What Anthony Bourdain ate on his summer vacation
September 12th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
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Season 2 of "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown" premieres Sunday, September 15 at 9 p.m. ET with the host and crew making their first trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. In the following essay, Bourdain talks about how he had a rare "real" family vacation this summer.

It's that time again. Time to slip out early in the morning and deflate the pool floaties. "Mr. Crockie," the crocodile, looks up at me accusingly as he shrivels on the chaise lounge. Two air mattresses wait for similar treatment behind him. I gather up the big water guns, the water pistols, plastic sharks, two purple rubber octopi, the goggles, plastic treasure chest and shuttle them into the garage.

It's a rental property, so I'm not sure if I'll see them again.

Overcome with sadness, I actually wave goodbye to Mr. Crockie. Later, I'll take my wife and daughter down to the beach for a last look. We'll wait until it's after 5, so there will be parking spots and no crowds, only a few Southampton locals surf casting. Which will, of course, only make it look more beautiful and more sad, that magnificent gray and dark green Atlantic surf breaking in the early evening light that cinematographers call the "golden hour," the smell of salt air, a particularly briny variety unique to the Northeast - accompanied, perhaps, by the vestigial scent of steamer clams opening in a pot somewhere, lobsters dying under pressure, drawn butter, distant deep fryers, corn on the cob. Or will I only imagine that part? The light will have taken on that extra level of clarity that says autumn. As if someone has just slapped on a higher quality lens and made everything crisper, brought everything into focus.

It's the death of summer.

This was my second "real" vacation of the last decade. Many of you will no doubt be thinking, "Uh, wait a minute, a–hole - your whole life is a vacation!"

Fair enough.

Read - Full metal Ina (my summer vacation)

Previously on Parts Unknown:
– Congo
SPAM and coq au vin on the Congo River
Peruvian food, from guinea pigs to pisco sours
Peruvian food is having a moment
Make perfect pisco sours and ceviche
South America's pisco enjoys North American revival
Breakfast in Libya
Where fast food tastes like freedom
iReport: In Morocco, eating is the spice of life
Street snacking in Morocco
O Canada! Our home and delicious land
Come for the strip bars, stay for the poutine
Colombian cuisine – from aguardiente to viche
Americans just don’t understand the potato. Colombians do.
Los Angeles Koreatown
The ever-changing flavor of L.A.'s Koreatown
Bridging generations and cultures, one blistering bowl of bibimbap at a time
Los Angeles food trucks are in it for the long haul
Fall in love with Myanmar's cuisine
In Myanmar, drink your tea and eat it too

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Donald E Bloodworth

    Yes it's a dry heat down in almost all of Arizona Tony, but next time you want to vacation, or do a show on the cultural differences between peoples living separately but in proximity, come to Northern Arizona. The differences in perspective of past and recent histories, and the foods you'll taste from the NAVAJO/HOPI to the HUALAPAI reservations as well as all the traditional flavors in between on the 'taken lands' will give your viewers a different slant on the OLD WEST.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  2. Susan

    I see myself in this.......

    September 16, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  3. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    I like this show. It's the only one I've really ever cared to see Bourdain on, really.

    September 14, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  4. AleeD® @ Anthony B

    "Fair enough" my a$$. Vacation is a departure from work-a-day habits; time spent doing what you want to do and with whom you want to do it. It doesn't matter what you do for a living, doing what you want to do on your time, away from work, is a vacation. Don't let petty, jealous, small-minded people sell you, or your vacation time, short.

    September 13, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • *

      Agreed. I can't stand that doooosh.

      September 13, 2013 at 8:22 am |
      • AleeD® @ *

        That reading comp class you're taking isn't doing much for you.

        September 17, 2013 at 6:43 am |
        • Donald E Bloodworth

          Oh snap, burned the asterisk! Give me Tony over Paula and the rest of pre and post diabetic chefs every day of the week!

          September 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
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