I’m on vacation!

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There are palm trees around me.  They always make me feel instantly happy!  I think it is because they are such a foreign sight to me.  Like giant lollipops!  We drove down from Seattle to California, staying here a few days before we drive up to Vegas to stay another few days and then we’ll head back home.  It’s lovely and warm, and has provided me with such a needed getaway.  I was definitely ready to disconnect with my world for a bit.

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I was also a little nervous to see how M and I would do on our first long trip together.  Especially stuck in a car together.  But so far, it’s been a lot of fun.  Today I’m getting a little “Me” time.  And I don’t think I’d realized how much I needed it too.  I’d planned to go for a swim, but instead cranked up some music, made a little lunch, and took an extra long shower and just took my time putting myself back together afterwards.

Yesterday, we spent some time at the beach.  Oh how those ocean waves just went on forever.  I don’t care how old I get, I turn into a giant kid when I get to the beach.  Doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or what I’m doing afterwards, I WILL splash in the water, I will look for seashells in the sand (and always return them or leave them where they are so others can have the same pleasure) and just generally lose myself in the sound of the crashing waves and the smell of the salty sea air.  It is truly my favorite thing.  Someday – I’ll live in a spot where I can hear the ocean.  Or who knows – maybe i’ll be able to find a commercial spot near a beach somehow and work next to it.  There’s something incredibly therapeutic about it.  So impactful to me.

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Yesterday, I walked into someone else’s soap shoppe and found tears coming to my eyes.  Never before have I walked into someone else’s business and felt so struck with enviousness and adoration.  It was as if someone had plucked my vision from my imagination of the store I hope to someday build and turned it into reality.  Well – almost.  It wasn’t perfectly my vision of course – it was someone else’s but damn if it didn’t give me a giant boost of hope and inspiration.  I can do this.  If they can do it – I certainly can!  I also bought some soap and things to try – I like to support the small shops.  I was so excited to try them out, but was saddened to discover that I only ended up liking one of the 2 bars I bought.  Ah well – can’t win them all.

Well – I’m going to go enjoy the sun for a bit.  It’s so nice to relax and just enjoy.  I wish you all the very best!  Much love to you Neverland.

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There’s a lot on my mind tonight

So I will apologize right now if I am a little all over the place.  It’s been a lovely weekend overall.  One full of friends and lively conversation, good food and even dancing! 🙂

One of my best female friends, J, planned a party.  A formal black and red party at a local beerhall.  The rules – must wear formal attire – in black or red, and no drama or attitudes from anyone in attendance.  🙂  So I dragged my other girl (R) out.  It was nice to get all gussied up and go out.  It’s something I don’t do very often, although I have a feeling that will change now that J has successfully managed to get me to attend.  🙂 Here’s pics of R and J and myself that night.  🙂  R and I had a blast, 2 single ladies without a care in the world.  We ate oysters and mussels and just enjoyed being out.

It was good for me to attend.  I’m still coming back out of my shell.  And truthfully, this time of year, I don’t usually come out of my shell much at all.  But Saturday was fun and gave me a much needed boost of energy, I danced and sang and made some new friends and caught up with some old friends.  Tonight, I spent the evening with my daughter cooking good food and watching a movie she picked out before my son came home from his dads house.

Ben has been on my brain this week.  Actually – there’s a lot that’s been on my brain this week.  Things that have been rattling around in there range from Ben and his birthday anniversary that is coming up, to love and relationships, friendships, and just life in general.  Had someone told me 10 years ago, that this is where I’d be… I would have never believed it.  Any change or turn along my path, and things would be different.  I wouldn’t trade it, I know that things happen for a reason.  I’m ok with it… well – ok that’s not quite the right way to word it either – I accept it.  That’s enough.  Every year – around this time, I make a pact to myself – that I will not make any major decisions (if I can help it), in the months of Oct – Dec.  Grief is a funny thing – and I’ve learned my lesson in this respect.  In most cases – I can hold off until the new year on most things.  Patience is something I’ve learned to channel at this time of year.  I  miss my son.  Weird to miss some one that you only had for a short while.  And even tho it’s certainly been long enough – I still think on him and wonder.

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I gave R some advice this weekend.  She was wrestling with her feelings about a man.  She knew she was falling in love, but didn’t want to be the first person to say it.  She’s loved him for a very long time.  I told her something my Nana told me when I was young.  If you feel love – you should speak it.  It cannot be held for very long on the tongue.  And if you express it… you have a better chance of working past that strange anxious feeling that you get before you’ve said it to someone for the first time- because if it is returned, then something new can grow and blossom.  And if the love is not returned, then now you know and can move forward and move on.    It’s funny – as a teenager or even in my twenties… I didn’t put much stock in Nana’s advice… but looking back now – I couldn’t agree with her more.   I’ve always said I don’t say I love you to hear it back… I say it to make sure they know.  That’s enough.

