Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I think I need a vacation

I was walking to lunch with a coworker who was also out on vacation last week. He told me that his boss asked him yesterday if he was feeling “refreshed” from the time off. He just laughed in response, because NO. No matter how nice or fun or far away your vacation was, the feeling you get upon returning to the office does not remotely resemble refreshment. It’s more like panic, resentment, and/or a general sense of being at the bottom of a hole trying to dig your way out.

“If anyone had asked me that question yesterday,” I told him, “I would have punched them in the face.”

I am not nice in the early days after vacation.

Of course, the vacation itself was refreshing. Unbelievably so. I spent days alternating between the lake, the bonfire, and my bed. I took long walks in the woods with my mom, my sister, and the various dogs that accompanied us on the trip. On these walks, I was in charge of my grandparents’ dog, Lucy (also known as Lucifer), who had a charming habit of zigzagging into the woods until her leash was hopelessly wound around several small trees and I had to stumble in after her. Lucy, by the way, is the beagle dachshund mix who was about to make out with Rob in yesterday's post. They had a connection.

Every night in Wisconsin around 4 or 5pm, we headed out on a cocktail cruise on the pontoon boat. We circled the lake with our drinks and snacks like havarti with jalapenos on crackers, spicy olives and smoked trout, black bean dip and tortilla chips. On each trip, someone spilled the olives. This sounds like some kind of euphemism, but really, the olives just ended up on the floor of the boat. It's not meaningful, I don't think.

Among our wildlife sightings were a bald eagle eating a dead muskie (a two-fer!), loons, geese, more fish, and turtles. Also one weird bird that everyone took turns looking at through the binoculars, but no one could figure out. It certainly wasn’t going to be me…I was proud I could recognize a turtle considering what my average animal encounters in New York consist of (dogs, pigeons, the occasional rat in a subway.)

Spending the week with my grandparents was one of the very best parts of the trip, because I love them a lot and because everything out of my grandpa’s mouth is hilarious.

One evening, Liz’s boyfriend Rob mixed up a batch of margaritas and offered one to Papa.

“No thanks,” said Papa. “I don’t drink sissy drinks.” He then went back to his brandy manhattan garnished with totally manly cherries.

And Nana celebrated her 83rd birthday while we were there, so Liz and I made her a carrot cake to celebrate.

Liz decorated it.

A requirement on any family trip, of course, is silly games. And we played them. Joe actually created a Jeopardy game (I'm talking construction paper, markers, tape, and wholly original questions like "What is the significance of The New Collossus?" which is really hard to answer in the form of a question. This didn't turn out to be a problem though, since none of us actually knew what he was talking about.)

On our last evening, we played a particularly comical game of Guesstures. Highlights included Rob frisking himself and Liz's Rob trying to get us to guess "hydrant" though we were all screaming "machine gun."

Tomorrow at work, if anyone asks me if I feel refreshed, I'm going to close my eyes for a moment, think about the lake, my family, utter ridiculousness, good food and dogs. And maybe nobody will get punched.


Joe said...

The question was "What is the significance of the poem 'The New Colossus'?" And of course everyone knows it is the poem by Emma Lazarus that is engraved on the Statue of Liberty. (Give me your tired, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free...) Well, everyone in New York.

Elizabeth said...

That cake looked better in person.

Jtkay22 said...

Sarah - I know you've been doing this blog for years, but I just got the link from you're mom for the first time. I just had to say that you are a very articulate writer. Reading about your vacation made me feel like I was sitting in Archibald again. Glad you had fun. Tell Rob hello and that I don't really want to know what was going on with him and Lucy. Gross. Love u guys. Uncle Jim.