I just returned from my first proper vacation in five years. By proper, I mean a vacation in which I do a lot of sitting around at a beach with umbrella drinks. This vacation was the First Annual Mother Daughter Beach Trip to North Myrtle Beach, SC. I had a whole week with my mother – something I’ll treasure for always. And we do it again next year!
The drive down was uneventful. We arrived a day before our check-in at the condo, so we stayed in a seedy motel on the beach. It was glorious that first night on the beach sitting in the dark and watching the phosphorescent surf. After the long drive, I slept like a dead person.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo at a Wyndham resort. We unpacked suitcases and put clothes in the drawers and closets. We shopped for food. We had board games. We set the timer on the coffee pot so we’d have coffee when we woke. We flippin’ moved in. It was wonderful.
The condo was luxurious – granite countertops, walk in showers, a large soaking tub. It was equipped with everything we needed including a washer and dryer. We were on the 9th floor and although we were not ocean front (long story), the view was fabulous. While I would never give up my barn, there’s something to be said for smaller living spaces – they’re a whole lot easier to keep clean and organized.
Left to my own devices, I would have sat on the beach each of the 8 days we were there and stared at the ocean until I was fried to a crisp. Mom is more of a get out and do things kind of chick. So we ran up and down Highway 17 eating and shopping and visiting a sculpture garden. The garden is truly a marvel and I had a lot of fun with the camera there. I have still not properly learned to use the camera. But it’s on my to-do list. You know, that list of mine that is in volumes.
We did a fair amount of shopping. I bought a dress that I have no idea where I’m going to wear it other than next year’s beach trip. Honestly, does a 55 year old need a strapless blue and white striped sun dress? No. But what’s need got to do with it.
But each day started and ended with me drinking coffee or wine on the balcony. The balcony and I fused. I was one with the balcony. The ocean breeze, the scent of salt water, the sounds of the waves, the tightness of my sun-kissed skin. It would take about 5 minutes on the balcony for me to become all zen.
One afternoon we had a rousing game of Scrabble. We didn’t keep score, but I think Mom won. She had longer, more interesting words. I was too zen to give the game my full attention. The glass of wine probably didn’t help much either.
I do miss that balcony.
Between balcony sessions and running up and down Highway 17, I sat on the beach in my blue sand chair. On the beach, it took me about 2 minutes to be all zen. There is nothing like planting one’s butt in a low chair with feet in the surf for chilling out. I was a puddle of ooze with no more ambition, aside from procuring the occasional umbrella drink, than the sand on the beach. One day I watched dolphins cavort. Another I watched toddlers cavort. I was struck, as I always am, by the joy children find on the seashore. I need grandbabies to take to the beach. (Do you hear me, Chef Boy ‘R Mine?)
While we did procure groceries, we ate out a lot. One morning for breakfast, I had a steamer of crab legs and shrimp. Another breakfast involved fish tacos and a Hurricane in a souvenir glass. One day we had banana splits (bodacious banana splits) for lunch. We had dinner in a dive bar and the fish was so fresh, I swear they went out and caught it while I was eating my sushi appetizer.
I went to bed early, slept late and usually managed a nap. We had rain one day and I tucked into a good book while listening to the roar of the surf and raindrops on the patio door.
It was all good. All of it. It was the vacation I sorely needed after the past few years and I savored every moment. I have my commemorative Christmas ornaments to mark the occasion and I have memories of quality time with my mother. I can highly recommend a proper vacation!
I’m having trouble reorienting to real life. My house is a mess. The suitcase is still sitting in the kitchen. The puppy missed me and spends a lot of time on my lap. It’s been hard to motivate to do much more than what is absolutely necessary. But today I have a fire in my belly to tackle this house – I want it as zen as I feel. So off I go to clean and declutter and deal with the suitcase.