Have you ever taken a personality quiz where it asks you about what kind of vacation you prefer? Are you the type who likes to wander around historic tourist traps? Dump the kids off with the hotel babysitter while you and your hubby dance the night away? Do you have the inner ear stability and the fat wallet to weather Disney World? Or are you the type of vacationer who likes to go to scenic spots and just sit around?
Me, I'm a sit-around gal. In fact, I'm already planning the trip to Italy I plan to take for my fiftieth birthday: I want to rent a farmhouse somewhere in Umbria or Tuscany for a month and just sit there. Doesn't that sound grand?
Fortunately, my husband also likes to sit around. Our vacations take us to two spots: the beach and the mountains. We overpack the van with more food than we'll ever eat, more clothes than we'll ever wear, and more books than it is humanly possible to read in the course of a week. We always leave home at least two hours later than we planned on, and race like the wind to get to wherever we're going in time to pick up the key from the rental agency. We get there, we unpack, we sit. Occasionally someone looks out the window and says, "Wow, it's really nice here."
This past weekend we went to the mountains, which is a grand spot for sitting around. Oh, occasionally my husband will drag the boys down to the creek to go fishing, and we even pondered hiking up Roan Mountain, but the mere act of pondering wore us out, and back down we sat.
It will amaze you, then, to know that I returned home exhausted from our little vacation. This is because we went to the mountains with my mother-in-law, who is a wonderful woman in so many ways, but who is, shall we say, psychologically complex. She spends a whole lot of time trying to figure out what you want her to say and do, and about fifty percent of the time she gets it wrong, and the other fifty percent of the time she irritates you to death because you wish she'd just say what was on her mind or do what the spirit moved her to do. I know she's this way because of how she was raised. I know she means well and wants to please. But after thirty-six hours of it, I crack. I say things I regret. I grow sarcastic and flippant. I have a constant need to nap.
We got home on Tuesday night, and I didn't know whether to go directly to bed or turn on the stereo really, really loud and do some theraputic yelling. Yesterday, I walked around in a daze. Today I'm doing better, but I have to fly to Boston tomorrow, so it's hard to settle down, enjoy the little things in life that keep me sane--writing, my dog, my funny children, my doting husband. I'll be back on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday I plan to take a mini-vacation in my living room. I'm going to sit down in my favorite chair, look out the window, and think, "Wow, it's really nice here."