I started vacation a bit tentatively. This was the first time I would have vacation and an empty house since becoming an empty nester. Most of the past vacations were holidays when the kids came home for break and then in February we traveled for the week. Though I was nervous heading in, I was looking forward to the down time and…the verdict is in…
I LOVED it!
I spent the week enjoying lazy mornings, long hikes, gardening, reading, writing, eating out, and generally luxuriating in a fluid, flexible schedule. It was utterly delightful. We capped it off with two days at Acadia National Park, surely one of the most beautiful spots on earth, and dinner with two of our three children at University of Maine. By Sunday I was refreshed and relatively ready to return to school on Monday morning.
These two conversations from early Monday morning brought back many memories, reinforced the upsides to vacationing and traveling without young children, and engaged my sympathies for the parents involved.
“How was your trip to Pennsylvania?” I asked a student.
“Mrs. Hogan! We drove for like 12 hours!”
“Wow! That’s a long drive.”
“Yeah, and I had to stop like 8 times to go to the bathroom,” he said.
Another student bounced up to me first thing, announcing “I got stitches over vacation.”
“You did?” I exclaimed. “What happened?”
“I cut my foot.”
“Where were you?” I asked, knowing her family had planned to travel for part of the break.
“At the hotel,” she said.
“Well, where was the hotel?”
“Oh, it was in Washington, D.C. It happened on the first day of vacation and I had to go to the emergency room.”
“Oh, no,” I said, “What an awful way to start your vacation!”
“Yeah,” she agreed, but then added, “But it’s a great small moment story!”
And then, apropos to nothing really, I just needed to share this–the view outside my classroom today: