The best part about having a husband in graduate school is living vicariously through his spring breaks. Even though I now work in the "real world" my hubby still provides those good old college perks. This year we both craved a little sunshine and decided to travel to Orlando for a long weekend.
The plan: soak up the sun and read all day long by the pool
The reality: unseasonably cold weather and confusion about the purpose of taking a vacation in the first place
The good news: coming home feeling refreshed in our daily lives and invigorated in our marriage
I'm the kind of person who likes to make a plan - and I tend to react badly when forced to deviate from it. This kind of rigidity makes it difficult for me to yield to God's plans a lot of the time. I also tend to become most obsessive with my travel plans. In my very worst moment (missing the plane to Austria and melting down into a complete sobbing mess in the airport) the thought came to me that I should try to be more flexible.
This Orlando weekend gave me ample room to practice my flexibility. I had to reconsider my vacation philosophy. What else besides sunshine could make our vacation worthwhile? How could I find satisfaction beyond my unfulfilled vacation plans? If I've just spent the last week at home, sick and attached at the hip to Ryan, how could I make our vacation time together special and romantic?
I realized that if I opened my eyes to the gifts surrounding me, the little inconveniences would diminish - I had to throw away my expectations of the perfect vacation and just enjoy the experience.
Ryan and I were blessed with a wonderful vacation. We soaked in the beauty of the resort, tasted fine wine and cuisine (I won't eat fish unless I am near the ocean!), slowed down our pace, and really looked into each other's eyes as we talked. We also spent a wonderful afternoon with my college roommate, Farrah, who we haven't seen since our wedding day. We went exploring through Downtown Disney (hey, it's the only "free" place in the park) and rediscovered our childhood in all the little shops. I even managed to snag a little sunburn, despite the uncooperative weather.
All in all, it was one of the few vacations I ended feeling relaxed and not overly tired from excessive excursions. I also discovered that Ryan and I don't really need a romantic get-away at this point in our relationship. We keep the flame going in our every-day life. The best part of the vacation was spending time with Farrah. Until Ryan and I have children (and, therefore, the need for a romantic get-away), my vacation philosophy will include quality time with friends and family. Because of the setbacks during this vacation, I learned a little bit more about ditching my well-laid plans and following the Lord's plans instead.
Oh, the joys of air travel
Me (noticing the light flashing and siren ringing for another baggage claim): Where is our little flashy light and siren? It's my favorite part!
Ryan: We already missed it because it goes off before the luggage carousel starts moving.
Me: I like it because it reminds me of casino jackpots. Here's your luggage. You win.