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I’m going to start planning my next vacation.  I will probably go in April 2017 time frame.  I’d like to disappear for a week.  I haven’t decided yet where I want to go.  I have an idea of who all I’d like to invite to join me, but we’ll see if they have the desire to vacation with me.  🙂  I want to explore and get away.  Travel has most certainly had an enormous impact in my life, and I look forward to being able to continue to experience it.  I think my next trip will likely be a cruise, as it’s something I have not done yet.  My instinct says I won’t like it as much as I enjoy traveling as a local – but I want to experience it regardless.  It’s something Nana and Granddad would do when I was younger.  I remember them telling me stories and showing me pictures from all their many excursions.  Or try on the jewelry that was often purchased on these trips.  I’d picture the ports and destinations, the food and the events that were often a part of their stories.  My grandparents truly led amazing lives.  🙂

Can’t travel without a job.  I’m trying to not count my chickens – but I am hoping to hear good news on the job front this week.  Fingers crossed that I’ll have news either way by Wednesday!  🙂

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At the end of the day – I got some news from my mom, that my grandparents aren’t doing very well health-wise.  It has me a bit worried and anxious.  I know as they continue to get older and older that at some point, I will have to say my good byes to them.  But they are mine damn it!  Haha.  But in all seriousness, I’m not ready to even think about losing them.  It makes me sad to think about. Hopefully, things will be just fine and I’ll be allowed to put my head back in the sand on this particular subject.  At least for now.

Well – it’s time to get some sleep.  Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you!!

Planning another trip..

Lonely girl with suitcase at country road dreaming about travel.

It’s been on my mind for a couple of months… when am I going to take another trip and where will I go this time?  Because of buying the house, taking an extended vacation is really just not in the cards this year.  Which is why I’ve settled on next april.  For my birthday, I am going to plan something.  2 weeks off of work if I can somehow swing it.  An international destination of some sort.  The ability to unwind, recharge and just reset myself.

I get antsy and itchy when I don’t get a break.  I never knew this about myself.  It’s only been in the last 4 years or so that I’ve figured that out.  It’s this tension that builds in me and I just have to escape… from work, from friends, from everything for a few days.  Longer if I can swing it.  I’ve learned that if I plan something once a year, or once every other year, I don’t get so antsy and anxious or pent up.

So …. thinking through where I’m at, where I’ve been and what my budget will likely be… I’ve got a few ideas percolating.  They are as follows (and not in any particular order):

  • Ireland/Scotland/UK – go back and visit family and explore 🙂
  • Thailand
  • Fiji – because YES please!!
  • Japan or China
  • Mexico – simply because I’ve never been
  • Alaska – also because I’ve never been

So … out of those options… which would you lean towards and why?  🙂

It’s time to talk about my trip…

Ok ok, i’m a nerd for being excited to share this stuff with you guys.  But oh well.

Because I’m also trying to put them together to have a photo book printed off, this will be a great way for me to figure out how to lay them out so that they tell a story.

In FlightIn flight…

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DSC_0057The view from our place (we rented the downstairs of a house away from the tourists).  The view was spectacular.  Could hear the ocean waves crashing on the shore to fall asleep and wake up to.

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The island is so incredibly breath taking.  Both sides, the tourist side and the local side.  Although I totally fell in love with the locals.  Made some new friends, really just found myself relaxing and happy and having the time of my life.

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DSC_0226Met an ass named Lady Gaga and ogled over some incredibly huge avocados and other tropical fruits.  Must have had fish or seafood at least once a day if not more.  Befriended a chef who spoiled us with fresh caught crab rangoon and a variety of ceviche’s that were just delicious.

DSC_0186 DSC_0181 DSC_0178We found some beautiful ruins.  Walking around them and taking tons of pictures was incredible.

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Found a few beaches to fall in love with, for snorkeling, swimming, lounging… tons of beaches to choose from.  I spent time every single day in that ocean.  I sang a silly song at the top of my lungs to the ocean and the palm trees.  I danced and played in the surf late at night, I saw sea urchins as big as bushes under the sea.  I also stepped on one of those suckers… but that’s another story.

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T and I had a blast all week.  I couldn’t have asked for a better person to travel with.  To share an adventure with.  I’ve never felt so lucky and happy and content.  It was truly, one of the best times of my life.  I was really upset to have to come home.  I’ve recovered from that upset-ness, but I still dream of the ocean.  I still wish, on a daily basis, that I could be sitting at my favorite beach, playing dice with a few of the amazing people I met while I was down there.

But I know… it’s started something.  An itch to travel more… to see more… to meet more amazing people.  I just can’t wait.

“Vacation Depression”

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My friend R and I were just talking about vacations.  She’s coined the term “Vacation Depression”.  It’s that stage you go through when you return to life after a vacation.  Yoda she is, so I decided to write about this interesting discussion here.

Vacation depression is when you head back into life, and everything hits you all at once.  Family, work, friendships, relationships.  That vacation relaxation bubble when you were care free, disappears and the responsibilities of being an adult hit you all over again.  It also seems to be the time when if something could go wrong, it will.  Stress will multiply, sometimes exponentially.  Makes you wonder why we go on vacations?

Tonight, I’m reminded that sometimes, life is short.  We all get caught up in a zone of all the little things that bother us, drag us down, or tie us up in knots.  Sometimes, we have to take a step back and look at the big picture.  Some of the little shit, it’s petty.  We don’t know what’s around the corner.  What tests are waiting to trip us up or bring us to the very brink of our own strength or sanity.

I’ve struggled this week with R’s “Vacation Depression”.  I keep dreaming that I hear the ocean.  I miss it.  I miss swimming in it every day.  Some people center themselves with meditation, some with a walk in the park.  Me?  I like to swim.  And that warm salty ocean was just what I needed.

Goodnight again Neverland.  Sleep well and dream of warm peaceful oceans. 🙂

Oh – and R… on your gravestone, it should say … Yoda, she was. 😉