1 - i like traveling at 'baby speed.' and traveling with a 5 and a half month old that's what we had to do. it was perfect. as my friend c put it, "we do one activity in the morning and one activity in the afternoon and the rest of the time needs to be down/resting/relaxing time." this was so perfect for me. and i am tempted to say for my time in life, but let's be real, it's just who i am! i'm a slower person. i just enjoy an easier pace of life. i don't handle fast transitions easily or going from one thing to another well. a few things in a day is just right for me. so traveling with baby e forced us all to slow down a bit and i think enjoy our time a little more.
2 - this was another milestone trip in my life as it is one of the few vacation trips i have taken without family and the first where i didn't see or visit any family the whole time. success!
3 - if you're squeamish, you might want to jump to 4, cause i'm about to talk about constipation. yes, that's right, constipation. it's a real thing folks. for years i have not traveled well in that department. and this trip was no different. i was seriously hurting. why i didn't think to pack my amazing travel sized miralax will be forever a mystery. but it taught me two things a) never travel without miralax - trips go so much better when you're not constipated and b) always pack gas-x - because you may think it's embarrassing to carry that pouch of chewable tablets around but i promise farting in front of your friends is worse :)
4 - i learned something cool about myself - something i've known but really know and trust now -- i'm funny! i'm really, really funny. i can make pretty much anything a joke and people around me love to laugh. i will do just about anything to make you laugh - yes even socially and politically incorrect things - and i have various voices i use to mimic people - just ask c and k. we had a real good time with a voice we named "rae-rae" .... she was pretty funny ---- and cray-cray!
5 - i learned that traveling with the right people makes all the difference. these girls were amazing. one morning baby e and mommy c had had a rough night. we all got up and had breakfast than slooped back up to our room and somehow, unspoken but understood we put the do not disturb sign on the door, crawled back into our beds, and took a glorious 2 hour nap! it was what we all needed and it was wonderful! we explored and shopped, ate and drove, but we also took time to take care of our basic needs and the simple pleasures like food and rest. because of c and k and their personalities i was able to be very open, honest, authentic and real. this helped me a great deal.
6 - i drove for quite a bit of the trip and i learned that i really like to drive! which makes sense because in my line of work i drive every day. i also learned that my lead foot will bring trouble - ya we got pulled over .... there's good news and um news that makes me pissed - i just got a warning / i got pulled over for going 70 in a 65!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh that REALLY SERIOUSLY and SOUNDLY frosted my cookies!!! clearly officer diddly-do didn't have anything better to do on a nice sunday afternoon than scare the freaking crap out of me. so ya, i was thankful and pissed - which is a very strange and flavorful emotion. anyway, back to nicer things. i like driving and my sweet friends tolerated our 2 close calls, 1 loooooooong horn honk and multiple swear words from me with grace and charm - thanks girls :)
7 - i learned that nothing is so important a vacation can't happen. i've always felt funny and bad/guilty taking time off of work to go on a vacation, but i have discovered that having something to look forward to actually makes me a better therapist and coming home refreshed and re-energized also makes me a better therapist! therefore i decided that c, k, baby M and i should take monthly vacations! oh in a perfect world ...
8 - i learned that i really like music. a lot. i usually have the music or tv going all the time at my house, which may or may not be a good thing, but i love singing along and making harmonies on the open road. me and my girls would sing along and dance. we particularly got down to this song which was awesome! even getting a shout out from the vehicle next to us :p
we celebrated k's birthday on the trip!
9 - i learned that i need and enjoy alone time. i have often commented on how lonely i get at times. and that truth remains. but it is also true that i like to be alone. i need to know that there will be a space of several hours of uninterrupted time where i will be a l o n e. this time is sacred to me. i need it in the mornings to prepare for the day and in the evenings to decompress from the day. my friends were great about giving me space. even though we shared a hotel room i still had moments of alone time. it was just what i needed.
10 - i learned that i can conquer fears. one of my great fears is swimming. especially especially since i started counseling and how water represents emotions. i can still recall many nights of vivid dreams where i was drowning in seas and pools of water. i would wake up terrified. and so i have stayed away from all bodies of water, including baths. the last time i remember getting in a place where swimming would take place was in 2011 when i went to hawaii but i only went up to my knees in the water and i had to rinse and rinse and rinse right after. well, with the right friends, i was able to go into the hot tub at the hotel pool and really enjoy myself! we didn't stay for long - which was perfect - but i didn't feel consumed by the water and didn't have any flashbacks or hard moments. i.can.face.my.fears.
11 - mostly i learned the difference good, real, solid, true friends can make in my life. sometimes i am overwhelmed with all the mental-ness that life has handed me. but with good friends who i can laugh with and play with it balances things out. they are real people who have real struggles and it was a joy to travel with them. i'm thankful for their influence and friendship in my life. and that's what this anxious girl learned.
me, baby M, k and c