We all need one. I don’t care who you are. And it doesn’t matter how or where you do it. We all need a break from the craziness of life. For some — just having your work world turned off for a few days and sleeping late, leisurely and unapologetically lazing around the house, maybe planning some local day trips — is just what the doctor ordered.
For me, the perfect place to turn off the world is at the beach. It’s sitting my ass — the same ass that sits in an office chair for 40 hours a week — in a beach chair with a good book. And if I’m lucky enough to have good weather, my ass will also sit in that beach chair for 40 hours during that week. Maybe more.
Yes, I will wear sunscreen.
I love to travel and I feel like I have had my fair share. But most times, traveling requires every minute planned. And — depending on your mood — that just doesn’t fit the bill.
This is where the beach comes in.
Humans are said to be 60% water, that’s why so many of us are attracted to the sea. It may be nonsense, but in my world I believe it. I can’t imagine not being able to get to the ocean within a couple of hours.
When I sit on the beach my blood pressure immediately drops. When I inhale the briny salt water of the ocean I feel like I am receiving a dose of therapy. I feel like I am home. The sand beneath my feet is like a shag carpet. Luxurious and soft. The more sand between my toes, the better.
I’m on vacation. A beach vacation. Mere feet of the salty water that beckons me. I hear nothing but seagulls and waves.
When I’m working, I have a habit of asking Alexa to play the sounds of the ocean when things get too stressful. And although it has a positive affect on me, it’s not the same. No amount of closing my eyes and meditating can make it real.
This is real. This is just what MY doctor has ordered.
It is the last full day of our vacation as I write this. I always feel a little melancholy when a vacation is over. This time especially because it was surrounded by my family. Quality time with my daughter and future son-in-law. Time with my husband away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It just makes it that much harder to leave this place. To head back to reality.
Monday I start back to work after a ten day break, but I will be ready. My mind will be clear. My stress levels will have declined.
But have no fear! The ocean isn’t going anywhere, so I will return. Maybe in a month, maybe in a year. It always calls me back. And back is where I shall go.
Note: This post has been in the making for nine months, kinda like a baby except it wasn’t baking to perfection. I am just a Self-Proclaimed Procrastinator of the Universe.
As many of you may or may not know, I turned fifty last April. DH is and always has been Numero Uno in the birthday department. He makes it his job to be sure I have the perfect birthday every year.
For my fortieth, he gathered fifty of my closest friends and family and a big boat and we cruised around NY harbor to gaze at Lady Liberty under the stars. How can you outdo that one?
By taking your wife on a much needed vacation. When he asked what I wanted for my fiftieth I didn’t hesitate to ask for a tropical getaway. I was in dire need of a real, live vacation with palm trees, blue waters, and sand. Oh, and margaritas and rum punch. Lots and lots of margaritas and rum punch.
A drink boy would have been nice too, but I do have DH and he is totally nice to look at. Also, he likes to bring me drinks, so he would fit the bill.
My DH does not like traveling so I knew he would be less than thrilled, but it was my birthday wish. And birthday wishes must be fulfilled. It’s a rule. You know, in my rulebook.
After much research and reading every travel site known to man, I chose Providenciales. One of the islands of Turks & Caicos. Also, it was highly recommended by some friends and from my research it is known to have some of the best beaches in the world.
Who am I to turn away from the best beaches in the world? I would keep my toes in the sand my entire life if I could, so going to the best of them was right up my alley.
Also, this body of mine was depleted of Vitamin D (true story). Too much sun is bad for you. Too little sun is bad for you. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.
The Kid wanted to be a part of the festivities, so I chose a week in May after school got out and before she started summer activities. Three weeks before the rainy season begins there.
We rented a private cottage on a private stretch of beach. We could have gone to the other, more commercial side of the island, but in addition to needing a vacation I really needed peace and quiet.
When we disembarked, the heat from the sun was enough to make your skin melt off and the sweat factor was set at 165%. We all arrived in jeans because when we left New York it was chilly. I almost had to resort to scissors to get them off.
Sadly, that was the last of the sun for a week. Just to give you an idea of what we were dealing with, it is said to rain six days a year in Turks & Caicos. We saw four of them.
This is why I don’t play the lottery. My luck is so bad, I would probably owe the lottery people money.
Now don’t get me wrong. Our vacation was very nice. Our little cottage was sweet. Private and quiet just like I wanted with lots of vegetation right outside our back door.
But along with vegetation comes bugs that were on an apocalyptic level. It felt more like we were in a scene out of “Them!” than paradise, so any dreams of sitting on our beach were quickly swept away with the first bite from a sand flea.
But I couldn’t really complain. I mean, we were in Turks & Caicos. Turks & Caicos, people.
Besides the fact that our beach umbrella was used to keep out the rain instead of the sun, we had a lovely time. We were together and healthy so that’s all that mattered.
Until the “healthy” no longer applied.
Let’s just say I used my fair share of toilet paper and my stomach was cramped up in a vice grip from Day Two until well after our vacation was over.
When something disguised as Typhoid or Dengue Fever or parasites hits you like a fast ball at a Yankees game, it could be a vacation wrecker. But who was I to let a little diarrhea keep me from enjoying my vacation?
