Summer is just about history. Labor Day — the traditional start of Autumn — is less than a week away, and I just got the jet ski registered and ready to put in the water! Good thing I have a wet suit!
We did have a great vacation. Early on we looked at the calendar and found only two weeks in the entire Summer that all four of us could be free to be together. It was tightly sandwiched between Alex’s return from her language study exchange program in Germany and Tori’s month-long externship at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) in Sanabel Island.
So did a huge road trip from Michigan to Florida, fitting in a beach vacation on the water in New Smyrna Beach (where the girls learned to surf), a college visit at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, then a few days of diving with our friends at Abyss Dive Center on Marathon Key, a few days of zipping around on scooters in Key West, and finally hanging out on the beach at Sanabel Island before we delivered Tori to start work at CROW.
It was a great vacation. Why was it so good? Here are my new rules for vacations:
- It must be at least two weeks. Long weekends are nice and a week is good, but I have found that my mind doesn’t really begin to unwind until the beginning of the second week. That’s when you get refreshed. [If you only get one week vacation, then this is either your first job out of school or you have screwed up. You can always negotiate additional vacation time.]
- Turn off the phone and Blackberry. I had it on for the first day, just to make sure things were ok, then I turned it off and only used it for important things — like booking dives and surfing lessons.
- Don’t schedule the mornings. Sleep in, or at least relax. If you have to start the day rushing about, you’re not really on vacation.
- Give yourself variety. Read fiction as well as that business book you never got around to. Eat at dives as well as nice places. Let everyone pick what to do. Buy souveniers. Be tourists and then try to fit in.
- Don’t dread the end of vacation. Enjoy it to the fullest, and then when it’s over, jump into work with the same enthusiasm as jumping off the boat at the start of another dive.