When is a Vacation Not a Vacation?

7 Mar

Retired people have vacations. Many people who are still working view retirement as a 24-7 vacation but it doesn’t work that way. There is still the daily routines of feeding the cat and walking the dog surrounded by the same sights we see every day. Don’t get me wrong; we love our house. If we didn’t we would not spend so much time, money and effort in restoring it to its former modest glory. A vacation, however, gives us a break for that routine and a chance to explore new areas of the country. In January we explored the Texas coast at Corpus Cristi as well as a quick loop in the beautiful hill country.

At the end of February we had a condo booked for a week in norther Arkansas in the Ozarks at Table Lake. I had booked it in November and had hoped for an early spring. I was torn before we left because I really only needed a couple more days to work on the bathroom. I would have had good weather here to finish staining the trim but a break also sounded like a nice idea. It would help me get into the mode for packing for the cruise to come.

Part of the drive was a road that we have traveled before. It is a good road but there isn’t anything to break the scene of hills, trees and brown grass. There would be an occasional hawk in a tree but no signs of people to provide a change. That section is followed by a beautiful lake so the drive was ok. The condo unit was not what I was expecting – a cabin in the woods implies lots of trees. We had trees but not a woods. We did have 3 story floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the lake so that was just fine. The fireplace was also 3 stories but was a wood burning fireplace rather than a gas one. In season they stocked firewood that you could purchase from the office. I didn’t bring fire logs and we didn’t go shopping until just before we left so we didn’t use the fire place.

The swimming pool was closed for the season. The in room hot tub was a 3 person jacuzzi tub that took 45 minutes to fill which means I only used it twice. If it had been a regular hot tub, we would probably have used it everyday! The weather was sunny for the first few days and in the mid 50’s. By Wednesday it was cloudy spitting snow and never got above freezing all day. The big attraction for the area is the lake but that is not the kind of weather that inspires this couple to rent a boat for a day’s outing. We did make an outing to Eureka Springs but most of the restaurants and shops were closed. We found a place to have lunch and headed back to the condo. The condo was ours until Saturday but the forecast for Friday was snow. At home the forecast was for lower 70’s and sun shine. We took the scenic route home on Thursday.

So did we have a vacation? The first 4 days were very relaxing and it is always interesting to explore new places. Glad we came home early because a vacation stops being fun if you are bored. Next up is 6 days at sea on the cruise ship before our first stop in the Azores. My Kindle will be loaded with lots of mysteries to read and I’ll have the laptop so I can write even without the very expensive Internet connection. We will have a balcony to watch the sea if it is warm enough; if not we can watch through the windows. And we will eat. If we are bored and have food available 24/7, there will always be something to do. Isn’t that a vacation?

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