Tag Archives: summer vacation

Five weeks

Suddenly it’s August.

Where has the summer gone?! Well, technically, where has half the summer gone? And why am I not bored yet?

I’ve been on my summer holidays for five weeks now. It has been five weeks since I went to work. And I am not at all bored.

Also, I am not broke. After last year’s lengthy teacher strike where I didn’t receive a full paycheque for three months and received pretty much no strike pay, I did some Extreme Budgeting as this summer approached. I started the summer with a most excellent amount in my bank account, and although I have not actually changed my spending habits any, I still have a very healthy bank balance. Yay me!

But the boredom thing is weird. I haven’t done a big vacation trip this year, so I’ve been sitting around my house mostly for five weeks. I haven’t really done much of anything. Theoretically, I should be climbing the walls by now. But I’m not.

This is the kind of thing that’s been occupying me for the past five weeks:

1) Cleaning. I have cleaned things like all my blinds and California shutters. By hand. Took me two days, too. I have laundered a lot of curtains and bedding that don’t often get laundered. I have even washed (sort-of) my floors. I vacuumed my balcony, for heaven’s sake!

2) Reading. I kind-of got out of the habit of reading a whole lot this past year. But I’m back into it with a vengeance. To the point of maybe five books a week. And I do NOT read more than one book at a time. I read one book all the way through, then move on to the next. I currently have two stacks of books on my night table, one from the local library, one from the quasi-library in my mom’s building. I’m probably not supposed to borrow books from the latter, since I’m not actually a resident of that building, but no one has stopped me yet. They have a pretty good and constantly changing collection, I’m finding!

3) Watching TV. I love HGTV! I will watch almost any program on HGTV. But I’ve also seen a numbers of movies on other channels, and I don’t even get fussed all that much about all the commercials. I’ve also downloaded a lot of stuff on my laptop, and I’ve watched it all. AND I’ve finally gotten on the Netflix train. So now that I’ve figured out how to hook up my laptop to my TV set and have the audio work as well as the video (believe me, THAT took a lot of internet research and time to get it operational), I’ve been having a lovely time viewing programs like Downton Abbey and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I thought it would bother me that Netflix doesn’t have too much that’s current (Really, Netflix? You’ve only JUST come out with Season 3 of Homeland while its parent network,Showtime, will be premiering Season 5 in October?!), but there’s so much available that I haven’t seen anyway, so who cares when it originally came out?

4) Exercising. I’ve been trying to do some physical activity every single day, because at my age, this is important. I either go for a power walk, head to the gym, or go to my Pilates class. If I don’t make this a priority, I will turn into an even weaker, fatter lump, and I’m already dismayed quite enough at how my body is ageing. Problem is that I seem to eat and drink crap a little too often and/or a little too much to see much benefit from all this exercise. PG tells me I’m perfect the way I am (isn’t he sweet – blind, but sweet!), but I think I can do better. Well, I have to believe that I truly am physically better than I would be if I wasn’t taking so much exercise, but thank goodness that I no longer swan around in a bikini – that would really depress me.

Note what is NOT on this list: socializing. I am perfectly content with my own company. Oh, I have seen a few friends on a couple of occasions. PG and I are together every weekend. I see DD every now and then, and we text every day. I speak to my mom on the phone every day and go over to see her maybe once a week. I do go out, shopping for example, amongst people and I even chat to them at times. But by and large, I have been solitary this summer, and I’ve enjoyed that.

I suppose what I’m saying here is that I have been looking after ME for five weeks. I am doing what I want to do when and if I want to do it. I am relaxing in a way that I can’t do the rest of the year, when I am working. I am recharging my batteries. And I am lucky that I have the kind of job that allows me enough time off to be able to do that – plus my superior money-managing skills that make it financially possible for me to not work for the entire summer!

But now that it’s August, things are going to speed up a fair bit. This month, I have a trip to Vegas, a trip to Whistler, and a spa weekend planned. There is also the possibility of a roadtrip down to Seattle and Portland. I already have appointments booked for the doctor and the dentist. There are two birthdays to celebrate before Labour Day. It looks like I will be much busier in the coming weeks.

i-love-me-timeIt also looks like I will be grateful that I have had these past five weeks of me time!


It’s a long way to Tipperary …

imagesWhen you read this, PG and I will already be winging our way eastward to the Emerald Isle. To Belfast, to be exact. After a couple of days there, we’ll go up the Antrim Coast to Derry. Then, we’re heading down to Dublin for a few days. From there, we pick up our car and we’ll drive south.

We have no fixed itinerary then, though we hope to visit such places as the Rock of Cashel, Waterford, Cobh, Cork, Killarney, and the Dingle Peninsula. I know we’ll be missing many, many, MANY other wonderful places, and I know we’ll discover many more fantastic spots that we don’t even know about yet – but we only have the car for a week and we do have a specific date when we have to return it at Shannon Airport and fly home.

This will be PG’s first trip out of North America. I’ve been to Europe many times, but never to Ireland.

This should be one amazing trip!

See you in a couple of weeks!

Tripping out

One thing I have actually been motivated to do lately is plan my next trip. I have been busy rooting through books and looking up websites and ferreting out all kinds of information. I have been making lists and checking them twice and basically having myself a wonderful time.

I like planning trips SO VERY MUCH!

And am I going alone, you ask? PG will be my travelling companion, so no, I am not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but I have never gone on any kind of vacation on my own and I have no intention of starting now at my ripe old age. To me, part of the whole experience of travel is sharing it with someone else, both the good stuff and the bad stuff. I understand that sometimes you can’t do what you want to do when you’re travelling with another person and it can be frustrating (and Lord knows, I have had that experience more than once!), but it’s still worth it to me. I’m quite sure that I could travel alone quite well, as I am a fairly independent sort. I simply choose to not do so.

And the next question you ask (or possibly it was the first one and I ignored you) is, Where are you going?

Well, I don’t know if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, but last November, I wrote a post in which I was contemplating travelling to Italy.

We are not going there.

Instead, we are going to another country whose name starts with the letter I: Ireland!images

We plan to visit both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We will be flying into Belfast, using public transportation for three or four days to do the tourist thing up there. Then we will head down to Dublin and spend three days there.

Then it gets scary. We will rent a car for a week and drive down the east coast of the Republic, across the southern coast, and up the west coast a bit, then fly home from Shannon Airport near Limerick. I have told PG that he will be the designated driver, mostly because I am an excellent navigator so I should stick to what I do well. Also, he is an excellent driver, so he should stick to what he does well. However, he is full of trepidation because of the whole driving-on-the-left thing that they do in the UK. I scoff at him and tell him that he’ll get used to it very quickly, I’m sure of it. Besides, Irish roads are mostly small and narrow and will likely be quite busy in July when we will be there, so it’s not like he’ll be flying down some eight-lane super-motorway like in the US. We will be meandering, going wherever our fancy takes us. We will stop for the night wherever we feel like. We will be pretty much winging it on this part of the trip – and that’s exactly how he likes to travel. He sighs. He knows I am right. I am almost always right. He will drive on the left and he will like it.

So that’s our plan. We have our passports, our flights are reserved, and a couple of B & Bs are already booked. I have an annotated guidebook ready to go. I just have to research the car rental a little more, book that, and then we’ll be good to go!

Except for the packing. I have some issues with that. I do actually have it down to a science, but I constantly second-guess myself and worry and fuss and continually revise and …

… and I’d better start packing now. July will be here before I know it!erin-go-bragh1