Before Spring Break, I semi-lamented to my students, “Woo hoo, I’m going to Ohio for Spring Break!” complete with a sarcastic fist pump to the air.
Funk, Droidlet, and I decided to visit Funk’s aunt (Crafty) and his cousins (Green Lantern and Catan Champion) for the week. And, I’m not going to lie. I was a little nervous. Nervous for the colder weather, the country town, and Droidlet’s first plane ride and I was slightly skeptical about whether or not this was going to be the best use of a Spring Break.
But, I geared up for the event (and rented a car for the first time. Hooray for being 25!) and was starting to get a tiny bit excited for the upcoming relaxation. We had an uneventful plane ride. Droidlet got my gene of falling asleep even before a plane takes off and we scored a 2011 Toyota Camry for all our driving needs. Then, we proceeded over long (no, not dirt) country roads to Aunt Crafty’s house.
Now, let me tell you:
Seriously. We had an amazing vacation.
Of course, 90% of why it was so great is because Funk’s family is just awesome. We had rounds of Settlers of Catan until 1:00am, great conversations, emotional support, and visits to kick-ass museums (helllooo American Bicycle, Annie Oakley, and the Air and Space museums!) among lots of great food, photographs, memories, and incredible company.
The other 10%, though, really had to do with “vacation mentality.”
The properties of “vacation mentality:”
1. “We’re somewhere new, so let’s try everything!”
We tried new diners, new food, new drinks, new places, new beds, new homes… the list goes on. We even got to share some “news” with our family (among them, Japanese beer for the Catan Champion and Yuengling (the most amazing beer EVER) for the rest of the family… yes, we spread alcohol joy wherever we go). Sometimes, at home, when not in “vacation mentality” we tend to fall into routines and normal habits. Which, are good in their own right, but this was a nice reminder that there are still lots of things in Ventura County I have not yet tried.
2. “Meh. I can check the internet later.”
I went on the internet a total of, maybe, three times (including my phone!). Granted, part of this was because the cell phone reception, but a huge part of it was because I was so busy doing other awesome things and spending quality time with people I love. This was a big slam in the face… why don’t I take internet breaks more often? Facebook did not explode while I was in Ohio, my blog didn’t smoulder to ashes, and the blogs I normally read were still up and running, as usual.
3. “Picture moments.”
I feel we tend to take more pictures – but at the same time keep the camera down enough to experience the moment – more on vacation than in “regular life.”
4. “Talk, walk, and talk some more.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to walk waaaay more when I’m on vacation. Walking through museums, walking down main streets, just walking outside and around a new block (and finding a flattened craw fish in the road). And between all the walking, we had actual conversations. Funk and I got to walk and talk about things outside of our parenthood bubble; we got to reminisce about Funk’s mom with Aunt Crafty; we got to talk about all the new stuff happening in the Green Lantern’s and Catan Champion’s lives.
Of course, there are downsides to vacation mentality. Well, the only one I can think of is that we spend a little more money than we might normally (like buying Droidlet a super awesome “Speed Limit: 18,000 mph” sign with a rocket ship on it). Other than that, this vacation mentality made for a week of having a fulfilling life.
I think it’s time to implement this mentality more often, right here, at home.