I’ve learned to redefine what it takes to enjoy a vacation. Enjoyment and enough being the key word here. Non stop activity has largely vanished as something to be desired or enjoyed while vacationing. It’s been replaced by a more laissez faire point of view.
In the mornings, no longer do I have to hit the streets running which is good because that would literally be an impossibility with asthma and hip bursitis. It’s rather delicious to linger in the morning for much too long over my cup-o’tea. I can leisurely check my email, stare at the beautiful color of apple green that I painted on an outside wall, and idly wonder what happened to the butterflies that were supposed to be inhabiting the butterfly garden in front of my house. They were here en masse the last time we visited. At some point, it will feel right to take a shower and consider making the bed while deciding which colorful t-shirt to wear to complement this bright and sunny day.
The need to get some batteries or any thing I’ve noticed I’m out of can become a jumping off point for a feigned important expedition and a reason to leave my comfie house. A neighborhood hardware store provides an endless source for exploration. The outing can easily segue way into lunch. While eating lunch, I idly pick up one of the local weekly papers advertising all kinds of banal tourist activities, none of which interests me in the least, but you never know. I’m always up to looking for a few new plants at a nursery outlet, or a good garage sale which can be the source of another “outing.”
The plants grow at exponential rates of speed in tropical Florida and it’s quite satisfying to note how large they’re getting (like a child you haven’t seen for a while) and then pick a few of their spectacular leaves or fanciful flowers to transform a few empty vases still languishing at home. Satisfying and Enough.
At some point in mid afternoon it’s perfectly ok, if I’m feeling a bit sleepy to lay down in an air-conditioned bedroom and take a sweet nap. I wrap myself in a light weight cover to keep off the chill. It’s blissful.
When my nap is over, it’s time for a leisurely but decent long walk to the beach to admire the prowess of the diving pelicans, note the impossible-to-describe color of the water and watch the windsurfers risk their life and limbs.. The nice pier is a fine place to do some chi gong too.
On the way to the ocean, walking by the established gardens, it’s easy enough to snip off a few small branches of someone else’s overgrown shrubs or alluring flowers for my own viewing pleasure when I get home. If it’s a day when the gardeners have been in the yards, there are many botanical treasures to be claimed before the city trucks haul the discarded greenery away. Just recycling at its finest.
After 5 pm it’s cocktail hour. Vodka/tonic seems to fit in very well with my mellow feeling here. If there’s a bartender in the vicinity, I’ll go for a mojito to celebrate the local Cuban heritage.
Key West is a chatty place at a bar and people are friendly if you’re in the mood to be social. A few days ago I had to endure an older man look at me, then ask my husband “Where didja find that young’un?” shmuck. Although he was quite satisfied with himself laughing at his own sense of humor, no need to get to know him any better. I could take him out sooner than the iguana who only opens his mouth to eat flowers and petals.
There’s great freedom on vacation if you have no small children or over eager guests to entertain. By now, my husband and I are comfortable being together or just doing our own thing. There’s a lot of latitude in that.
Here’s my short list of do’s and don’ts than can be adjusted according to your needs. Feel free to tell me what you’d add or subtract!