Tag Archives: vacation

Christmas Break Never Gets Old

Doesn’t matter how old I am, Christmas break never gets old. Nearly two whole weeks off to celebrate the holidays with family, ring in the New Year with friends and essentially do whatever we want.

By the time Christmas is over, I don’t even know what day it is. I lose track of all sense of time and purpose. Even with a small child in tow, we sleep late, stay in our pajamas far longer than we should and sometimes don’t even get our day started till well after 3pm. And we love it.

With all the routines and schedules we adhere to all year long, Christmas break is a welcomed opportunity to snuggle on the couch a little longer, disconnect from the rest of the world, and indulge in all the things we will complain about as the new year rolls around. And it’s so nice to have our family be together for so many days, while also having a little time to ourselves.

Over the last two weeks, I have probably put on countless pounds from leaving my gym routine to stuff my face, been a little MIA from my friends, and will have a hell of a reality check come Monday, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s to a happy, healthy New Year!

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Vacation Blues

We took our first vacation of the summer last week and it was amazing! We headed to the shore in true Jersey fashion. Our family rented a huge house just steps from the beach and the weather couldn’t have been better (even with my  OCD about the forecast). Now, we’re home.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my home, especially my bed, but I was really sad to end our wonderful trip. Normally, I kind of get to that point where coming home is inevitable and I (try to) look forward to heading back. Even when I’m on a fabulous, international vacation, I seem to convince myself I’m ready. Not this time.

I don’t know what it was about this trip that made coming home so sad. Maybe it was seven beautiful days of playing on the beach; or perhaps the revolving door of family members who came to visit. Or was it that E was off for an entire week!  It could have been the gorgeous weather, the meals, the down time, the private time, the excursions, or maybe it was the view and sounds of the ocean just steps from our door. And it certainly could have been that my daughter probably was having the best time of out of all of us – loving the water, playing in the sand and obsessing over her grandparents.  It was likely all of these things, and a handful of others.

And now we’re home.  It doesn’t compare, at least not yet, to being on the beach every day or having four other people gladly offer to watch your toddler so you can take an uninterrupted shower or have dinner with your husband. E is back at work and I’m paying billings, doing laundry and cleaning up three meals a day from the highchair that somehow always end up on the floor (man do I hate that).

I know I shouldn’t be glum, things could be worse. I probably sound so spoiled. I was lucky enough to even have a vacation like this with my family in a beautiful area where I had such a fun time. I guess when you have a toddler that you stay home with and then go on this fabulous trip with so many people you love to be with, it gets a little sad to get back to the daily grind. Here’s to next year (if not sooner!)!

 

Why I Went to Mexico During the Swine Flu Outbreak

So after much back and forth, I decided to head to Cabo for my fun filled girls vacation. And man, am I glad I did. To quickly refresh, I was struggling with the decision of leaving for Cabo San Lucas, located in Mexico, just days after the swine flu outbreak was splashed all over the media.

I definitely did my research before leaving. I called my primary care physician, who told me that since I was a healthy, young (don’t you love when they call you young after 30?) woman and there were no state restrictions on traveling to Mexico, it was OK to begin my Mexican fiesta.

I reached out to my old response director at the American Red Cross, who had since moved on to another emergency response job, and is well versed in pandemics and epidemics and really tells it like it is. He said it was really a decision that was up to me and if I was going to a resort, I would probably be fine. Resorts go out of their way preserve business, especially during something like this, and if I was planning to visit downtown areas, I just needed to make sure to use some antibacterial gel and wash my hands with soap and water.

One of my traveling companions was also a nurse, so I felt better when she said she talked to many of the doctors and other nurses in the hospital where she worked who gave her the go ahead to travel to Cabo. They said while this was an unknown flu strain, the regular flu kills something like 36,000 people a year and we weren’t even close to that (at that point). She also said she would bring along some masks just in case; the good kind, from the hospital ward.

There were also the people from Mexico, specifically Cabo, who reached out to me on my blog and told me that there was nothing to be concerned about out there. No known cases were reported and people were not walking around in masks at the beach, bars or in the streets. The sun and beach were awaiting my arrival!

