Click to use the Talking Dictionary 35. Vacations Are Better with Friends


35. The two‐week vacation at the end of summer school ended Friday. Kevin had gone nowhere during his vacation. He had the money, but he hated to travel alone. He used to take vacations with Matt, his youngest brother, but they had a big argument at the end of their last vacation. Each of them had spent the last three years waiting for the other to apologize.

Kevin did not feel good about being on non‐speaking terms with his favorite brother. But he was not going to ask for forgiveness when, in his mind, this whole misunderstanding was his brother's fault.

So Kevin's summer vacation was spent in his own "back yard." As usual, he had planned to clean up his apartment. As usual, two weeks later his apartment looked just as it had two weeks before.

He did do one thing new and different during his vacation. He went to a new coffee shop, called Peet's, on Foothill Boulevard. It served 25 varieties of delicious coffee at reasonable prices, and the staff were genuinely friendly.

The coffee shop had a do‐it‐yourself counter near the entrance. On the counter were lids, straws, and wooden stirrers. There were wraps to protect your hand from the hot coffee inside the cup. There were also individual servings of sugar, sweeteners, and creamers. Kevin used the lids and wraps, but drank his coffee black.

The shop was air‐conditioned at a slightly chilly temperature. About eight small, round tables were inside. Outside were four bigger tables. Each had four white metal chairs around it, and several big umbrellas provided shade. Even on hot afternoons, there was usually a pleasant breeze.

Kevin visited the coffee shop four times during his vacation. He always sat at a table outside by himself and read the free daily paper. Each day he was there, he read most of the newspaper articles while he enjoyed two cups of coffee.

Between articles, he took breaks by watching the nearby traffic and pedestrians. The coffee shop was next to a huge parking lot. The lot was for customers of Ralphs, BlockBuster, Bank of America, Baja Fresh, See's Candies, and several other stores. Kevin considered his outdoor seat the perfect place for one of his favorite activities—people‐watching.

The coffee shop, with its excellent location and coffee, had helped make his vacation a pleasant one. But he knew in his heart, had his brother been there to join him just one day, his vacation would have been a perfect one. 6.6, 423


35. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved.