You know you're on vacation when ...

We just got back from a week-long trip to the beach with my extended family, and I'm trying really hard to keep that vacation high -- even Blog Photothough life is not entirely cooperating.

One of my favorite earrings (a gift from my husband) is still apparently in South Carolina. I didn't realize until I got home that my camera lens had a giant smudge that left a film over many of my photos. And the dryer that conked out before we left is, like Generalissimo Franco, still dead (a fact I had conveniently forgotten until we pulled back into the driveway).

But I have proof that I de-stressed on this vacation.

 

For an entire week I did not:

-- Consume three or more caffeinated drinks just to stay alert through the day.

-- Drive like a maniac because I was late to an appointment/baseball game/music lesson.

-- Say to my children, "Hold on while I finish just one more thing on the computer."

-- Heat up chicken nuggets for dinner.

-- Complain (very much).

Instead, I:

-- Treated myself to a mojito or lime cooler every evening.

-- Rode bikes on the beach and took a daily walk along the ocean to hunt for seashells.

-- Built sandcastles, went boogie-boarding and played beach baseball with the kids.

-- Ate fresh shrimp and crabcakes benedict. I even had time to prepare a fairly tasty meal when it was our night to cook (my friends know Blog Photohow rare that is).

-- Had wonderful heart-to-hearts with my sisters and nieces.

My shoulders were relaxed, my mind clear (relatively).

In honor of summer -- which I keep telling myself has really just begun - I'm going to try to stay in this happy place. Go for walks in the morning, try out new recipes, not sweat the small stuff.

At least until the next appliance dies.

________________

Julie Wurth writes about families and kids and covers the University of Illinois for The News-Gazette. Her column "Are We There Yet?" appears every other Tuesday. Leave a comment below, or contact her at (217) 351-5226, jwurth@news-gazette.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/jawurth.

Photos: Hilton Head Island, June 2012. Julie Wurth

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