Vacation Daze

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Life has a different rhythm when you are on vacation. I think many of us fall into certain patterns in everyday life. Of course, if you work, that pretty much helps to define the pattern because you build other things around the times you are not working. Plus, you can use work and other activities as kind of an internal calendar to know what day of the week it is.

Very little of that exists on vacation. I find that I’m constantly having to remind myself of what day it is because there are none of the usual markers to use. Rather than setting an alarm, you just get up when it feels right. I have to admit that many years of getting up far before dawn kind of limits my ability to sleep in. We are not planners so we usually have one or two things to get done in a day and then the rest of the time is just relaxing. It means I haven’t had a lot of chances to sit down and write something but it seemed like a good time to do that now.

We are on the sunny island of Aruba. We have been here a few times before so you could probably say it is our favorite winter escape. This place has gone all in for US tourism so English is widely spoken and you can use the US dollar in most places. In fact, if you so desired, you could spend all you time at your all inclusive resort and never really know that you’ve left the US.

Now, my wife and I aren’t truly beach people. Pretty sure it is my Irish heritage but I don’t tan. I just burn and peel. So sitting for hours every day and working on a tan just isn’t my idea of a good time. There is a multitude of water related activities and it is always windy here so there are things like parasailing that seem like they might be fun. But just not really much of a thrill seeker either so we don’t do those things either. They have these things where you get strapped into some big rubber structure and a boat pulls you through the ocean at a relatively fast speed. To each his own I suppose.

We are more the walk along the beach with our feet in the water a couple time a day. Yeah, we’re that boring couple.

Vacation seems to center around alcohol for lots of people. They have many types of bus rides that take a group of people around to party at different places. Or maybe that’s what they do, I really don’t know. I guess that works for the extroverts or those who can strike up a conversation with anyone at any time. For a couple of quiet introverts who rarely drink, this really sounds like hell on earth but, again, it works for some people.

And, the non developed side of the island has a lot of dirt and sand and things where you need four wheel drive to get to. So they also do a lot of things where they’ll take groups of people around on ATV’s. We’ve seen a couple of them roaring past us – sometimes the people have goggles and scarfs to keep the sand and dirt from getting all over them. Again, this does not seem like a good time but it works for some.

So we are that boring couple that likes to explore on our own. Drive out to the places and stop at things that seem interesting. There’s a donkey sanctuary here and we stopped at the grocery store to buy apples and carrots to feed them. There’s the stray dog that we saw two years ago who is still in the same place and appears very well taken care of, so we bring him food.

But we don’t spend all day running around because there is a need for down time. This place has a near constant breeze, so, even at its hottest, it can be comfortable in the shade. Finding a little spot around the hotel to just sit and read and enjoy the warm tropical air is more my speed. When you vacation at a new place, we take the time to see the sights. Here, it is really more to relax and slow down and just forget the cold and the bad things we left behind.

The funny thing about vacations is that some people just seem to totally cut loose. I don’t have a beach body and I’m not comfortable walking around like I do. (Plus, I have that strong Victorian streak in me) Other people seem not to care. That’s probably a good thing but I’m not yet convinced of it.

Oh, and you really get a glimpse of people from different parts of the US. This is a generalization, but I think those of use from the Midwest tend to be a bit more quiet and we have this reputation for being “nice”. (Don’t believe me – just search on “Midwest nice”). I think we say “sorry” a lot. But you get people from the east coast and, wow, they are just “different”. Kind of like they walk around with their internal volume cranked to 11 and we are like “could you tone it down a notch or two”.

One funny thing is that I didn’t change my preferences for my weather apps so I keep getting pinged about bad weather back home. Here, it is sunny and in the upper 80’s and snow is the last thing on my mind.

Well, this may be my only post this week. The paper says it is Wednesday so that just leaves a few days before we must head back. But there is a lot of sun to soak up in those days so I’m going to get back to it. Well, for me it is shaded sun because of the whole “burn in a minute” thing so maybe I should say there is warmth to soak up.

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