the crackle and pop.

I want to reach out and dip a finger in the cold blue water. Store the chill for those times I need to remind myself that I’m alive.

Today, I want to jump into the icy water.

And wait for the roar.

As pieces of me fall off, sending smoke signals to the universe.

Until nothing is left but the color blue.


imagesSo, your favorite butch blogger leaves in a few weeks for Seattle and then an Alaskan cruise.

I’m excited/terrified because …

Well, we’ve met.

Note to self: Pack extra flannel and those Superman socks that you wear when you’re feeling scared or nervous.

images (1)Looking for tips on what to do in Seattle. We’ll be there for Seattle Pride, which is super cool. We have brunch reservations for the restaurant in the Space Needle and plan on visiting the market. I told W we should get coffee at a Starbucks in Seattle, but she just kinda rolled her eyes at me.

Also looking for suggestions on what to see and do in Alaska. We’ll be making stops in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria, British Columbia.

It’s Olivia’s “Literary Adventures at Sea” cruise, featuring Dorothy Allison, Lee Lynch and many other esteemed lesbian authors and publishing professionals. (If you’re going to be on the cruise, give a shout.)

We’ve never been on a cruise, let alone a lesbian cruise. It’s all so overwhelming. The cruise part and the lesbian part. W tells me there’s already drama.

“I think I want to go to the white party,” W says to me the other day.

Like in that episode of the L Word, I think to myself. Finally, we will get our official lesbian cards. Maybe at a special lesbian ceremony at the white party. Maybe the Indigo Girls will sing, even though they’re not on the official cruise line-up.

Note to self: Look into buying all white flannel shirt for party.

Whatever you want, hon,” I tell her.


March madness

March was a crazy month.

I turned 50. Which means I’m vintage.

I got my AARP card, which I thought would make me super-sexy in W’s eyes. “She’ll have the Grand Slam,” I imagined me ordering for her at Denny’s and scoring points, as well as a sweet 15 percent discount. She just looked at me weird when I flashed the shiny red card at her.

I had a fun party that W put together with all of my friends and a top-of-the-line party bus that only played 80s music (including that Georgia Satellites song I love) and made stops at a local concert AND Victory Brewing.


No real flannel shirts were harmed in the making of this cake.

W had a custom cake made for me in the shape of a flannel shirt.

I got tons of loot. Notebooks and pens and wine and beer and gift cards for books. All of my favorite things.

I wore my new sneakers. Puma classics, black suede. So sweeeeet.

There’s more. On the night of my birthday, W gave me a bunch of little presents. We aren’t big gift givers, and I knew she was throwing me a birthday bash, so I wasn’t expecting much. Maybe a new necktie, a book, something emblazoned with the Wonder Woman logo.


I misspelled Seattle during the recreation.

She had created a handmade Scrabble board. Each box contained a set of Scrabble tiles. The tiles spelled out: TICKETS, SEATTLE, ALASKA, OLIVIA.

I don’t have a big bucket list. Just a few things I want to do, a few places I want to see. I’ve always wanted to spend a few days in Seattle. Take a cruise to Alaska. And go on an Olivia Cruise.

W had started planning all of this last summer without me suspecting a thing.

At the end of June, we are flying to Seattle for a few days. We’ll be there for Seattle Pride, and we already have reservations for brunch in the Space Needle. In Seattle, we’ll be boarding an Olivia cruise ship and setting sail for Alaska.

“It’s too much,” I said for much of March with a giant grin on my face.

There’s a part of me that still thinks it’s too much. Too expensive. Too extravagant. And that I’m not worthy.

I’ve been trying to silence those voices and be grateful. Grateful for being able to cross things off my bucket list. Grateful for an adventure, something to look forward to. Grateful for a cruise on a luxury liner filled with lesbians.

But mostly grateful for a wife who so carefully planned a special birthday and a trip of a lifetime for me.

It’s hard to be on this side of love. The receiving side.

But I’m trying.

So far, 50 is like a new pair of sneakers. Pretty sweet.

The butchest things I did on vacation

Holy Hera!  Admired vintage Wonder Woman Pez at the Pez factory and museum in Orange, Conn.

Wonder Woman Pez

As you can see, this butch loves her some Wonder Woman.

Went deep sea fishing out of Plymouth, Mass.


This cod was about 14 inches but too small to keep, even if it had been cod season.

Spent time with my girl in Plymouth, Mass.


Behind us is Plymouth Rock, which is underwhelming and not very butch at all.

Ate a spicy bowl of huevos rancheros for breakfast at the Ugly Mug Diner in Salem, Mass.  No, I was not flirting with the cute waitress.  Ok, maybe.


You can’t see the smoke coming from my ears.

Had lobster for dinner at the Clam Shack in Salem, Mass.


There is something butch about using hand tools to eat your dinner.

But perhaps the butchest thing I did was survive a seven-day road trip with three teenagers.

