So guess what, folks? The Princess (that's me!) went on vacation. An honest to goodness, get away from it all vacation. I really, really did! It would in no way have been possible without my amazing sister in law, who I did not know cared for me as deeply as she does, but she spoiled me in almost every fashion imaginable.

First off, she had started saving for this weeks and weeks ago, and while I was there I paid my own way on things twice. Twice. In an entire week of going places and seeing things and doing stuff and buying food! Second, she was very careful to keep my physical labor to a minimum, to make sure that I rested as much as possible, and that I was able to access the places we visited. She carried all of my luggage and would only let me carry pillows and the like, even loading and unloading my walker every time we got in or out of the car! I must admit, it was pretty fantastic to have a sherpa, as I jokingly called her throughout our time together.

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, but it was so incredibly nice to have no responsibilities, to not have to pay for anything, to have fun things to look forward to every day yet not have any kind of a rigid schedule so that our whims and my health could lead the way as to our activities, and to just kind of… well, I have this mental image of, like, my normal life and home and such with this blank white cutout space in my shape throughout the entire week where I would normally be during that time, and the cutout of me was pasted into this whole other life and reality for a week. Does that even make sense? It was so different from how my life usually proceeds that it felt like almost an entirely different reality, which is what vacation is supposed to be, right?

It felt restorative, rejuvenating, and soothing. I was the closest that I've been to my pre-Spoonie self than I've been in years. Granted, it took a lot of assistance to get that, but that doesn't diminish the experience at all. It's a series of memories that I will cherish for a long time to come, I can guarantee that.

Our week went something like this…

Sunday: Colleen (sister in law) arrives and we more or less intend to leave that day, but don't because I'm feeling poorly and it takes me forever to pack, and also what's the rush? We make a list and Colleen packs for me, which is awesome.

Monday: We leave in the morning after stopping by the local muffin store (Yum-azing!), I sleep all the way to Tucson. We go grocery shopping, Colleen cooks supper, take a walk around University, get locked out of house upon return and Colleen ends up breaking in through a window that was unlocked.

Tuesday: Visit an art store for shopping, go clothes shopping for me at a thrift store nearby, have dinner with Colleen's best friends and I have my first margarita. The night is capped with my first hookah smoke and we talk late into the night.

Wednesday: Walk the main drag near the University and visit the tea house we've had our eye on, go to dinner at a fancy place and run low on time, get trapped in the parking garage because of a faulty ticket and barely make the play we've been looking forward to seeing (and pre-purchased tickets for). End the night by returning to the main drag and hanging out at a coffee shop smoking hookah and eating Mediterranean pastries until the shop closes late.

Thursday: Drive to town an hour or so away to spend a few days with my friend Rose. She was interning with the Victim Rights department during the trial that put my molester in prison, and so she was sort of a victim advocate for me and we've kept in touch and maintained a friendship since. Get settled, I get a haircut and Rose takes me on a mini tour of the Army Fort and beautiful surrounding scenery. I fall asleep in the car and nap upon our return, wake to find company over for dinner, and we all hang out until dispersing for bed some time after company leaves.

Friday: Take a 2 mile walk with Rose (yeah, that's right! I'm fuckin' proud of myself!!!), nap briefly before we all pile in and drive to Bisbee to check out the stores and sights. Colleen buys her first "real" piece of art and is now an official adult, and I find some amazing souvenirs and a smaller cast iron skillet of a size we don't already own that I take home for Corey. (He likes it a lot, and used it for the first time tonight to make a sort of omelette.) After coming home, Rose's "Gathering Of The Awesome" party starts a while later, consisting of awesome women that she knows and invited to an evening of yummy light food, good drinks, good conversation and company, and a fun art activity that was also insightful and connecting.

Saturday: Leave Rose's and head back to Colleen's house, go grocery shopping for afternoon picnic planned. I nap for a few hours, then she, I, and one of her best friends that we went to dinner with go up Mount Lemmon and have a picnic, sort of start a fire to keep ourselves warm, and watch the sunset on the drive back down the mountain.

