Notes to Self: A Vacation Post-Mortem

Me at Beach w/ Snorkel

  • Given a choice, never take the red-eye again. Changing planes in HNL probably isn’t that bad a thing.
  • Look at the directions for how to get to the hotel/condo you’re staying in before getting into the rental car.
  • And check to see whether the rental car has a dome light before driving off.
  • Because if it doesn’t, it might be worthwhile to get your flashlight or headlamp out of your suitcase before heading into the darkness. Because there might not be street lights.
  • Better yet: don’t arrive in a strange place at night.
  • No matter how many times you assure yourself there is, there truly is not any place worth eating in the American terminal at LAX.
  • On the first day in a new place, you should walk around the place you’re staying so you know where you are. A mile in at least two directions is probably good.
  • If there’s a locked gate on the sliding glass door in the master bedroom of the condo, it’s a good idea to leave it alone.
  • Take at least two iPods and make sure that at least one of them is not on the night stand.
  • Hawaii is good — it forces you to relax. This process takes 5-6 days, apparently. Plan accordingly.
  • You’re not going to read much while you’re on vacation.
  • Or write.
  • Don’t check email. No matter how much it needs checking. Yeah, you could get totally screwed up at work by not checking, but: it’s only work.
  • If you ever need to go job-hunting again, edit this post first.
  • (OTOH, yes, take the laptop.)
  • Don’t expect you’re going to get a lot of fun activities done on the day you fly out. Wake up, get dressed, and head to the airport for your non-red-eye flight.
  • If you’re staying in a place that has a washer and dryer, you really don’t need more than three shirts and a couple of pairs of pants/shorts.
  • On the other hand, if you’re going to be hiking in rivers and wet country, two sets of hiking boots was a good idea.
  • Get a medium-sized suitcase.
  • You’re going to eat out more than you think.
  • 19 lbs. is a lot of turkey.
  • Vacation condo renting is probably the way to go. So is staying in one place the entire vacation long.
  • Inasmuch as you’re able to deceive yourself into thinking that vacation is “real life” and never-ending, let it happen probably.
  • Heck, any time you’re able to pull off an act of self-deceit, let it happen. You could use the experience (and practice).
  • Go ahead and be someone else if you want to. No one cares and you’re on vacation anyway.
  • Leaving a couple things undone in a place is probably a good idea. Gives you a reason to think about going back.
  • There’s no such thing as a free smoothie. Especially when you’ve already agreed to pay $28 for the buffet.
  • The week after vacation, when you’re back at work and readily able to compare the two experiences (vacation vs. work), is going to suck. No matter what.
  • Rent the Jeep.
  • Good luck.


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