Thoughts From The Tropics

Last week I told you I was taking some time off to do something awesome, remember? Well, that awesome thing was chillaxing in Hawaii with Hubby!

I have always wanted to go there. In fact when we were engaged, I surprised Hubby with a luau all set up on my apartment floor. Big hint as to where I wanted to honeymoon.

He ended up taking me to Mexico (yeah, he has his own ideas, too). Mexico was beautiful, but Hawaii was amazing!

And, of course, I noticed some things with the express purpose of creating a blog post for you.

You're so welcome.

1. If it's winter in the Midwest, it's winter everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. I've made this mistake before. Two years ago, Hubby and I went to Miami. I assumed the weather would be hot, hot, hot. But of course, even in warmer climates, it gets chilly at night. So with a suitcase full of tank tops and strappy dresses, strong trade winds, and evening lows in the 50s, I had to buy a couple of sweaters (and shoot, I really hate shopping, too).

2. You don't need many clothes on a tropical vacation. Even though it was chilly, during the day, I really only wore my bathing suit and cover-up. I didn't need the three alternate shirts for every pair of shorts that I brought. I didn't even need the additional two bathing suits I brought to wear other than my bikini (huge mistake) and my go-to tankini. For some reason, though, I ran out of underwear. Go figure.

3. Even though some women feel comfortable in a bikini at our age, I do not! Meh, we were on vacation. I promised Hubby I would wear a bikini. Problem was, I didn't manage to lose any weight or get my spray tan on before our vacay. And unfortunately, I let Hubby capture me on film. All I can say is, "Ewww." Maybe some women can strut around with all their biznez hanging out and jiggling for everyone to see, but I cannot. Ewww, ewww, ewww . . .Mama has some work to do before June.

4. Hubby wants a bidet. Never seen one of these babies?

Well, let's just consult good 'ole Wikipedia, shall we? Yes, it's a toilet that is "intended for washing the genitalia, inner buttocks, and anus." Hmmm . . .I was rather surprised when I started pressing buttons and got a blast of water up my vajayjay. And the air that was supposed to dry me? Just smelled like someone else's poop. Not for me, but Hubby enjoyed it, so whatever. To each is own.

5. Two-year old sunscreen does not work. You know the date that is at the crimped end of the sunscreen tube? Yeah, apparently that IS an expiration date. OUCH! I am so stupid. With my fair, 1/4th Irish skin and my history of blistering sunburns, it was not smart of me to neglect spending a few bucks on new sunscreen. Don't let this happen to you! (Seriously, sunburns and smoking - stupid, stupid, stupid!)

6. Apparently, there is such a thing as too much chocolate. Especially when it's wrapped around a fat little macadamia nut. Ooo, I love the macadamia nut. It's one of my favorite nuts. Give me a delicious white chocolate macadamia nut cookie anytime (No, seriously. Like my blog, but can't pay me? That's okay. Send chocolate covered nuts or cookies with chocolate and nuts. I'll write anything you want!). I may have overdosed a bit on the macadamia nuts. Mac nut crusted mahi mahi, dark chocolate covered mac nuts, plain and salty mac nuts. No wonder I walked around most of the vacation with a gut ache. But it was sooooo good.

7. Vacations are perfect for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. Hubby really wanted to take a helicopter ride, but I am terrified of heights. I have to admit that this caused me great anxiety leading up to our vacation. When I had my health scare, I asked my doctor for a little Xanax to help with the anxiety. The helicopter ride was amazing, and Hubby was so glad to have me along. It was a great experience for us to share. (Watch for more about the ride on Her View From Home on Wednesday.)

8. Xanax isn't all it's cracked up to be. I probably didn't even need the Xanax. I had Hubby to lean on for strength, and all the Xanax did was make me tired and numb - all the while still being aware that I was scared. It was like I was too "blahed out" to care about being anxious. It doesn't take much medication to affect me. When Joey was sick, and I was taking the doctor recommended 10 milligram dose of Lexapro, I was fuzzy all the time. I felt like I was walking in a daze. I am pretty sure that I have a tendency toward addiction of some kind (alcohol was not my friend in college). Thankfully, I don't care for pills preferring instead to fuel my addictions with sugar and carbs. Blah.

9. Napping while kids are screaming somewhere is so much better when they are someone else's kids.
Not that I have ever tried to nap while my kids are running around my house - ahem - but IF I had, I can say that the far-off sounds of screaming children don't affect my nap quality while I am laying in the sun in a cabana knowing that my children are over the ocean, half a country away being taken care of by their favorite aunt, babysitter, and grandparents. Just sayin'.

10. Sunrise yoga on the beach doesn't suck. Unless it rains almost the whole time. It rained every day at some point while we were in Hawaii. Some brief sprinkles, some good downpours. On the second day, I decided it might be kind of cool to practice yoga on the beach at sunrise - class beginning at 6:15 a.m. The hell, you say, on vacation?!? Yep. But you know what, I was awake anyway. Despite the fact that it rained pretty hard most of the time and it was pretty chilly, by the end of the class, we got to see this . . .

 . . .so it was worth it.

11. It's easy to be idealistic on vacation. This is a no-brainer. When life is good, when you're sitting in the sun in the tropics without your kids, without laundry and commitments bearing down on you, it's easy to say that you're going to do things differently when you get back home. Then you land back in the gray and cold, staring at a pile of mail and a full week on the calendar. I can only hope some of the "island attitude" rubbed off on Hubby and me. We bought a supposedly real pearl bracelet from a vendor at one of the waterfalls. When I mentioned that we were going home later that day, he said to me, "Don't think about your next moment, live in this one." Best. Advice. Ever.

12. One-year-olds can hold wicked awesome grudges. Hubby and I agonized over our decision to leave our boys at home all week. My heart ached every time I saw families at the resort, and I practically jumped out of my skin every time I saw little ones. I missed the feel of Baby E's tiny arms around my neck. I couldn't wait to come home to hugs and shouts of, "MOMMY!!!" It was just as wonderful as I had hoped. Except for one thing. . .Baby E looked at me like I was a stranger. He didn't run up to me like I pictured he would, and when I picked him up, he fought to get down. When he saw Hubby, though? The little shit ran right up to him and squeezed him around the legs, "DADDY!" I almost started crying. He was mad at me for leaving!! This lasted all afternoon, until oddly enough, I donned my "uniform" - yoga pants, sweatshirt, hair in a pony tail. I swear, when I walked downstairs like that, his face instantly lit up, and he said, "Mommy!" He let me pick him up, during which he hugged my neck and patted my back. Whatevs, I get it, you're mad I left. Point taken.

13. Island Hula Dancers are hot! No point here, just wanted to share the picture.

With my tan already fading, my back peeling, and the chills seeping into my bones again, I'm ready to start up school drop-offs and pick-ups and therapy appointments and cold lunch making and laundry. Back to the routine.

It's a pain to get away - all the planning beforehand, all the damage control afterward, missing the boys something fierce - but it's good for the soul and for the heart of a marriage.

Want to read more of my thoughts about getting away? Check out these older posts - here and here and here.

Have you gotten away recently? What's the best thing you've ever learned while on vacation?

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