Thursday, July 3, 2008

Black Russian Needs A Vacation

The way you need a vacation just when things get really stressful and hectic and you feel like you haven't got a moment to spare for yourself.

Last week I read a novel. A fluffy chick-lit beach read.

I actually bought it last year.

Last year this time I was in Miami. It was supposed to be a fun getaway with my best friend and boyfriend at the time, but everything that could go wrong - did.

The boyfriend and I broke-up about a month before the trip, so he didn't come, and all of the things I'd planned for us to do together were no longer going to hold the same thrill. In retrospect, I really should have cancelled - but I got a really great deal on the vacation package, and I'd booked it online, so I thought I couldn't cancel. (Re-read the fine print after things began to go wrong and found out that I could have without penalty....That was disappointment #1)

Our reservations were all wrong. We didn't get the room we expected. Many of the things that were promised as part of our package deal were available only if we paid additional fees.

One of those things was a beach chair with towel and umbrella.

My friend is Scotch-Irish and extremely fair-skinned. She needed an umbrella. I refused to rent one for $10/hr when I could buy one for $12 and use it all week. So, she covered up with a towel from the room and a big floppy hat, but still managed to get burned in the 30 minutes it took me to walk back to Collins Ave to buy an umbrella. When I came back she was red and glowing. She actually turned purple by the next morning and was sick in bed.

I felt awful and I was pretty scared for her too.

We were also promised free wi-fi. Both of us were planning to work a little from the comfort of our hotel room during the heat of the day and venture out for shopping in the afternoon and dinner and dancing during the evenings.

We felt like there was a bait and switch and so would not pay $25/day for Internet Access. What??? And so we had trek all over South Beach looking for hotspots with laptops in tow - just to check our e-mail!

It wasn't all bad. There were plenty of bright spots. We met some awesome people and made lots of friends. We discovered a great Mediterranean restaurant that we ate at every day, but there were enough hassles that we never got to relax on the beach and read books on the beach like we planned.

So I came back home and put the book on the shelf.

I didn't read it in all of this time because there were so many other (more productive) things I felt I should be doing.

I should be studying. I should be teaching. I should be working. I should be volunteering.

What does it contribute to anyone for me to read a silly novel?

But last week, I said, 'so what?' I'll squander a few hours reading a book that will in no way enrich my life or make me a better person. It was rather like a mini-vacation. I really enjoyed myself.

And the other thing was this: Every time I looked at the book it reminded me of the vacation that wasn't. Yes I got away (and to one of my favorite cities at that) but rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation completely eluded me.

But I finally got over that too.

But that wasn't at all what this post was s'posed to be about.

Although my faithful readers have gotten used to me and my digressions.

I do need a vacation. Haven't had a good one where I came back feeling refreshed in I don't know when. Feels like never.

And I don't know when I'll get to. I keep taking short trips that are related to work or some other obligation and I am never gone long enough to really unwind, you know?

But I have rambled on long enough in this post, so I'll have to follow it up with another later on.


Anonymous said...

What would your perfect vacation consist of and where would it be??

blackrussian said...

At this point, it doesn't even matter where.

I do want to go somewhere I haven't been before and I would like it to be warm, but it doesn't have to be the beach or the mountains or anything in particular like that.

I just want to be able to relax and not have to think about working or cooking or cleaning.

I went on a cruise in April of 2007, but I went with my girls and it was action-packed!

Every day we were at a new port of call and there was dinner and dancing and shopping and sight-seeing and by the time I got home I was more tired thatn when I left.

I might do another cruise just because they are relatively inexpensive and all-inclusive, but I would go with someone more low-key.

And I would pick destinations that are known for being slow-paced and laid back. But I also might just pick a random island in the carribean.

We'll see.

But it has to be at least 7 days.