I am never quite as dissatisfied with my life as I am when I come home from a vacation. NEVER do I step into my poorly-lit basement apartment after a few days away and think “Ah, home sweet home.” Instead, I search my favorite real estate site, Trulia, to see how much houses and condos cost wherever I just was. NEVER do I go back to work and think “It’s great to be here.” Instead, I go on my Monster.com app and see how much of a salary cut I’d have to take if I wanted to work outside of New York City. (Huge.)
Last year I had major PVD – post-vacation depression – after my trips to New Orleans and Puerto Rico. This year? Kingston, New York. A few weeks ago one of my amazing coworkers (a.k.a. my friend Martie) invited me and two other friends to spend a few days with her at her mom’s house. We were really excited about it, since we’re all “city girls” and as far as we’re concerned Kingston is “country.” We headed up there on July 4th and stayed until Saturday.
Our view from the train:
It was a glorious 3-day vacation. Martie picked us up from the train station at around 7:30 on Wednesday night. We got to her house around 8, where her mother greeted us with open arms and a huge tray of lasagna! We had to eat quickly though, because there were fireworks starting at 9. Fireworks! You have no idea how much I love going to see fireworks. I had accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to see any this year, since we’d be on the train late and I had no idea if we’d get to see any in Kingston. But we did! And it was the best, least-obstructed view I’ve ever had in my life! We were down by a river bed maybe 200 feet away. Normally when I’m that close to fireworks there is a building in my way. So that was cool.
After the fireworks we walked to a nearby bar to meet up with a few of Martie’s guy friends. We’ve heard TONS of stories about them, so it was good to finally be able to put faces to names. They were really nice. After a few drinks and an unsuccessful attempt at bar hopping, we decided to head back to Martie’s house and hang out in her backyard. By the time the guys left and we headed up to bed it was like 3 in the morning.
I woke up on Thursday to birds chirping and the sun shining through the windows (I HATE chirping birds). I was sooo stiff. It hadn’t been a comfortable sleep by any means. My friend and I were sleeping on an air mattress that was only partially inflated, and whenever she moved, I moved. And she moved a LOT! It was like a water bed. When I grabbed my phone to quietly check my facebook and whatnot I discovered that it was only 5:30!! I couldn’t believe it. I got up, shut the blinds to block out the light, put on my headphones to listen to some Howard Stern and block out the birds, and eventually fell back to sleep.
Most of Thursday was spent lounging in Martie’s pool. It was so relaxing. I love love LOVE the water, be it pool or beach. That day her sister came over to meet us, along with her two children – a boy, 7, and a girl, 3. They were so much fun! Some of the best lines of the vacation came from those two kids.
We had made plans with the guys to have a “high school pool party” later that night at one of their houses. Like I said before, I’m a city girl, and there are certain things I’ve seen on t.v. that seem typical to the “average American” that I have never experienced, one of them being a crazy drunken high school party where someone gets pushed in the pool with their clothes on. (Another one is a high school Homecoming.) The pool party was so much fun! Of course, it was nothing like the parties I’ve seen on t.v. But how could it be? There were only seven of us! Mostly we just played cards and drank. Eventually we made it into the pool. There was a slide, part of which you can see in the pic below. It was about 6 feet high. That was scary…and awesome!
Friday was a lot of fun. It was almost 4 by the time we got to bed after the pool party, so on Friday morning we “slept in” until 10. Then we went on a hike with the guys. I used to go hiking with my dog at a park near my house, but this was actually on a mountain where we had to climb rocks and hold on to trees and such. It was great!
The real highlight of my weekend came later that evening. After we got back from the hike, Martie’s nephew, the 7-year-old, came over again. He and I had played together on Thursday, but he had been really shy, whereas on Friday he was wayyy more relaxed and outgoing. I was playing with him a lot, and then at one point him and I built the most awesome railroad with his train set. That’s when he fell in love with me, I think. When it came time for him to leave later that night, he did NOT want to go. Martie’s sister texted her the following when she got back to her house:
Doesn’t that just melt your heart? It made me feel really good about myself, I must say, which is why I had Martie send me the screen shot of the conversation – so I can look at it and feel good whenever I want!
On Friday night we met up with the guys again – shocker, I know. But this time we were joined by Martie’s brother and mom. We hung out at this one bar for awhile, where this amazing 14-year-old blues singer/player was performing, and then headed to another bar. It wasn’t a crazy night by any means, but once again we didn’t get to sleep until after 3 in the morning.
Saturday was our last day in Kingston. We were all pretty much zombies by that point. We napped, went in the pool, and ate. I played piano for a little bit, which was fun because I haven’t played in a really long time. It was really hard to get motivated to leave, but finally around 7 we figured out which train we would be taking home and then got ready to go. Our train left at 9:30, so by the time I got back to NYC and then got home it was almost midnight. It was POURING out, and of course I didn’t have an umbrella. It definitely was not a great homecoming.
Now I’m back to my normal routine – work, gym, sleep, repeat – and it is boring as hell. Which means it’s time to plan my next vacation.