I have been neglecting my blog for a few weeks. We just got back from vacation in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. (Specifically, we were in Osage Beach or at mile marker 17 for you boaters.) We were only gone for a week, but all the preplanning before our trip made it impossible to get any writing in.

Isn’t it funny how much preparation you need before going on a trip? It’s almost to the point of needing a couple weeks off in order to take a week off from your life. Obviously, you need to pack for your trip. In doing so, you have to make sure all the laundry is done so you can take your favorite shorts, shirt, etc. Then you realize that your daughter’s swimsuit is not going to cut it and your son’s flip flops are two sizes too small. That means an unplanned trip to the mall with the indecisive young women of the house and the bored-out-of-his-mind little brother.

Okay, now you are ready for your week away, but what about the things that still needs to be done while you are gone? You spend time finding someone to watch your pets, water your plants and grab the mail and paper. What about work? In order to go away for a week, you need to make sure all your bases are covered before you go. You have to change your voice mail message and set up your email’s out-of-office response. You need to find someone that is willing to cover your phone calls that cannot wait and the projects that will inevitably come up in your absence. Before your trip, you always ending up working longer hours to try to get ahead and make things easier for those filling your shoes.

Many people say that they need a vacation from their vacation. Either they party for the whole week and come home exhausted or they get so much relaxation that they can’t get motivated again.

For that reason, I clean my house before I leave for a trip. The last thing I want to do after a relaxing and fun week away from my daily life is walk into a house that looks like a tornado went through it. For the last two years, we stayed in houses we found on VRBO – Vacation Rental By Owner. Each house came with a washer and dryer. I am sure there are some of you that think that doing laundry on vacation defeats the purpose of getting away. However, we came home with clean clothes in our suitcases, saving me from hours of laundry when we got home.

In the weeks building up to our trip, we kept saying how we all needed to get away and take a much needed break. It’s funny. Why do people need a vacation from the lives, jobs, and activities that they chose? For us, we weren’t really getting away from our lives. Sports drama followed us via email and phone. My husband still worked a few hours each day. The kids still fought over silly things. We just took a vacation to see and experience new things together as a family. We stepped out of our daily routines to enjoy a good book, splash around in the pool, play endless rounds of Uno, put our feet up while drinking a glass of wine and catch up on each other’s hopes, dreams and fears. We are well rested and glad to be home.