On Recharging One’s Batteries, House-Swapping, and Oysters
Written by: Eric Gower http://www.breakawaycook.com Nothing like a little ocean air and long walks with a hyper friendly dog to rest the souland recharge. We spent a long weekend in Mendocino, house-swapping with our friendRod, and had a blast. What is it about getting away from the home base anddecompressing? I read two books (includingJonah Lehrer’smagnificent
How We Decide
), got caught up with my New Yorkers, cooked some simple meals, drank a bunchof wine, and soaked in a hot tub. Total heaven.House-swapping is such a wonderful thing; I’ve probably done at least 20 of themwithout a single problem arising. It’s so great: you show up in some great locale insomeone’s home, which is almost always a hundred times better than a hotel. I likefinding homes with pets that need care, because OUR house comes with cats! You caneven find people, like Rod, who are keen on repeat swaps, especially when things go asswimmingly as they always do with us. The only money we spent was for food, whichwe’d spend anyway, and gas to get there. All of the benefits of having a second homesomewhere, and none of the hassles/expenses/liabilities. If anyone reading this wouldlike to know more or has a specific question about house swapping, shoot me an email.We’re doing another one — in Amsterdam! — in a month or so. I’m especiallyinterested in hearing from people familiar with Amsterdam — must-sees, restaurants,food-related stuff.We also recently visited the Drakes Bay Oyster Co, where I caught the drillers doing
their thing. The oysters grow in these big clusters, which are broken apart by dudes with pneumatic drills and sent up the assembly line for sorting (into small, medium, andlarge). Clusters are formed individually, by hand, by the workers, by setting oyster larvae on shells saved from the shucking and packing operations. These “inoculated”shells containing the oyster spat (baby oysters) are then strung together on wires andsuspended in the pristine and nutrient-rich waters of Drakes Estero, inside Point Reyes.
On Recharging One’s Batteries, House-Swapping, and Oysters © 2010