Wine Country Taught Me All I Needed to Know About Taking a Vacation.

There aren’t many moments in life that are perfect. Some would say there is no such thing. There are many moments that you want to be perfect and expectations are so high and the moment built to such an extent that there’s no way in hell it will be perfect. So many moments that are surrounded by such high expectations. Weddings. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Vacations.

Ah, yes, vacations. To say our family’s luck with vacations has been far from perfect, well that would be an understatement. But something happened on a trip we took this summer. Dare I say it, we had a perfect vacation. Maybe it was because I did very little planning for this trip. Maybe it was because there was lots and lots of wine involved. Maybe it’s because it was just the two of us allowing for lots and lots of wine to be involved. Maybe it was the universe deciding we deserved it. Whatever the reason, however it happened, I am grateful.

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The Central Coast of California is gorgeous. I love it there. It has become my happy place. I plan to live there when I grow up. For now, I am happy just visiting. The hubs and I were able to get away for a few days to the wine country of the Central Coast. During the trip, I kept catching myself saying, “It’s just so pretty here!” over and over again. I wasn’t worried about what our plans were, I was just focused on being in the present. Being where I was.

This is not my nature. My nature is to plan and plan and plan some more and then stick to that plan because that was what I had planned. Being a planner has served me well in my life, but planning also sets a high bar. It sets a level of expectations that are hard to meet. The expectations are usually only in my own mind because I’m the one who’s been pinning on Pinterest boards for months on end in preparation for the perfect vacation. The actual vacation is never as good as the one I’ve created in my mind.

This trip was different because I didn’t have any expectations going in. I was just happy to be there. Instead of worrying about getting to the next thing, I paid attention to where I was. The hubs and I had made some plans, a rough sketch, but we weren’t married to them. If we were on our way somewhere and saw an antique store that looked good, we ditched our plans and stopped. If someone recommended a restaurant, we canceled reservations and followed the recommendation instead. We were actually being a little spontaneous (emphasis on the word little) and it felt good.

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I’m not sure that the spontaneity will continue when it comes to our family vacations. Okay fine, I know it won’t. In fact, we are taking a trip this fall that I am already knee deep in planning mode for. Spontaneity for just the hubs and I for a trip three hours north is one thing. Spontaneity for a big, whole family, memory making trip is another. Yes, for the trip this fall I will plan and make reservations and book activities. But here is what I’ve learned: once the vacation arrives I will focus on being in the present. I will try my best to be flexible to whatever the universe brings our way. I will pray that Mother Nature cooperates and that illness stays far, far away.

And when it doesn’t, when the plans go belly up and the weather doesn’t cooperate, we will order pizza and drink wine and be grateful. Wine Country taught me that.

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