Sunday: We both sleep in, and eventually she packs up the car and takes me back to Yuma but leaves shortly after because of work the next day.

I was feeling pretty good throughout the week, at least as far as "good" for me goes, but as the week went on I could feel myself wearing out. By Friday night I was running a mildly low grade fever and felt pretty gross. Saturday night I declined a proposed meet up with a friend of Colleen's in favor of staying in bed because I felt shitty, and Monday, the day after I got back, I pretty much did nothing but sleep in hour-to-several-hour increments for about 24 hours. I'm still recovering, but part of it is that I don't have that medication that helps so much with the stiffness and pain in my joints anymore, so I just feel more arthritic and whatever than usual anyway. Also, period should be coming soon, and I'm always exhausted the week before my period and sleep more than usual, so I'm not surprised there, either.

I cheated a lot with allergens on vacation, so I'm returning to being a "good girl"… but oh man, I had some of the best food in a long time. Have you ever had fresh sopapillas? Then you are missing out on the culinary equivalent of salvation for your soul, I swear to you. They are so. good. I've also been on a huge muffin craving kick since we hit that muffin place on the way out of town. I had forgotten what I was missing, but now I am constantly reminded of my suffering due to lack. Alas, alack, woe is me, woe betide, and all that sorrowful jazz…

It was a good trip. It was a very good trip. I don't expect to have an experience like that again anytime soon, but I will surely treasure it. I feel different somehow from having  had the experience, but I'll think on that more later. I am so indebted to my ladies, Rose and Colleen. My gratitude knows no bounds. I know that they really went above and beyond for me… and yet for them, I'm sure it seems somewhat of a simple matter. It's funny how perspective works. From my perspective, it was a chance to live life again, to have fun and forget the frustrations and complexities of trying to juggle doctor's appointments and bills and finding rides and medication snafus and all that… to simply be a young woman again and enjoy things… to just have fun, pure and simple! From their perspective, it was doing things that maybe they don't get to do every day but have been wanting to, but it wasn't particularly mind-altering I don't think. It was pretty much business as normal, but on vacation time.

Regardless of who felt what, there is one thing that we should all be feeling right now, and that's pride. Pride in me, of course. Why? Because it's only been 3 days since I got home, and I'm fully unpacked! Yeah, baby! (This is fairly unheard of, just for context.) Now that I'm home, back to responsibilities, I feel a little better equipped to handle them now that I'm not so frazzled and frayed because I had a pleasant break. On the other hand, it makes me not want to deal with real life at all anymore and just continually live the vacation life on someone else's dime… Heh. If only, right?

4 thoughts:

  • Catherine | November 13, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    I am so glad you had a vacation! It sounds like fun, and you kicked ass! I know what you mean about adjusting to be home. I'm doing the same and it's a shock for sure. Also catching up on rest is not easy.

    The things you did sound exactly like the things I would do too. So much fun!

    Love you lady!!

    C

  • Anonymous | November 13, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    That sounds totally awesome. I only met Colleen one time, but she still seems like the epitome of awesome. <3 I'm glad you had a wonderful vacation, Chickadee.

  • Optimistic Existentialist | November 14, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Sounds like you definitely needed this vacation. I'm so glad you got to have it! I wish you a great weekend!

  • Cassandra | November 18, 2014 at 5:35 AM

    Thank you, Catherine! It was great :) And of COURSE I kicked ass! It's just a natural function; what else do you expect me to do? LOL <3

    Anon, she pretty much is the Epitome of Awesome, which is a great title to give someone by the way. Thanks; I'm grateful for a good vacay, too.

    OE, thank you my friend! I DEFINITELY needed this vacation! And I've never had one before where people actually, like, spoiled me, versus driving for days in between states and destinations and, for instance, cleaning my family's house top to bottom when I get there every year for Christmas. (Not anymore, obviously, but still…) I hope your weekend was fabulous, and that the rest of the week is to be full of happy, cherished memories.

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