And then there was the research I did on my own. As a person who worked with and for the media, I know how things can get blown out of proportion. I noticed that the first three days, this was a huge news item. Then, a Supreme Court Justice announced he was retiring and the swine flu suddenly became old news. I also looked on a map where Cabo was in relation to Mexico City, where the “outbreak” had first started. It was over 1,000 miles away; you’d have to take a plane or a boat to get from one area to the other and somehow, that made me feel like there was less risk.

After reviewing all these factors and debating in my head for nearly a week (and purchasing tons of Purell), I decided to keep my reservations and go as planned. A lot of people helped me make my decision and frankly, while I love and respect the media, it was because of them that I almost did not go.

I think there is a better chance of me getting the swine flu by traveling on the subway to a job interview then from my recent trip to a tropical paradise. It’s a personal decision that must be made by the person traveling.  I will say that Mexico’s tourism is definitely suffering from the negative media surrounding the swine flu, when frankly, in many areas, there does not seem to be much to be concerned about. While I probably wouldn’t recommend heading to the heart of Mexico City, if you have a trip planned, do your research and do what feels right for you. Don’t let scare tactics and endless news reports make the decision for you. Bon voyage!

Can the Swine Flu Disappear Before I Leave for Cabo? In Seven Days!

With the way 2009 is shaping up, I shouldn’t be surprised that the swine flu is hitting Mexico during the exact time that I am supposed to land in beautiful Cabo San Lucas…seven days from now.

After my husband lost his job, I lost my job, I got another job and lost that before I even started it, I decided to jump at the chance to go away with two of my best girlfriends to their recently acquired timeshare in Cabo. They had planned the trip for a few months before I got on board, and this seemed as good a time as any to get away, relax with my friends, sip margaritas and work on my tan. Boy, did I need this vacation more than ever.

We have talked about this trip for the last six weeks. We’ve been so excited for the food, the drinks, the sun, escaping New Jersey and our everyday lives. Going away on vacation together was something we had always wanted to do and until now, something we had never made happen.

Then came the swine flu. When I first heard the news on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t think too much about it. It seemed to be isolated in or around Mexico City and that was nowhere near Cabo. Then it started spreading – New York, Kansas, California, New Zealand; it was like you named a city or country and it had been affected by the swine flu. Even though there were numerous accounts of infestation popping up left and right, I was confident my trip would not be affected. I checked the World Health Organization and CDC websites and there was nothing on there about Cabo San Lucas; I searched online through news reports about traveling to the luxurious resort area and still found nothing. While I am obsessed with the news, I slowly found myself distancing away from the television set.

By Monday, the news got worse and I couldn’t escape it . The CDC recommended non-essential travel to Mexico be canceled. My mom was calling to tell me that she didn’t think I should go to Cabo. I wasn’t too surprised; if I was a mom, I would probably advise my son or daughter the same thing. I checked in with my girlfriends and they said until there was a mandate against going to Mexico, they were going to go. One of them is a nurse, so she knows the dangers of this virus. They said they completed understood if I wanted to back out given the circumstances. But I don’t want to back out. I also don’t want to explore this gorgeous city with face masks.

Today, Tuesday, has been the worst day thus far of “Deciding Whether to Go to Cabo with Swine Flu Swirling Around Mexico.” Friends are sending emails, news reports are getting worse; I even heard something about restaurants not letting patrons eat in their establishments, they can only take orders to-go.

That is not the vacation I want to have – walking into bars with face masks or wondering if the maid who cleaned my room just infected my bed with swine flu. But I don’t want to cancel just yet. What if it slows down by the time I leave? Is that even possible?  I have a call into my doctor for his opinion and the airline will honor my ticket at a later date. I’ll probably make my decision at the 11th hour, see how it all plays out until then.

This was the one thing I was looking forward to given the fact that everything else has gone downhill since the beginning of the year. How much worse can 2009 get? I fear that by saying that, I am just setting myself up for the next hit.