August 18 2016

A Different Kind of Vacation

Back in April, hubby and I went on a different kind of vacation. Why was it so different? Well, we didn’t have either of the kids along. Now don’t get me wrong, we love traveling with our kids and took them with us all the time when they were children. Now that the kids are grown and graduated from college, we don’t feel the need to take them along on trips as much anymore. It would be fun to do a group trip again sometime though. We should find a time when all four of us can get away from work at the same time and just go.

Another reason it was different is because we didn’t get to leave when we had planned because of an emergency at hubby’s work. Instead of Friday early morning, we finally got to leave town at 7:30pm on Sunday night. Our trip was supposed to be extended on the other end because he couldn’t get away on time, but we still only had the condo from Saturday to Saturday, so we were planning where we would go once we checked out of the condo. Just before noon on Friday of our trip, my boss called, not sure how I missed the call, but it went to voice mail without showing a missed call. She left a voice mail telling me I was needed back to work by Monday morning at 8am because she had an emergency. We were planning on going back to work on Wednesday, not Monday. Not a happy time for either of us, but really didn’t see as we had a choice. It was the first time both of our works interfered with our vacation time. I REALLY don’t like having my vacation time taken from me that way.

This is the first long trip we have taken where I did all the driving and hubby sat in the passenger seat. He refuses to drive with me in the car because, when he terrifies me with his driving, I can’t help reacting with a gasp or a squeal, maybe even a shriek. I mean, the man thinks the speeds posted on curves are merely suggestions and that they can always be at least doubled safely. I was taught in driver’s education, a million years ago, that for every ten miles and hour you are driving there should be a car length between you and the car in front of you. So on the interstate, I try to keep a minimum of five or six can lengths between my car and the one in front of me. I also try to make sure there are about three car lengths for me to slide into when switching lanes. Hubby does not observe these rules. I don’t think it is just a matter of the car length he is using being Smart Car verses Cadillac either. So anyway, his driving terrifies me. I would rather not have driven the 800 miles each way, but really what choice did I have. When we got home he was lamenting the fact that he missed doing the highway driving. I told him I missed being the passenger too, but since he didn’t go for the deal I offered where I react half as often if he drives half as scary, it may not be the last time I do the driving on a long trip. Hubby did all the driving on the island while we were there, so that was something.

The most unusual thing about the trip was that we only ate out two nights while we were at the condo from Monday afternoon to Saturday morning. One of those dinners was to celebrate my birthday. We went to the grocery and bought food to get us through the rest of our meals and snacks. We almost didn’t never the condo except for a walk to the beach a time or two. The rest of the time I was either, reading, writing, crocheting, surfing the net or we were working together to make a meal. That is NOT normal for us on a vacation. We usually would plan to eat out at least one or two meals a day and visit several museums or tourist attractions. Hubby did some reading, worked some Sudoku puzzles on his Nook, or played one of his computer games. The condo had a wall mounted TV, but we never even turned it on. I made the comment that I felt guilty that we spent the money for the gas and condo and the time to drive there to basically do what we could have done at home. He reminded me that the most important part of getting away was that we were a twelve hour drive from work. Point taken, well worth the cost.

We especially liked sitting out on our little patio/balcony to watch the goings-on around us. We had a few meals out there, did some reading too. My favorite thing to do out on the balcony, which was only about four to six feet off the parking lot level was to crochet. I would go out after eating breakfast and do a row or two on the shawl I was making. It was a very relaxing time while we were at the condo. While I was driving, not so much, but then I don’t particularly enjoy driving the way hubby does. 

The best part is that we decided before we left the condo that we were booking another trip next April and that this would be our relaxing escape from work vacation. We will have a fall trip that is more the typical tourist type vacation, but the spring trip is planned specifically as a get away to relax. I can really embrace that plan. (976 words)

September 20 2015

LONDON Day 1

Picture

We made it safely, even got through customs without any trouble. We have a tour bus that will be our transportation when we travel places as a group.
It is nice. We got to the hotel after driving about 30 minutes only to have to wait for others to check out of rooms and get them cleaned so we could check in.

Our room is nice but compact. It has a very small refrigerator and an electric tea kettle.
The coffee here in the room consists of little tubes of soluble instant coffee. There are also of course tea bags, mostly English Breakfast Tea, but also a chamomile and a spearmint.

We are meeting the group at 6pm in the hotel lobby to go to Barley Mow Restaurant for our pub dinner. There are 29 in all, only one younger than me and she is 31, so technically I’m old enough to be her mother. Most of the rest have about 15-20 years on dad and I. Most of them are characters, as Robin would say, “Old people are adorable!”
One just turned 84, it is his grand daughter who is the youngest.

So far I have crocheted 1.5 hats, the first was done entirely on the flights over, started the 2nd during the wait for our hotel room.

We will have limited cell phone access, we paid $40 each to get 100 minutes of talk, 100 texts and 100 MB of data for the week/month. Have disabled cellular for now to conserve it to use as needed, still can use wifi.

Email I will plan to check at least once a day, so if you need us let us know.

Odd thing I saw on the way over that threw me was a sign that said “no hard shoulder next 250 yards”.

We are exhausted because sleeping on the planes wasn’t exactly successful for me anyway. Hard to get comfortable. I had a window seat on both flights and a stranger to have to inconvenience if I wanted to get up and walk around or go to the bathroom.
They have Dominoes Pizza but the delivery vehicles are little scooters with boxes on the back, I took a picture to show you.

Well, enough for now. Really just wanted to check in and thought this would be the best way.