Friday, November 18, 2011

Vacation and Back

Completing my first week back at work after a long overdue week off.  It took about three days to transition to vacation mindset, about another two to wonder if I could sustain the relative lack of deadlines and nightly happy hour through retirement or if I am really destined to identify myself so closely with my professional activities that nothing else could ever replace it.  It was a good chance to sample what I would really do if I did not have to show up for work each day.

I did not really sleep late, in fact I had the same sleep pattern as at home, hitting the sack at about 10, waking up in the middle of the night, then actually arising at about 6 or 7 AM.  I ate breakfast every day, probably the single biggest personal change in my activities on my days away from home where I more typically have coffee and little else until supper.  Some laudable sloth in the morning.  Our hotel was a beachfront one.  Though the beach was small, there were few people there and the water always seemed warm.  They had a more elegant pool area.  I took a liking to the Jacuzzi but thought the setting too hot.  I suppose I could have one installed at home.  There was an abundance of deck chairs and to some extent I rested but really could not do that for very long, preferring to get up, wander around the very elegant pool area, maybe go into the three pools for short times, surf something on my iPod as the hotel provided WiFi.

Weather in Puerto Rico becomes rainy on November afternoons so it becomes time for tourism.  Ordinarily I like to putter around new places but this time getting where I wanted to go took some doing.  The road system, highway and local, leaves a lot to be desired and my rental car was sufficiently different from my usual  Honda and Toyota to create a challenge.  I had not exercised in ages so long walks, particularly uphill challenged my legs though heart and lungs seemed to tolerate the tasks uneventfully.  This being a tropical area, I expected insects and was prepared to get some repellent at the local drug store but that was not needed.

I also consumed more alcohol than I ordinarily would.  Typically on vacation I would have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner each evening, which in itself exceeds my usual consumption several fold.  However, the resort prides itself on the manager's happy hour and we would not want to disappoint.  While there is a two serving limit, the servings are generous and come with some munchies rather than substantial meal.  One afternoon we toured the Bacardi Rum Factory, a local tourist destination well worth the time.  Like most factory tours, the people take pride in what they produce and offer visitors their best stuff which I tried and rather liked.  Even though several hours had passed and I reduced my Happy Hour allotment by half, it was still too much.

I came home reasonably rested, satisfied with the change of pace, not enthusiastic about returning to my usual weekly activities but not ready to retire either, though closer to it than I was a year ago.  Having really liked the Bacardi 8 year old stuff that I sampled, I went to Liquor World and purchased a bottle for roughly the same price they were charging in Puerto Rico.  It still sits in the unopened bottle.  I have been able to tackle work without getting frazzled by excessive activity, which has not yet happened but eventually will.