Ciao, Bambino… soon as find my other shoes…


There are many words to describe it – a holiday, a vacation, a break, a get-away, even an adventure.  Whatever you call it, I’m finally getting it!

It’s not where I wanted to go – which is Paris – but it’s a pretty good second choice. Plus, it’s cheaper to get there!  First, a few hours’ drive to Tremblant, where Jeffrey will indulge his passion for skiing, and I will indulge mine for not.  And then after a couple of days there, on to Quebec City, where we will walk and eat and drink and sit in front of the fireplace of the condo we have discovered and enjoy the experience of not being home.

Because isn’t that what a holiday is supposed to be about – not being where you usually are?  You go somewhere, maybe somewhere new, and explore.  You expand your boundaries, learn new things, indulge a little if you can afford it.  You stop being Me-At-Home and become the Me-I-Wish-I-Was.

On this trip, circumstances have proscribed a little less indulgence, a little more self-reliance.  I will be brutally honest here:  I like indulgence.  If I could afford it, we would be staying in a Very Swanky Hotel with chambermaids & concierges at our beck & call, while eating out at 3-star restaurants with every meal, and shopping without ever looking at a price tag, and I would spend three days in a spa having incredibly decadent things done to my body and hair.  This is not our life however, so we are going to be rather domestic on this holiday, staying in a condo and doing for ourselves.  I really do enjoy cooking, especially when I can haunt new groceries and butchers, and I will remember  it’s not home and there aren’t reminders of tasks left undone and obligations to fulfill.  And maybe I’ll be able to get in a massage….

Indulgent or otherwise, we have not been away together – other than the occasional weekend – for more than four years, and I haven’t really had a holiday at all since the fall of 2007.  I deplore this about life in the 21st century, a time when machines were supposed to make our lives easier, give us more leisure, let us indulge our personal passions beyond our work.  How has that opportunity managed to slip away from us?

That’s actually a philosophical, political and economic debate I don’t want to get into right now.  I have to think about packing.  Well, first I have to think about laundry & ironing the clothes I want to take, although I should probably figure out which clothes I want to take first.  And then there’s getting out the suitcases, then looking for the power cords to all the gizmos, and deciding what books to take,  as well as finding my address book and stationery, before I make a quick run to the drugstore because you can’t go away without a new lipstick and oh, I need conditioner & maybe some hand lotion for my purse, if I knew which purse I was going to take.

And you thought the debate about how we’ve lost our chance to have more personal time was going to be long….

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