We just returned from vacation. Love vacation. We go to a place that is beyond relaxing for kids and adults. A friend's hilltop retreat in Ohio that is part barn, part spa, part field, part woodlands. The kids have fun playing, frolicking really. This year's pastimes included stargazing, toad catching, birdwatching, hoola hooping, swimming, hiking, treasure hunting, labyrinth walking, fishing, playing water tag with a domesticated deer, picnicking, throwing football, skipping stones, roasting marshmallows, toasting each other with good wine over grand buffets, setting off illegal fireworks, catching lightning bugs, watching the sun go down, hoola dancing (not to be confused with hoola hooping), playing cards, taking pictures, reading, and taking naps. AHHH!
It was most relaxing. But as with all good dreams, the dreamer must awaken to reality. We got home mid-week in time for my daughter to start her rehearsals for the Sound of Music which is pretty much a daily thing until the end of the summer. And then there was the mountain of laundry which we finished at the same time our 16 year old dryer decided to heave its last breath. Speaking of mountains. The Hills Are Alive with baskets of produce! One week plus lots of rain yielded one large mountain of squash. I've been gardening and and baking and processing zucchini ever since. (Apparently you can grate it and freeze it in bags.)
Every year, I try to see how long I can hold onto the vacation magic. Last year, we took home a lot of produce from the garden at Moondance where we stayed. As we ate some of our stash each night with dinner, I pretended to be ingesting that vacation calm. This year we didn't raid the garden, possibly because our own was doing so well. So I guess I lost the vacation magic rather early. But luckily for me, I took about 400 large-file digital photo which take forever to upload to Shutterfly.com where I will turn them into the annual vacation album. So I do get to look at them as I take an entire week to upload them. I remember. I sigh. Even after my new dryer buzzes to tell me that the load is done (a new feature), I pause and offer thanks to our supreme hostess, the good queen Susan, and all the vacation gods. You've given me a screen saver, a load of calming memories, lots of recipes to try at home, and the push to keep going until I can vacation again.