I powered through. I put on my snorkeling gear and spent the better part of our week with the fishies. When you are in the sea, you can’t really feel the rain falling on you. Also, something about the lightness of the water eased my cramping.
Remember I wanted lots of margaritas and rum punch? I may not have had lots of either, but I insisted on ordering a cocktail with my dinner every night whether I was in the mood or not. I swore that is what I wanted to do on vacation and that is what did do dammit.
And I sat on my cabana and watched the sunless sunset and drank a glass of wine from the $30 bottle of swill we bought at the local grocer, because the cost of all things there is astronomical.
All whilst being bitten to death by mammoth sized tropical bugs. But hello? Private cabana on private beach. Bugs or no bugs. It had to be done. If even for ten minutes.
So, I must know. Does something happen to our stomachs when we age? I’m not talking about how it heads south.
That is more obvious than knowing mimosas go with breakfast.
But this same thing happened to me in Ireland a couple years ago. Hmm.
After having testing done of my stool (yes, that was as fun as it sounds) when we hit American soil, all things alarming were dismissed. It looks like it was just a good old fashioned case of Montezuma’s Revenge.
Yup, traveler’s diarrhea.
In closing, when life gives you lemons, you add tequila. And Imodium. So, bring it on Monte. I’m ready for our next adventure.
Look, I know I’m not alone when I say that I am so damn sick of this ever-loving winter that seems to be droning on and on and on. I can’t seem to look out the window without seeing a flake fall from the sky. And the piles of snow? Really. Where are we supposed to put it all? Is there a snow dump we don’t know about?
The sky just keeps vomiting snow. We are in some serious danger of drowning in the shit. Shit. Yes, I said it. Because that’s what it looks like after mere hours after it stops. The white turns brown and gets all over our cars, our boots, our pants. I have permanent snow shit on the back of a brand new pair of slacks I recently splurged on. I even tried getting out the snow poo with OxyClean. It didn’t work. I may send Mother Nature the dry cleaning bill. And charge her extra for pain and suffering.
I can see you all rolling your eyeballs at me. “Shut up already. We know you are annoyed. You’ve said it a thousand times in the last month. Embrace it, lady.” Well, guess what? I don’t want to embrace it. I’m done embracing it. Besides, I’m not a hugger. Okay, well that’s not entirely true. I am. Sometimes.
Which brings me to my next thought…vacation. I want one. I don’t care what I have to do to get myself one. I’m not talking about a weekend in Maine. Or 4 days in the Poconos. I’m talking full on Caribbean island I don’t care where as long as there are 80 degree days, trade winds, white sand, the ocean and a drink boy. Or drink girl for that matter. As long as he/she is capable of carrying a margarita on a tray without spilling a drop. I’ll tip generously, I promise. The only ice I want to see from here on out is the ice in my drink. Or I may lose my mind.
Am I going on vacation? No. There’s school for The Kid. Work for DH. And me? Well, I’m kind of free but no one is available to take me. The only vacation I’m going on is the vacation inside my head. It’s not that bad. If I sit in the window facing due West at about 2:26pm with a pair of sunglasses on I do a pretty good impression of the summertime me sitting on a beach. Accompanied by palm trees, salty air and seagulls.
Unfortunately, the sun has to be out so my mind vacation doesn’t happen often. But when it does, boy is there a party up in there. Who wants to join me? I’ll bring the tequila.
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. The word “Vacation”…
The kid is an irish dancer. For anyone who has a child who partakes in the irish dance world (or any major sport for that matter) you understand that it will cost DH and me enough to send her to Harvard 3 times over by the time she is done (ok, I’m exaggerating just a little, but still…).
I was day dreaming today and thinking of all the things I could do if she decided to just join the debate club at school instead. I felt the need to share to put it all into perspective:
1 year of tuition x 14 years = one in-ground pool
3 solo dresses = a 2-bedroom apartment in NYC’s Upper West Side for a month
3 team dresses = LASIK surgery for my left eye
Wigs & Crowns = Tiffany necklace
Soft shoes, hard shoes and poodle socks = 27 inch iMac
Private lessons (really stupid since we pay an arm and a leg for tuition) = a full body massage
7 years going to Regionals = A 2.5 week trip for two to Hawaii
Going to Worlds once (secretly hoping it stays that way) = LASIK surgery for my right eye
14 years of local competitions = One master bathroom renovation
Dress alterations = full body massage PLUS facial & manicure
1 happy kid = Priceless or I have to have my head examined, whichever way you want to look at it
When I signed her up, I had no idea what was coming. Not one person warned me that it would turn into a 4 class a week, competition led sport. Not ONE!
To add insult to injury the kid loves it. She dances around the house all day, all night. Down the hallway, in the shower, during dinner. If you ever run into us at the mall, you probably will catch a performance. Rally one, Rally two. AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!
So, instead of a trip around the world TWICE, I get to sit at competitions all day long. Who can relate in one form or another? Let’s see, 3 years, 4 months and 21 days until our money is ours again. Oh wait. I forgot about college. Never mind.