What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I love traveling. I love going to all of the different places my wife’s work takes her. I love traveling, but traveling is tiring and I need a vacation when I get back from my trip. This past week I’ve had the type of vacation I’ve needed for a while. The type of vacation where you get to relax and have fun with no travel stress, no airports, no 12-hour flights.

My vacation officially started on the 4th of July, but we didn’t leave until the 5th so I had one day to relax and spend time with friends. We skipped the fireworks so we could get out of the neighborhood before the traffic and get some rest before our drive the next day. The 5th was travel day. I’m not a fan of 8 hours in the car, but at least you have control over your trip and can stop and rest if needed. There’s also no TSA lines, delays or random strangers to deal with. When we got to our destination we had dinner and I read my book while everyone else played cards.

The next day we headed west to my brother’s house. We spent the day hanging out with his family, my sister and her son and my other nephew and his girlfriend. We had good food, played in the pool, played basketball and just relaxed and had fun. The weather was perfect. We ended the day with fireworks.

The next day was a kayaking adventure. I will admit that I was leery about the whole kayaking thing. I’m not a swimmer and I’ve always had a bit of a water phobia so 4 hours in a kayak on a river did not sound like a good way to spend the day. I ended up really enjoying it. I was better at kayaking than I expected and the 4 hours went by quickly. We did have a couple of issues. My brother flipped his kayak twice after being hit by others and lost his glasses to the river. We hit one point where a tree had fallen over the river and we could barely get through, Luckily, the guy who ran the company where we rented the kayaks was there to help us through, We had to lie flat in the kayak to fit under the tree and then he pulled us out in the open to row away. It was the one time I felt a little panic start to set in as I could feel the kayak tip while I was trying to get low enough to fit. We survived and  I would definitely do it again.

That was the most active we were the entire trip. The next day was another relaxing day hanging out at my brother’s house and playing in the pool. We also played a lot of Kan Jam. I really need to buy this. It’s a really fun game. We went out to eat that night and then our time there was over. We ate lunch at our normal leaving town lunch spot, Freddy’s Custard and Steakburgers, and headed back to spend one more night at my mother in law’s before heading home.

Luckily, I mixed up my dates and asked for one more day off than I needed and then decided to keep it. Tomorrow is my regular Friday off because I work Saturday, so I came home to two more days off before going back to the real world. I’m probably going to go see Spiderman today. Tomorrow I have to take my daughter’s car in for an oil change, but I will get to read my book while waiting, so it’s not terrible.

It’s trips like these that make me long for retirement. I’m ready to spend my days relaxing and reading a book. I’m ready for no work stress and not dealing with other people unless I want to. I’m ready for the simple life again. Alas, I’ve got 6 more years to go before I get there.

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A Tale of Two Taters

This is my weekend off. I have two days in a row with no obligations. The only thing I have to do is pick people up from the airport tomorrow. The airport is BWI, so this will be easier than the dropoff at National. There are two Taters battling over how to live this obligation free weekend.

Responsible Tater – I should really mow today before the rain starts tomorrow. On a normal day, I wouldn’t feel like I need to mow. The grass looks fine and I could probably wait several days before I did it. However, it is supposed to rain a lot this week so if I don’t mow it will be very tall and probably damp by the time I get a chance to mow again. I also really need to do some cleaning around the house before others get back tomorrow. I’ve got plenty of time today and tomorrow to get all of this done.

Tired Tater – Tired Tater has already opted to watch Happy Death Day 2 U before even considering doing any of the work that needs to be done. As stated above, without the forecast of rain I wouldn’t look at the yard and think I needed to mow. There’s no reason to mow. I can wait until next weekend after the rain is over. If anything, all the really needs to be done is a quick cleaning of the toilets and then the rest of the day can be spent relaxing. We can go to the street festival in the neighborhood and then I can take a nap this afternoon. I can spend my time tomorrow between church and the airport reading on the couch. Getting rest is more important than getting things done.

I think what will happen is a merge of the two Taters. I will finish the movie and clean bathrooms before my daughter wakes up. We will head down to the festival early afternoon and I will mow when we get back and then rest the rest of the day. Tomorrow I won’t do anything but go to church, read and go to the airport.

I’m looking forward to Vacation Tater in July when all I will do is sit by the pool at my brother’s house.

Keeping My Snow Days Special

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This is the view out my front door this morning and it is still snowing. Almost everything is closed today, my work included. My kids are also off today, but they are in their own house/dorm today so we are past the days of playing in the snow together. I am going to make an effort to keep snow days special even without kids in the house.

It will be hard as my wife has a telework-friendly job and will be working all day. I’ve already been told that she has an important interview from 10-11 today so I should make sure the dog is quiet. If you knew my dog, you would know this is not always easy. I’m sure there will be other times today when she is on the phone and my job will be to make sure the house is quiet. When I have to leave the house for work I always wish I could telework. When we have a day like today I’m glad I have a job that allows my snow day to be an actual day off.

It would be easy for me to give up on the sanctity of the snow day. I have no kids at home. My wife is working. I’ve got friends coming over Friday night. I could use this time to get a start cleaning the house for Friday. I could use this time to be productive. I could, but I won’t. I want to keep the snow days special. It’s a nice, surprise break from the real world. It’s a good time to stop, take a step away from the to-do list and just relax. These types of days don’t happen that often. I am going to take advantage of it. I will watch some TV, read my book and maybe take a nap. I will have an afternoon coffee. I will watch Jeopardy All-Stars. I will watch Survivor. I will do nothing more taxing than cooking food and making coffee. Now I just need to get my wife to agree that this will be my day.