The last time I left California was June of 2005, when I flew back to New York to attend my college reunion. Immediately after disembarking the aircraft, I was slapped with a humidity-induced asthma attack that left me cranky and oxygen-deprived not only for my entire stay on the East Coast, but for at least two weeks thereafter. I didn’t get to do much or see many friends (being largely confined to bed and doctors offices), but at least I got to sleep a lot. Thus I learned never to go back East during the summer.
With that lesson firmly in mind, we booked this vacation for November 17th through the 27th. Here, in brief, is my plan:
- 17th – Fly in to Connecticut, collapse in jetlagged heap.
- 18th – Take the train in to New York. Poke around old neighborhood, visit favorite vintage store, eat favorite pizza. Have dinner with Husband’s high school friend; afterwards, tease Husband unmercifully, repeating “you liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike her” in singsong tones until he stops speaking to me. Take train back to Connecticut in grumpy silence.
- 19th – Spend day with Silligirl, who is driving up from Virginia with Sillikid and Sillitot just to see me. Or so I like to believe.
- 20th – Drive five hours to Pennsylvania to do research for current writing project. Do research, involving picture- and note-taking, also possibly involving annoying locals. Drive five hours back.
- 21st – Have dinner with Friends of Family. In Massachusetts. You know, I used to take this bouncing-from-state-to-state thing completely for granted, but now, after having lived in The Republic of California for three years, I find it odd and delightful that one could reach a state border in 20 minutes.
- 22nd – Help parents clean house and cook food. Mostly help cook food, because I hate cleaning with a fiery passion.
- 23rd – Eat too much. Feel slightly sick. Have a great time. Attempt to prevent arguments between Libertarian friend and Socialist parents. Probably fail. Negotiate peace through diplomatic application of alcohol and pie.
- 24th – Drive an hour and a half south to Husband’s family. Fend off large and sloppy (and adorable!) golden retriever while endeavoring not to make an ass of myself in front of Husband’s sister, her husband, and their kids. Probably fail.
- 25th – Meet mother’s sister at museum, a.k.a. “neutral territory”. Attempt to hide surprise that mother’s sister actually wants to see me. Probably fail, and say something spectacularly embarrassing to the effect of “you like me! You really like me!”
- 26th – See the new Mary Poppins on Broadway. Cross fingers that, despite its Disney producers, it will not repeat the film’s saccharine disembowelment of P.L. Travers’ wonderful books.
- 27th – Fly home, utterly exhausted. Immediately request vacation time to recuperate.
Somewhere during all of this, we have to accomplish the following: spend time in the woods, visit Dunkin’ Donuts, decide which of my books I want to ship back to California next, figure out how to safely wrap and transport Husband’s paintings, have lunch with whomever of my local friends I can pin down, and . . . and . . . I’m sure there’s more.
Is vacation supposed to be this stressful?