Vacation is work. The initial packing is not a frightful obligation but it is a boring chore at the other end of the trip, sorting piles of soiled clothing, reallocating items to specific drawers and cupboards and closeting the remainder, restocking the bathroom counter with the necessary paraphernalia. There is hauling the stuff in and out of the car, in and out of hotels along the way and repeating the same routine of unloading and repacking at each stop. And when you finally get to your destination there is a frenzy to get on one’s horse and ride off in all directions – to see the place, check out the resort, schedule times for spa treatments and dinners, arrange bicycles, perhaps have some laundry done and often to call the front desk to complain about one thing or another, get robes or more soft pillows, plug in the various devices to charge their batteries and figure out the electrical switches and heating/cooling system (not to mention having to straighten the lamp shades and secure the finials). All perfectly exhausting! Even having to endure formal dining night after night, listening to the performance of the staff, addressing the customary pleasantries, waiting to pay the bill. Whew! If ever there were a reminder that it is man’s fate to labour, holidaying is it!
This morning, after our week-long journey to the Florida Keys, we languished about the apartment relishing the luxury of a lazy awakening and a subsequent drawn-out breakfast. Yesterday upon our return we collected a week’s mail which naturally included at this time of year a plethora of tax slips and investment summaries requiring narrow and studied focus. There were emails to answer, groceries to be bought, laundry to be done. But the bracing return to habit and routine was a welcome realignment. I especially enjoyed my standard breakfast without all the fuss and designer-egg options.
This somewhat jaundiced view of travel is tongue-in-cheek especially when we’ve had such an extraordinarily pleasant escapade. The weather was divine throughout the sojourn, clear skies and high temperatures. We savoured terrific meals. The scenery in the Keys and along A1A upon our return was phenomenal. Our bicycle rides around Key West were awesome, tracing the panoramas of the coast. I shall never tire of the aquamarine colour of the waters!
As spoiled as we are to have suffered the consequences of warm weather and engaging travel, recovering from the holiday is equally gratifying. Once again we can shamelessly indulge our predispositions. It matters as well that we have begun the tail-end of our winter adventure here. Having already diverted ourselves twice to Florida and once to Jekyll Island, GA we’ve exhausted our interest in distracting travel for the time being. Day by day Hilton Head Island explodes its local attractions – flowering blooms and rising temperatures. The prospect of returning to Canada has its own allure, regaining our prized personal possessions and reacquainting ourselves with family and friends.