It’s been 28 days since my last blog entry. I have a good reason…I was on vacation, in the far far away land of Spain. I wasn’t battling windmills in La Mancha or running away from any stampeding bulls. I was in the modernly ancient city of Sevilla, where the old, such as the traditional pastry shop, La Campana (1885), seamlessly meets the new every day. Starbucks sits just across the street. Though international phone and Internet service were available through our carrier, we decided to go it alone and check emails whenever we had access to a computer. It was wonderful at first. Aaah, freedom. While everyone else around us had their heads bowed, busy looking at their hand-held, we got to hold our heads up to look up to the sky, point to an ancient landmark, or feel the raindrops fall on our foreheads. But, by about the 8th day, I was feeling anxious and very much out-of-the-loop. I missed the apps telling me which was the best place for a hot seafood soup, or for the thickest hot chocolate. I missed my maps and GPS. I missed being able to see if my flight to Mallorca was going to be on time. There are so many little things that make our life convenient and comfortable that we take them for granted. This was the longest vacation we have taken, and it was wonderful to spend time with our family. That said, I am so glad to be home. I have come back rested, renewed, and with a greater appreciation for the little delights that just make life so enjoyable.
5. Long showers with plenty of hot water. When I came home I wanted to hug my water heater. There is no greater torture than having to lather up dry while you’re body’s temperature is dropping to 60 degrees, only to turn on the water and get about 15 seconds of warmth. Yes, I feel guilty for not being as conservative and energy-conscious as the Europeans might be, but I’m working on it. Until then, I’ll take my 10 minute hot shower, thank you.
4. Driving. This one surprised me because I complain a lot about my long commute. Truthfully, I would not have liked driving inSevillebecause the city is best enjoyed walking from tapas bar to coffee shop to tapas bar. But, I did miss covering longer distances with a car. Actually, I think I just missed my car…the seats are just the way I like them, I have programmed my favorite stations, I can sing at the top of my lungs without offending anyone. It all boils down to independence and customization. I really missed that.
3 Eating like a normal person. What is it about vacations that make us eat like we’ve never eaten before or will ever eat again? I ate not because I was hungry but because I could not pass up foods that I wouldn’t ordinarily eat. By the last day of vacation I was fantasizing about a 30-day fast. Luckily is not happening and I am so happy to be eating like a human again.
2 Having the time of the day feel right. Look, I know it takes time to adjust to a new time zone, but even after I got used to the wake-up and nighty-night times, I never felt like the hour coincided with what I expected to be happening. I lost track of weekends so all days felt like a workday when you’ve called in sick. Coming home allowed me to thank God it’s Friday and feel excited for the weekend.
1. The joy of super size. I learned that for me, size matters. I was so happy to sleep in my King-sized bed again, and to wash my face over a big sink, to cook over a big stove. I didn’t realize how accustomed we are to large things and open spaces. Europeans are great at making small spaces work, but I missed having the extra room in everything.
I loved my vacation and it was wonderful to break free from the daily grind. Coming home to appreciate the blessings has been just as wonderful.