Sunday, January 04, 2009

Florida Recap

Photo: Cranes hanging out on the 12th hole, as seen from the lanai of the hubby's parents' condo.

The hubby and I got in from Florida at about 11:00 last night; at least it wasn't snowing, because the cold was depressing enough. My dad came to get us, which helped a bit.

The hubby and I were in Sarasota on our honeymoon, so I knew what to expect, but I enjoyed it a bit more this time. The weather was much more pleasant: temps in the high 70s, and sun, sun, sun. We also had lots of good company: the hubby's mum and dad, brother, sister-in-law and nephew, and our friends Rhianon and Daemon Q. As much as we all thought that we'd drive each other crazy in the same apartment for a week, I really don't think that we did. (Well, I don't know what everyone else thought, but I was pretty much fine. For me, it wasn't the people specifically that I needed a break from, just people in general. I'm much too used to spending copious amounts of time alone.)

Considering that we were only there for a week, we did quite a lot. We hit up the Tampa Zoo (slide show to follow), which the baby LOVED, as he's currently obsessed with two things: animals and trucks. We went to the beach, the movies, the art museum, and brunch. We swam, sunbathed, read (a lot; I got through five books), watched movies (mostly Happy Feet and Mighty Machines. I wonder whose choice those were?), went out for dinner (as a result, I'm now obsessed with pasta e fagioli and creamed spinach), drank, shopped, and relaxed. It was a nearly ideal family vacation. I think my favourite moments were sitting on Siesta Key Beach with Marilyn, watching the sun speed toward the horizon, and drinking margaritas outside of Stonewood Grill with bro and sis, so wrapped up in our conversation that we hardly noticed that we had to wait an hour and a half to get inside (it was New Year's Eve, afterall).

Aside from the weather, and missing the togetherness and chilled-outedness of Sarasota, there are other reasons I'm sad to be home. I'm really tired of our apartment, and I was thrilled to get away from it for a week. Our apartment was perfect when we had just moved in and it was the ideal location for work, but I feel like we've outgrown it. I need an office with a door, and a more efficient kitchen. I want proper storage, a garden, and light. Light light light. It is my number one requirement in a house. I'd love a real place for guests to sleep, and a chance to use all of our beautiful wedding gifts. I'm finding it harder and harder to be patient about finding a house, and while I know that we need to wait until we get our tax refunds to buy something (we won't have a clear sense of our downpayment until then, and the hubby is going to get some serious help in the form of my tuition credits), I can't help but grumble on the inside.

I'm starting to remind myself of how I was when I had been accepted to Dalhousie but hadn't started yet: unable to live life now, and much too focused on life in six months. Hence, my New Year's resolution is to find a way to be happy with life as it is right now, rather than obsessing about how it could be. First step is some serious apartment decluttering. I find giving things away incredibly cathartic, and I think that having fewer things in the apartment will help me to enjoy it more. I might also try to do some furniture rearrangement, which is another of my strategies for helping make the apartment seem fresh and new. One of my biggest peeves about living in an apartment is the inability to make it mine; I don't want to paint or do anything else permanent, because I'll have to put it back the way it was when we leave, but builder's beige walls and 80s cabinets are not my cup of tea.

Picketing starts again tomorrow, and while I'm trying as best I can to be nonchalant about the whole situation, I'm starting to get agitated, mostly because I don't know what's going to happen. Second term is supposed to start tomorrow, and yet we've barely gotten started on first term. My upper year students are also very concerned, obviously, and that adds to the stress. Happily, I don't have to be on campus until 9:00 tomorrow morning, which will be a welcome transition into my regular 5:30 am wakeup call.

My apologizes for the downer blog post; 2009 has serious potention that it's not yet realizing, which I find frustrating, but I'll learn to deal (hubby, if you're reading this, I'm sorry to use your least favourite phrase). Until then, I'm going to sit here, drink some delicious wine that we bought at my new mecca, Total Wine, and watch Michael Douglas channel Steve Irwin in Romacing the Stone. Good night!