Mark and I are in the process of planning our summer vacation. I LOVE vacations! I do not love planning them. It is too much like real life. Vacations should be all fun and games. Having to plan them is all work and makes me grumpy. I don’t want to know where I will be on what day and at what time. That is way too similar to my work schedule. This whole planning phase is really just for the birds. I want to pack my bag and arrive at my destination and have it all magically ready, like I picture it in my head. Is that too much to ask?
This weekend, we tried to find accommodations. Omgoodness. I really loved the ones that were $800+ per night. Apparently, those are not in our budget. The ones that were in our price range were all… lacking. Some were very cute, but they were stuck in the middle of nowhere, where we were certain to be murdered by hidden forest killers lying in wait for us. Some were right on the beach, but were decorated by druggies from the 1960s. Some were okay, but looked a tad worn around the edges. To me, this indicated an almost certain degree of filth that I would find impossible to deal with. I know what you’re thinking. Poor Mark. She must be impossible to travel with! She is so persnickety! Not so fast. I am no pickier than Mark. If you could have read the thought bubbles above our heads as we stewed over our laptops, this is what you might have read…
Mark: Pros- this condo is 2.15476 miles from the nearest grocery store and 1.25 blocks from the beach. It is $57 less that my maximum per night budget. Cons- there are two left turns on the way to the grocery store and that store does not have a fresh deli section. Packaged deli meat is slimy and does not reseal properly. The back patio of this unit catches the afternoon sun and will be very hot. I do not like to be hot.
Shannon: Ewwwww. That couch does NOT match that chair at all. It is not even within the same decorating theme. I think I see a stain on it, too. I’m going to zoom in on it. Yes. Definitely a stain. Gross. No way I can sit on that. This one is out. Moving on. This one has potential. Looks very clean. I like the tile. Easy to keep clean. Stop. That bed has no pillow shams. Just plain old pillows thrown on the bed. Not even a throw pillow. Now how hard is it to have pillow shams and a few throw pillows? No effort at all was put into this. That probably means no effort is put into cleaning it. Moving on. Wicker furniture??? Who still has wicker furniture? That would kill my back. No way. Moving on.
We did eventually find a place to stay, but it took hours. It is very nice. I was not able to find any mystery stains from the photos provided. There are three pools and beach access. I assume that the location is good and that the sun sets in a good spot. However, I probably gained twenty new wrinkles from all of the scrunchy faces I made while looking at the pictures on my computer screen. It was exhausting.
For the last two days of our trip, we are staying in a national park lodge. (Needless to say, this is Mark’s part of the trip.) There are nearby mountains and streams and park-y things like that. The lodge looks a lot like the Overlook Hotel from “The Shining.” The choices of lodging are very limited, so we didn’t have many options. We had already spent about three hours looking for a condo near the beach, so I thought I should not spend a huge amount of time complaining about these accommodations. So, I just smiled when I saw the jacuzzi tub in the middle of the bedroom; even though that’s not something you often see in recently renovated rooms. I suppose the brown shaggy carpet will be nice for drying your feet off when you get out of the jacuzzi tub in the middle of the bedroom. Now, if I see a creepy little blond girl in the hallway, I’m probably going to scream my head off.
Next up, our itinerary. That might be next weekend. I am not much of an itinerary kinda gal. I like to have a few things in mind, but then I also like to play things by ear. This leads to lots of wasted time on vacation. Mark is not a fan of wasted vacation time. I am a huge fan of it. I rarely get to waste time. If I can wake up and not know what I am going to do that day, that is just a little slice of paradise for me. If I do not have to be anywhere at any certain time, that is just the best. I am even okay if someone else wants to plan the days. I’ll gladly follow along blindly. I simply do not want to make any decisions. I decide things all day long at work. On vacation, I don’t want to decide anything. Time for the aquarium, you say? Okay. We are having seafood for dinner? Excellent. We need to wake up at 7:00 AM? I’ll do that. Pool time? Yay! If for some reason, I choose not to participate nicely, I will ground myself by taking a nap.
A day or so before we leave, I will have to tackle my least favorite vacation task- packing. I was really okay with packing until the airlines started charging for checked baggage and weighing your bags. These factors put a real kink into my packing style. Formerly, my packing style could best be described as “prepared for anything.” No matter where I was going, I could pull off a sudden invitation to a royal wedding or a last minute opportunity to visit an observatory in Antarctica. Not anymore. Now I have to really think about what I might actually wear everyday. Again, too much actual thinking. I still am only able to narrow it down to about three outfit combinations per day, so the fifty pound rule is always looming heavily. Many times Mark has to take some of my shoes into his bag at the airport. He really dislikes that.
It’s worth all the aggravation to get to go on vacation, though. Being able to see new places and experience new things is so rejuvenating. (But not in a condo with hideous wallpaper or mystery stains.)