Well, here I am back at work after my annual vacation, and I have a touch of the "Vacation Blues." All the planning and anticipation of the trip is over, the trip itself is over and now it's back to the reality of everyday life. There's a bit of a let down there.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we were planning on renting a canalboat, AKA a narrowboat, and cruising the Oxford Canal in the UK with our daughter, my sister and my Swedish cousin and her boyfriend. The age range of the group was 24 to 70.
Before we left, I was conjuring up all kinds of bad things that could happen to spoil the trip...what if we all didn't get along? What if it rained the entire time? What if it's boring? What if the boat breaks down or we hit something? Well, my fears were mostly unfounded.
Our boat was called The Damselfly II. The boat had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was nicely fitted out with all the necessary equipment to live on the boat -- wine glasses, pots and pans, dishes, bedding, even egg cups.
The first day it rained quite a bit, but after that, most days were like around here in May -- cloudy, some showers, some sun. We ate breakfast and lunch on the boat and dined at whatever pub happened to be near where we moored the boat. We mastered the locks (it helps to read the directions provided).
We also managed to turn around in the "winding hole (pronounced "wind-ing," it's a wider place in the canal that will accommodate the 62' that was our boat) with the help of a fellow in a nearby boat (hadn't read the directions for that).
Our final night, we partied into the wee hours playing songs from our IPhones and singing loudly with only the sheep and cows grazing nearby to hear us.
As an aside, for Inspector Morse fans, I was able to dine at The Trout, a pub near Oxford where Morse and Lewis would often have a pint, and we also had a drink at The Randolph Hotel, another Morse haunt, where the author Colin Dexter is known to hang out. Alas, he wasn't there that day, but the waiter pointed out where he always sits. He added that when Mr. Dexter comes in, if the seat is occupied, he waits patiently in the lobby until the seat is available.
I was able to feed my Celebrity Chef addiction as well - ate at two Gordon Ramsey restaurants (TV's "Kitchen Nightmares" and "Hell's Kitchen") and one Raymond Blanc restaurant (BBC America's "Last Restaurant Standing"). I fancy myself a bit of a "foodie
This was one of those vacations that was so perfect that one hesitates to repeat it for fear the next attempt would disappoint. We all got along famously despite our age and cultural differences, the weather was good, it was not boring at all but relaxing and special, the boat ran wonderfully (all of 3 miles per hour), and we only hit a wall and a tree.
But despite my vacation blues, I am already thinking of something fabulous to do next year. Barging in France perhaps? Bicycling in Holland? Planning is half the fun. And the library has all kinds of materials to help you plan...books, DVDs, computers...or at least, dream.
Click here for some armchair traveling
Share your vacation stories. What was your best vacation? What made it so great? Do you get the Vacation Blues too?