Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vacation--All I Ever Wanted

By Michele Scott

I’m sitting on an airplane and the Gogo's keep playing in my head--you know--"vacation all I ever wanted, vacation holiday getaway (or something like that. When I was 14 the words all blended together, sort of like, "vacation all I ever wanted, vacation uh uh, yeah get away") anyway, I'm on the plane writing the blog because I have the BEST parents in the world. I am going to preface this by letting you know that after you read this, and you ask me if my parents can adopt you, the answer is, “no. I’m keeping them to myself.”

A few weeks ago my mom came to me and asked what I though about taking a vacation for Christmas. My reply was, “Tell me when I need to be at the airport.” I didn’t even care where we were going. It’s been five years since my last vacation. I’m talking the kind of vacation where you do NOTHING but chill out. And, chill we did.

Ten days ago my parents, my sisters and their families, and my family and me all boarded a flight for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! All I can say is what a Christmas present. Usually a couple of days before Christmas I am running around like a chicken with her head cut off baking, making, buying, decorating, etc. Not this year. I was by the pool at the house my parents rented having a margarita, chips and salsa! Personally, I approve of celebarting Feliz Navidad in this fashion. No rush, no hustle, no bustle. I didn’t e-mail, I didn’t use a cell phone. I did write a scene for a new book (but that was because The Muse hit and when The Muse makes her presence known, a writer never ignores her), I watched a movie! I never watch TV or movies. I read two and a half books, played Breyer horses with my daughter, swam with the kids, hung out with my husband and family and just relaxed, which is something that isn’t always easy for me to do, but in Puerto Vallarta it ain’t too hard.

I am certain I gained ten pounds as we never had a lack of food or drink and I am really afraid to get on the scale. I plan to not get on the scale and just start in on that annual promise I make heading into the new year (every new year)—the one that entails exercising daily (really I plan to follow through this time, because I refuse to buy new clothes).

The view from the home we stayed in was pretty much to die for— turquoise ocean, crystal clear bay, green, lush jungle! I saw sting rays, whales, a ton of fish and birds, geckos and one gigantic iguana(they say he's good eating but I liked him up in the tree being all about his iguana self).

But the best part was spending that time with my family. As my parents get older I know the time with them gets shorter. It’s a fact that is hard to face, but it’s a fact. My dad has had some health issues in the past year and it’s not easy for him to get around these days. I know it was very difficult for him to allow my husband and brother-in-law help him in and out of a ponga we took to a remote area called Yelapa (where my parents went 43 years ago on their honeymoon), but once on the boat ride he had a wonderful time. We whizzed past the lush jungle and private sandy beaches, the azure ocean glistening in the sunlight made me feel like I was in a movie (Hmm--Night of the Iguana, ayone?). It was unreal and surreal in many ways and the feeling of almost overwhelming bliss still sticks with me as I sit in 26A on US Air headed for home. I really didn’t want to leave. I don’t think any of us did.

Our vacation was truly one of the most memorable, special experiences of my life and hopefully the rest of my family feels the same way, because the best gifts are the memories we make with the people we love.

Happy New Year! Go tell someone you love, just how much you love them--it's a good way to start off the new year, be it in Puerto Vallarta, L.A., Manchester or Sodaville, Oregon (my grandparents are from there). Love and memories at the end of the day are the best gifts we can give or receive.