* * *

What’s the butchest thing you did on your vacation?

The butch and the bathing suit

Beach in ConnecticutI have been packing for vacation.

Cargo shorts, T-shirts, dress T-shirts. Athletic socks, boxer briefs.

And then I went to grab my swimsuit from the tippy top shelf of my closet.  Gray swim trunks and a women’s razor back swim top.  Standard butch issue.

It only comes out once a year when we go on vacation or to the shore for a day or two.

“You know what I feel like when I wear this?” I asked W.


“A centaur.  Only half of me feels right.”

Boston bound

We leave for vacation this weekend. Me, W and the kids.

If you are a regular follower of The Flannel Files, you know I’m not a fan of leaving the house.  Except for my writers’ group and a really great sale on flannel.

W is a Sagittarius, an adventurer by nature.

Me, I think a good book and a bottle of a craft beer is an adventure.

W has the trip all planned out.  We will be trekking from Philly to Mystic, Conn., Providence, R.I., Plymouth, Mass., Boston and Salem, Mass.  I think that’s the plan.

These are a few of my favorite things.

These are a few of my favorite things.

I will pack those things that bring me comfort. My books, my tiny Moleskine notebooks and silver astronaut pen.  My fleece pajama pants, even though it is summer.  My bright-red Phillies cap, even though we will be in Red Sox territory.

I would pack my spirit of adventure, but I’m not sure I ever got one.  I will bring my sense of humor, because that always comes in handy.

I am hoping to score a Wonder Woman Pez dispenser at the Pez factory in Connecticut, a hot cup of chowder, a slice of pizza at Mystic Pizza.  And maybe time to write a story or two.

* * *

Do you like vacations?  Suggestions for our trip?

Vacation underwear

W and I leave for our trek to Provincetown, Mass., early tomorrow morning.

She told me that she would get me to love road trips.

“Probably not,” I replied.

My voice got all high like Anthony Crispino, the secondhand news correspondent played by Bobby Moynihan on Saturday Night Live.


Pretty sure I’m not gonna love being on the road for eight hours

But that’s how I am.  A hard sell.

I went out today to buy some new clothes for our trip.

A few pairs of cargo shorts and a some new white socks.

I needed underwear, too.  I usually buy Hanes or Fruit of the Loom hi-cuts.  Whatever’s on sale.  I’m not that picky.  I scan the packs for the least girly combination possible.  I can usually find a pack of six with only a pair or two covered in flowers or pastel polka dots.

Today, however, I came up empty handed.  I couldn’t find an acceptable pack of women’s underwear to save my life.  So, I did what any self-respecting butch would do.  I went to the men’s department.

I’d already given some thought to switching over from panties to briefs. I picked up a pack of men’s underwear at Target a few months ago.  I thought that I’d wait until I lost some weight to wear them though.  “I will look totally buff and butch then,” I told myself.

But a lot of stuff happened between now and then.  Like nachos.  And ice cream.  And kids home from school for the summer.

So, I bit the bullet today.  I bought matching socks and underwear.  I figured P-Town would be a good place to romp around in boy briefs.  Besides, if we got mauled by sea creatures on our whale-watching tour, at least I’d be wearing new underwear.  My mother would be so proud mortified.


Puma socks and men’s boxer briefs.  I will be like a cougar.  A big butch cougar.


I don’t remember the last time I was so excited about a clothing purchase.

Oh, and I made one more purchase.  A T-shirt to remind myself to relax and enjoy.

And to let W know that I’m trying.  That I’ll be leaving here Thursday morning with an open mind and an open heart.  That I really am excited to be spending time alone with her, even though my stoic disposition always leaves her guessing.


Good advice for road trips.  And for life.  That and “Pack Lots of Snacks” and “Don’t Forget the Indigo Girls CDs.”

* * *

Books I’m taking: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Vacation fears

W and I are headed to Provincetown, Mass., this weekend.

“I don’t travel well,” I told her.

“What does that mean?” she asked.

NewspaperI am a creature of habit.  I like my routine.  My newspaper in the morning.  The big stack of books that sits on the bench next to my side of the bed.  My cat.  The daily mail.

“We can get you a paper in the morning,” she said.

This is true.

“It won’t by my paper,” I said.

Because sometimes I am just difficult and a big giant baby dressed in flannel.

It’s a mask.  A mask to cover up the fear.  The fear of being somewhere different with different people and different food and a different newspaper.

I’m afraid of a lot of things.  You wouldn’t know this to look at me.  Every morning, I dress in a coat of armor.  Masculine clothes with straight, rigid lines shield me from the rest of the world.   My arms folded in a large X across my chest serve as my sole accessory.  An additional barrier between me and them.

The only problem is that it keeps everyone away, even those who love me the most.

* * *

So, we leave for P-Town in three days.  Any suggestions on what to do or where to go?  Maybe a great lesbian bar will help me lower my defense shield.