Friday, March 28, 2014

There is No Bedtime on Vacation

Time to chill
After spending all day traipsing throughout one of the worlds at Disney, I was looking forward to just being back at the resort and relaxing. My shoes needed to come off, my Kindle opened and the Jameson poured. And that’s exactly what we did–after dinner, of course.

Pop Century, the Disney resort where we spent the weekend, had an enormous pool in the center of their property. On one end was Petals, a small, outdoor bar, and on the other end shouted the kiddie pool. The main pool had standing jets that sprayed a rainstorm down on whoever passed underneath and kids ran back and forth under it. Chaise lounge chairs surrounded the pool, offering a relaxing atmosphere while parents could watch their kids splash about in the life guard protected waters. It was in these chairs that we parked our keisters.

The girls had brought our adult beverages, so that saved one expense, and I stretched my tired legs out and opened my Kindle. We sat in the middle of everything, which really was the best location as the noise levels of what was happening around us wasn't that bad. Plus, I was able to take in the surrounding sights. Forever the people watcher, I am.

Everyone was having fun
And there was quite a bit to see, especially by the kiddie pool. A giant screen was set up in what looked like a giant television set that I discovered later was actually inflatable and they showed a different movie each night. The two evenings we were there they played The Little Mermaid and Up. From where we were sitting, I could see and hear the movies well enough, but I could also ignore them and enjoy the conversation with those around me if I wanted, which worked out great as we bounced from reading to talking to watching to posting funny stuff on Facebook while we sat there. We were relaxed and that was the point.

As I stretched out on my chair, the evening ticking away, I noticed more and more families arriving so the children could take an evening dip. The families had probably spent all day wandering one of the theme parks and the parents needed to stretch their tired legs out while the children did cannon balls into the deep end. My watch said ten, but no one was showing any signs of calling it a night, which is as it should be when you're on vacation. Sleep is for when you get home and return to the daily routine.

When I was a kid--okay, even now when I'm supposed to be an adult--I wanted to squeeze every minute out of our vacations. Ask the girls. I do it to them even now. We'll start off with the plan of leaving at five, but suddenly at one I'm loading the van saying, "Let's go." I usually wake early to get the day started and will stay awake until they almost have to carry me to bed or leave me where I started dozing off. As a kid, we stayed awake until the hotels finally forced us out of the pool. Vacations are not a time for normal routines. They are for breaking loose of the "norm" and squeezing what you can out of your adventure.

Life needs to have more of those moments. We get so caught up with deadlines, diets, and dull routines that we forget that this life is to be relished. Savor the moments so that later in life you can savor the memories. There's enough structure in daily living to not have to worry about bedtimes while we're away. So jump in to the water and splash about and don't worry about the noise. Enjoy every moment. You're on vacation, after all.

Now that's a big screen TV

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