Vacations….relaxing? Not!

I returned from my Colorado vacation and it seems I need another vacation to recover. Vacations are no longer getting away to relax. Instead vacations are traveling to far away places and cramming as much site-seeing as possible into the limited time available. If you don’t fill your vacation with activity, you feel like you are wasting it, don’t you?

Right now I am so tired my eyelids want to shut, as I sit on the sofa – immobile. I feel the leather of the sofa around my body as I sink further in. My limbs are so heavy it feels like gravity is pulling and drawing me down into the floor. Moving is a major effort. Do I weigh twice my weight right now? It feels like it. Maybe it was returning to sea level after several days at the high altitudes in Colorado, that is impacting my weight. I feel the opposite of weightless like an astronaut is in space, I am weightful.

My muscles are sore and tired, aching from use. The hikes from the vacation seem to have taken their toll – or maybe it was carrying a 40 pound 4-year-old who kept saying, “Carry me”. Now, I am tired and need to rest, but who will carry me…to my bed? I wish to sleep and wake up feeling lighter. I believe becoming lighter is the only way I can move from this comfy leather sofa. Besides, why would I want to move when I have a cup of tea within reach on the table beside me, and a blanket to keep me warm? Maybe if I sleep here the night I can recover – or maybe it will take a week? Is this what everyone feels like after taking two kids on vacation for a week? It seems that next time I should just go away by myself as it is the only way to actually relax and that is what the purpose of a vacation is – isn’t it? Or have we lost site of the purpose of vacations?

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Schlotzky's or Cheesecake Factory?

I arrived at my hotel this evening after a day of traveling and meetings and I was starving. For breakfast I had eaten a bowl of yogurt. At the airport I drank a Cafe Mocha and for my lunch (if you can call it that) I ate a granola bar. I was starving and I wanted something to eat quickly. I also didn’t feel like sitting in a restaurant (alone) to eat. I was first thinking Cheesecake Factory (for the obvious desert reasons), but it didn’t quite fit my need to avoid dining alone or the desire for immediate satisfaction.

Another option for dinner was a Schlotzky’s Deli down the street. The sandwiches are yummy and I could get take-out! Best of all, I could sit comfortably in front of the TV in my hotel room while I ate. I can’t believe my desire to sit comfortably in front of the television while I ate was such a significant factor in my decision making process. If I wanted TV while I ate, I should have just gone to a sports bar. If I was a guy, a sports bar would have made a lot of sense. Unfortunately there isn’t a “Lifetime” bar or a “Sex in the City” bar.

I opted for Schlotzky’s and ordered my turkey and guacamole sandwich, jalapeno chips, root beer and chocolate chip cookie. It was all that I thought it could be. Best of all I didn’t have to do the dishes! Who knew that eating out on a business trip could be so satisfying even without going to the Cheesecake Factory.

The early bird…flies!

Why do I sign up for these crazy early flights for work? When I saw a 6AM flight it sounded early, but not that early. For some reason, my mind ignored the fact that I needed to back up a few hours from that time to get to my wake-up time of ‘4AM’. You have got to be kidding? Obviously no one would sign up for a 4AM flight because the thought of waking up that early is simply horrifying! Honestly, 4AM is a time you should be deep in sleep and not have to think about being awake – never mind coherent enough to pack your luggage, drive to the airport and then navigate security and the Starbuck’s queue’s. If you are going to be awake at 4AM it should be for fun, not for work. You should be at Denny’s eating breakfast after a night of drinking and revelry with your friends or waiting for the sunrise on a romantic tropical beach with your lover.

Sometimes the early morning flights are unavoidable because you have to arrive for an early meeting or you want to get home to see your kid’s soccer game. Although there are negatives of the early morning flight, there are also positives. There usually is no traffic on the way to the airport. I mean, only crazy people and workaholics would be driving anywhere at that hour. Second is that the airport is relatively quiet. The security lines are quicker because only a handful of flights leave at such in impossibly early time. Today I noticed that I didn’t spend much time hanging out at the airport (like I usually do) because by the time I got to the gate it was time to board. (How efficient of me?) or maybe it was really a sign of laziness (how close can I cut it and still make the flight?). Apparently pretty close since I arrived about 5:15 AM for a 6:00AM flight. My biggest worry this morning was that Starbuck’s didn’t open until almost 5:30 AM and there was already a healthy line of people who had formed.

I was just happy that my early rising resulting in me actually getting to my destination on-time (unlike the day my 6 AM flight was cancelled and the airline postponed my flight to the next day). Today I arrived in Denver on-time, but then my co-worker had a delayed flight, so I ended up waiting around for a while anyway. Sometimes the early bird doesn’t always get the worm, but flying early certainly helps you make the most of your day…assuming the airlines cooperates with your plan.

Why is my pool waving?

As I look out the back door of the house I see the water of the pool splashing around and the waves are so high that the water is splashing out. My first fear is that the kids snuck outside and started playing in the pool without me knowing. I quickly look into the living room and see the kids are playing quietly. So why is the water of the pool moving around? Is someone out there? Has the automated pool cleaner gone mad? I can’t see the pool cleaner moving at all. What is going on? I look into the living room and see the lamp above the dining table is slowly swinging back and forth. My suspicions are confirmed, we just had an earthquake. Oddly I didn’t actually feel the earthquake.

I had no idea when I moved to Arizona three years ago I would be experiencing earthquakes here. I thought I was escaping the regular seismic activity of Portland, Oregon, but apparently this is not the case. Then again, it wasn’t that big of an earthquake (since I didn’t actually feel it). Maybe all the wine I was drinking caused me to already be swaying so I didn’t notice the additional swaying caused by the earthquake.

In reality the earthquake was not that big of a deal here – more of a novelty. I mean none of us at my house on Easter actually felt it (although the pool and hanging lamps may beg to differ). We were more surprised than anything that we saw the signs that an earthquake had occurred. Given the size of the waves generated in the pool, I wondered what people in California must experience. Also, do they avoid having pools built too close to their house? I pondered this, because if our pool splashed more than it had, we might have found ourselves swimming in our living room.

Based on the news out of Baja, Mexico it was a 6.9 earthquake. I was feeling happy that I lived in Chandler (just outside Phoenix) instead of closer to the earthquake epicenter. Over the last 12 years of living on the west coast I realize that earthquakes are just a part of life (and have experienced a number of them). Just like shoveling snow in New England in January or boarding up coastal store fronts in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in preparation for a hurricane in September – no matter where you live you have some strange earth or weather generated phenomena to experience. The sooner you realize we are living in a place beyond our immediate control, the better because sometimes you just have to deal with the unexpected. For this Easter Sunday I am just happy that I was not sitting pool-side during the earthquake, otherwise my chocolate bunny and eggs would have been washed away in a pool “tsunami” and my ham dinner would have been waterlogged.