I'm feeling much better today... thank goodness for strong antibiotics!
I figured you might appreciate a little recap of my 10 day vacation. Keep in mind that 2 of those days were spent in a car, driving to and from Florida. I'll try to get a selection of pictures posted in the next few days when I have time at home, but for now a summary of the trip. This will be a rather long post, but hopefully you'll enjoy. The pictures will make it much more interesting when I can get them up tomorrow or Thursday.
Car rides: We left before dinner to drive down. I read a Nicholas Sparks book called Nights in Rodanthe before we had even gotten all the way through GA. I was fortunately able to sleep for the second half of the drive, but I still happily crawled into bed at the condo when we got there around 7am. On the way home, we left after dinner. I was asleep in 2 hours, mostly because I took some Benadryl since I was feeling so bad. I slept the entire rest of the drive aside from one short bathroom break. It was the shortest 10.5 hour drive ever! (And yes, it should take longer to make the drive, but I think dad was eager to get home). I still crawled into my bed at home for a few more hours when we got in.
Beach: Unfortunately, it was rather cloudy most of the time we were there. Fortunately, it didn't really rain much during the day. So despite the fact that the sun popped in and out most days, I still managed to get a bit sunburned the first day. I swear I put on SPF 30 every 2 hours as directed! It's just that some of my skin hadn't seen the sun in a while. It chilled out after a few days, and I was able to get some decent sun. I'm still really white, but I don't mind. I'd rather not have skin cancer. A lot of my freckles popped out, and I feel like I got a nice hint of color so that I don't look like a ghost the rest of the summer.
I also have a bit of a sun allergy (seriously, I have such sensitive skin it's insane) so I developed a bit of a rash as usual. I think it comes from being in the sun for so many days in a row. In the past I've gotten it on my chest and tummy, so I was thankful to only have it on the top of my hands this year. It cleared up the day after we left so it wasn't so bad.
And I got two huge bug bites on my arm.
But none of this stuff stopped me from enjoying the beach. I sat in the chair and read... a lot. I read June's Self and Runner's World cover to cover. I read John Grisham's The Partner in like 3 days. I enjoyed a piece of chick lit called Queen of Babble and started another called Alphabet Weekends (that I'm determined to finish soon). It was awesome. I love to read, but I stay so busy that I don't sit down and do it as much as I'd like sometimes.
I floated in the ocean on a little intertube and enjoyed the waves. We took walks at sunset and after dinner when it got dark. There was girl talk. There was poking fun at my sister for texting and calling her boyfriend every other minute. There was laughter and fun.
Amusement Parks: I LOVE amusement parks. I could ride roller coasters all day. Even the wooden ones. I just love going up and down and upside down and around corners. I love the nervous feeling as you clink up to the top. I love forgetting all about it on the first drop. We spent one day and one evening over at Busch Gardens. They have several great coasters, but the best one is The Sheikra. You go to the top and around the corner and you start over the curve for the drop... but then it catches and holds as you face straight down for about 3 seconds. And I do mean straight down. The ride starts with a 90 degree drop for 200 feet. It's intense. And we rode it like 5 times. We also got to check out a lot of animals like tigers and monkeys and rhinos and such.
We also spent a day over at the water park. I enjoy a good water slide, and we made sure to ride all of them.
While I'm on the subject, may I just say it's astonishing how people dress to go to amusement parks? I could believe how many gals I saw in high heels and dresses at Busch Gardens. And people, I know it's hot when you're at a theme park in the summer, but it doesn't mean you should lose all sense of modesty when you're getting dressed to go. Seriously. Sorry to be ranting, but I just think it's possible for people of all shapes and sizes to wear things that are flattering. If you don't agree, watch a few Oprah episodes. I'm not an Oprah fan these days, but she always has a good show every other week about how to dress well.
But seriously, love amusement parks. Lord knows I better marry a man that will ride roller coasters with me or else it'll put a serious damper on the day when we go to theme parks. I have full intentions of being the mom that rides them with her kids til she's too old to do so.
Exercise: I had great intentions of getting several runs in on the beach. Alas, my sinus infection kicked in and I only managed to get up and get out there one morning. A friend of mine and my sister's from high school, Ben, lives down there and spent some time with us. He joined me for a 30 minute run one morning. I know we covered about 3 miles, so it was decent. We promptly jumped into the pool fully clothed to cool off. If I could do that after every run, I'd be happy gal. I've felt a bit lazy since the sinus crap has prevented me from breathing and being able to do much, but I realized I walked a LOT on the beach and in the amusement parks, so I don't feel too guilty. Then again, I ate a lot while we were gone.
Food: I ate tilapia and mahi mahi and popcorn shrimp. This is pretty impressive for me as I ususally shy away from all things seafood. I've found that with the right seasonings, I can enjoy fish. I also had ice cream from the bay ice cream shop.. 3 times. And I ate at least 2 pieces of key lime pie. But whatever... it was vacation and part of why I run is so that I don't have to feel bloated when I eat yummy foods. (Seriously... you should see how I consume a Chili's Molten Lava Cake in like 5 minutes flat.)
Friends: Like I said, Ben got to come join us a couple of times. He even brought his Nintendo Wii and Rock Band when he came to spend the night the first time. I went in from the beach early one day so that I could play it some more. I am seriously considering buying the system and the game. Or at least putting it on my Christmas list this year (which is probably sensible since I have plans to buy a Mac next month). Steph came and joined us Monday night through Friday afternoon. It's been so awesome to get to see her so much the past few months. We took walks in our swimsuits and discussed all sorts of things (most of which I will not divulge because girl talk between best friends has to stay between best friends). We enjoyed a bottle of chardonnay. We made margaritas for everyone (except Meredith who is not yet 21 and insists on not drinking until she is... such a stickler for the rules, that one). We laughed. We talked. I left her alone in the mornings so she could study for the bar exam (which was easy to do - I just stayed in bed). it was so great to have her join us and hang out around the condo and on the beach. We even squeezed in a shopping trip and both found some excellent finds at TJ Maxx and Ross!
Being sick while on vacation: Yeah, that part pretty much sucked. But I made the best of it and it certainly didn't keep me from having a blast the whole time. It just kept me coughing up a storm on a regular basis.
4th of July: We opted to not drive to one of the big firework productions this year. We just took our beach chairs down to the beach and watched other people shoot them off. It was a really interesting experience and like nothing I've ever seen before. They were going up everywhere, and a lot of them were actually really impressive! I can't even guess how many thousands of dollars of fireworks we saw go up on the beach that night.
Summary: All in all, it was a really terrific vacation full of fun, family, friends, food and things that will make good memories. We have some terrific pictures. We had good laughs. I got to SLEEP IN EVERY SINGLE DAY! It was fantastic.
I live a life that isn't especially stressful these days (knock on wood), but it was still nice to get away from my normal routine and world for a bit and just relax and lounge around and have some fun.
It certainly was hard to get myself going yesterday morning, but I seem to be settled back into work. I've still got a bit of that vacation mindset going on... it is still summer, after all. So I fully intend to keep having fun and making the most of the extra hours of daylight over the coming weeks. There's still a lot to look forward to with an upcoming weekend in DC and another weekend going to see DMB.
I hope everyone is finding themselves in the middle of a terrific summer. I promise I'm working on my google reader and trying to catch up with all of your lives! :) Thanks for being interested in mine.