Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Real Vacation

I loved our trip to New York. The company was great, the entertainment spectacular, the food filling, and the weather, we'll not talk of the weather. Anyway, I had a wonderful time but those four days were not restful, not that they were intended to be. Once I returned, I jumped head first into this semester's classes and was faced with the next publication deadline for Spirit of Knitting. Overwhelmed is the best way to describe my state of being over the past few weeks.

This weekend, the second weekend of the month, is our regularly scheduled Franciscan fellowship meeting in Austin. Though Austin is only a leisurely four hour drive from my house, going down and back in the same day is a little more hectic than I like so BK and I usually travel down on Friday night. The ulterior motive here is that Austin has some great knit shops and independent bookstores. It is easy to amuse oneself for an extra evening in Austin. And then there is the food . . .I think that Austin has the best selection of restaurants of any city I have visited in a long time. I hate chain restaurants. Though they have consistency going for them, they also have consistency working against them. Everything tastes the same.

This weekend's trip was a little different than usual. The typical routine is to stay in a relatively nice hotel close to our meeting location. We check in on Friday afternoon and then spend the rest of the afternoon, evening, and well into the night most trips visiting all our favorite places. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with this agenda, but, like the trip to NY, it does not afford any down time. I think that the powers that be knew that I needed down time more than I needed any more books or any more yarn.

One of my Franciscan brothers has recently moved into a new home that has a guest room, actually two. He invited us to spend the night with him. While he was at my house for last month's meeting, we had a discussion about a Chinese restaurant in Austin that he said has the world's best pot stickers. Back in January, we made a dinner date for Fiery Wok. BK and I got to Austin mid afternoon and went straight to Book People. I enjoyed looking but was able to restrain myself such that I only bought two books and a magazine for Brooke. This took an amazing amount of self control. Though MasterCard may be disappointed in me, I am impressed with myself. This was the only place we stopped before meeting our friends for dinner.

The advertisement was right on. Fiery Wok does indeed have the best pot stickers and pretty darn good everything else. We enjoyed an awesome meal of food and fellowship. Much of our conversation centered around movies, a topic about which I am grossly illiterate at best. In an attempt to educate me, we decided to watch a movie once we got back to the house. Mother was selected for our viewing enjoyment. It is both a hilarious and touching comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And, I stayed awake for the whole thing! Those of you that know me well will realize what a major accomplishment this was. At about ten o'clock, we all went to bed. I have not been in bed this early since . . .I was six. Seriously, when I am at home, I can always find one more thing to do. These "one more things" often carry me into the wee hours of the night. As a guest in someone else’s home, none of these things are there to distract me. I suppose I could have read one of the books I bought, but they were in the car and I was already in my jammies. Nope. No distraction tonight. I was able to crawl under the covers and settle in knowing that there really was nothing that I had to do except set an alarm for the next morning. Though I had a few little things to do to prepare for the next day's meeting, I could sleep until 9 and have plenty of time to accomplish these minor tasks. 11 hours of consecutive sleep-my body won't know what to do. It is likely to think that I have died or something.

I woke this morning at 8:30 rested and ready to face the day. I have not felt this good in a long time. For some reason, I am always amazed by the powerful effects of a good night's sleep. I am also grateful for the two hours that I sat still and did nothing but watch the movie. I need to do this more often but I just can't make myself sit still when there are dishes to wash, laundry to fold, articles to edit, papers to grade, litter boxes to change . . .and the list goes on. Or, I am so exhausted when I finally sit down to watch TV or a movie that I am asleep before rating has flashed before me. Pathetic but true.

The upshot of all this is that I had a great weekend and I learned that calm weekends are necessary and enjoyable. This is what a real vacation should be. Thanks Mark and Mike!

It is 10:15 and I am off to bed though for tomorrow, the alarm gets set for 6:15. Still that is eight hours of sleep. What a luxury!