Rum and Holly

This year, I’m spending the holidays with my family in the Caribbean.

Thus far, we’ve gotten lost on the island maybe three times, we’ve gone grocery shopping twice, we’ve cooked three meals, we had some amazing seafood, and we’ve gotten settled into our rental house. We’ve got a good amount of space, everyone can go to their respective areas when we need to get away from others, and the weather has been pretty perfect: just a little humid, breezy, and mostly sunny.

We’ve got small gifts for each other, with most of the goodies designated for my teenage niece. At least 5 alpha personalities are present, with one trying to lead the charge in determining what our daily plans will be. I find that highly annoying. I am on vacation; I don’t want anyone telling me how to relax.

I just want to sleep, and tan, and write, and laugh, and drink, and unplug. I don’t want to answer to anyone, and I don’t want to have a schedule. My first rule of vacation: no obligations. I skirt obligations so often already, why not try to curb them during my vacation time?

That being said, my ice is melting. Where’s the rum gone?

Snow Days

I’m actually pretty grateful for this weather. I’ve been able to relax a bit, get my mind right, and put in work. And by work, I mean both the traditional sense and the creative sense. All with the backdrop of a beautiful snowfall. It’s been a quiet, cathartic snowcation. There was probably no other way I would have had a day off this time of year.

No, I haven’t answered all the questions that have been swirling in my head; I’m just going to take it day by day. I don’t know which way the wind will blow, and I’m trying to chalk up the butterflies I’ve been feeling as just being the new kid on the block.

This weekend has been baking and cleaning, laundry and reorganizing, adjusting this new home to rid it of as much chaos as possible. I want it to feel like that place of refuge at the end of a long day. It’s the first place that’s felt like “home” in the past few years. Maybe the past decade. It feels safe, and secure. It’s spacious enough not to go stir-crazy, but big enough to host my favorite people. It’s somewhere I could be stuck during a blizzard and not mind one bit.

All weekend, the one thing I’ve missed, is I’ve wanted to get away to smoke a cigar. LOL. Well, that’s a lie… Some company would have been nice, but a cigar is actually readily available. Craving is real, and I blame my friends for getting me started. Not that I fought them. My building, even my rooftop, are smoke-free areas. Not that I want to stand outside in the snow… Maybe it’s just the bourbon that’s been keeping me warm — cigars and brown liquors just make sense. I’ll switch to scotch tonight.

Now that I have another snow day scheduled, I can focus on getting more words on the page of one of my books. And maybe tomorrow, I will sneak over to the local cigar lounge for a little reprieve.

 

Autumnal

We’re still a month away from the fall season, technically, but I can feel it coming.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Colors changing, cooler air, a little rain, boots, sweaters, and pea coats. I can straighten my hair, since the humidity isn’t so bad. I can use the air conditioner less. I love driving around the east coast in the fall, all of the beautiful trees. The brisk weather. The apple cider.

I think that I love the fall so much because change is everywhere. The colors of the leaves, the air, the fruit, the food, the fashion. And I love it. I embrace it, even.

I like change. I like new beginnings. Maybe that’s why I am such a tumbleweed and move around so often. Maybe that’s who no place ever really feels 100% like home.

I’ve decided to embrace my inner tumbleweed. Life is too short. Let the wind take me where it may.

Embrace your inner tumbleweed.

Vacation or Mission Impossible?

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Who doesn’t love a Hawaiian vacation? I mean, I’m sure there’s someone out there that doesn’t, but I love them. Beautiful sights and sunsets, lots to do, and warm welcomes. But I love the sense of calm that I find in Hawaii. True, warm aloha.

However, on a recent trip to Maui with my family, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: there is not necessarily a consensus on what constitutes a vacation. For instance, my parents are tourists (at least in my opinion). They’ve done their fair share of walking tours, they like to show off the places they’ve been before, and they try to maximize the amount of sights they see on each trip.

My brother, on the other hand, is less of a tourist, but I would say he is an adventurist. Whether it’s zip lining, snorkeling, or hiking to find the water falls, he’s down to get into something fun as long as he can also get in a little R&R.

But I don’t want to see a ton of sights, not do I consider myself crazy adventurous. Truth be told, I get motion sickness easily, I’m not always comfortable with high places, I’m terrified of most bugs and reptilian creatures, and I refuse to watch anything even remotely scary. I may have described myself as a boring homebody with no life, but I really am a social person; a fun-seeker that knows how to set up limitations. You won’t see me jumping from a plane or hanging from a rope just to zip through the air. I still have fun, people. Really!

So what’s my idea of vacation? If I have a week in Maui, which I recently did, I would want maybe one day of sightseeing, one day of light shopping, and then 5 days of sun, water, and relaxation. I brought six books with me. Needless to say, no one else seemed to want my kind of vacation. If I had it my way, the others would be upset for not “seeing” anything. But that’s just not true! If I knew someone coming back from Hawaii that said the only things they saw were the sunsets, the beaches, the pool, and they had the time to read a bunch of leisure books and improve their tan, I would be JEALOUS. I don’t want to be exhausted after my vacation. I took my vacation to relax and recharge.

There should be more of a distinction between a vacation, a thrill-seeking adventure trip, and a sightseeing tour. I’ll leave the latter two for the others. Just give me the vacations.