Sunday, April 9, 2017

Small Town Spring Break

The day I almost thought about work.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about the craziness of our lives that makes us crave Spring Break so much, but I feel like that is exactly what happened this year...it was like Spring Break couldn't come fast enough and couldn't last long enough.  There was a moment (it was a very small moment) where I was sitting on the beach and I almost thought about work, and then I went back to drinking my Pina Colada and reading my romance novel, and said, "not today, Satan!"

Spring Break does that to us.  It breaks through real life and reminds us that we weren't designed for these 24/7 lives that we lead.  It's no wonder that we're addicted to Netflix - life moves so quickly, that sometimes we just try to take mini-vacations by immersing ourselves in 7 seasons of Scandal, and then we blink and realize that we've completely forgotten to shower or make dinner for our family in a week (true story) but at least we've gotten a little bit of relaxation in the middle of our crazy lives.

This past week was wonderful. It consisted of beaches, food, naps, and Jeopardy...it was kind of like being a 2-year-old...or an 82 year old...all of which held nothing similar to 40-year-old Small Town Life. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't thank the two very special people that made this trip so amazing:

View from our stolen cabana!
1. Roberto.  Roberto was our beach waiter at the Playa Blanca Beach Club.  There is something incredibly special about having parents who live in Punta Cana Village and have access to their own private beach club.  Roberto is that something special.  Granted, he makes his living off of tips, and my husband happens to be a generous tipper, so he was very attentive this week...but let me tell you...it made for an amazing beach week, including the day that Roberto saw us and kicked another family out of a beach cabana and told them that it was ours for the day.  When the lady looked at me (and by looked I mean glared/scowled/tried to kill me with her eyes) and asked if we had paid for the cabana, I of course said "yes," so that she wouldn't punch me in the face and told Chris to make sure to tip Roberto extra so that I wouldn't be lying.  That being said, the cabana was amazing...and aside from having to avoid the evil eye from the lady whose clothes Roberto literally picked up and threw on a beach chair directly in the sun, it was a perfect day.


2. Ruth.  Ruth lives with my parents and she is their...well, person. She's not technically the maid, because SHE DOES EVERYTHING... literally, she cooks, cleans, and pretty much helps them survive. Before everyone gets all huffy and comments about the injustice of this, can I just please let you know that this is cultural and that EVERYONE in the DR has a person...it's a thing...we have Starbucks and English-speaking television, and they have Ruth.  And Ruth is amazing.  I didn't quite realize just how amazing until I returned home and had to make my own coffee in the morning...and dinner for my family (I mean...I didn't actually make dinner, but I did realize that Ruth wasn't here to do it, which is practically the same thing).  And I had to do my own laundry (I didn't actually do that either...but I will...soon...probably). And I had to clean the house (again...same as the laundry...but you know what I mean!).  I'm trying to get my mom to send Ruth to us for an extended stay in the U.S...kind of like an exchange program...she can take one of my kids and I'll take Ruth...but my mom is currently not on board with this.  She actually said to me: "Jennifer, I work full time and don't get home until 2:30 from school, how would I be able to get anything done without Ruth!?"

I'm going to go ahead and pause right there.  Full time? 2:30?  I'll just let that sink in and once again, make my case for why I need Ruth much more than she does.

There are so many other great memories.  Beaches, palm trees, family time, the day that Kaitlyn had a giant wave crash into her while she was fully clothed...the list goes on and on.  But like all great things, it's come to an end, and I'm sitting on my couch once again watching a House Hunters marathon and thinking about the cleaning that I should do and the lesson plans I should prepare before jumping back into real life, which this week includes baseball games, gymnastics practices, SATs and ACTs, and pre-prom preparations.  You see, My calendar is full...but so is my heart.  



And that is the beauty of Spring Break.  It gives us moments in between the hectic events of our real life to truly relax and prepare for the next round of 24/7 craziness coming our way.  And while I'd rather face the craziness with Roberto and Ruth by my side, I'm just grateful for the 1 week of rest and relaxation that they helped me achieve.  Oh, and also...let me be honest, the people that truly made this trip so amazing? My mom and dad, of course.  And Chris.  And the kiddos. And, well, honestly? Roberto and Ruth were pretty darn special as well!

With much love from a very relaxed-and-ready-to-face-the-world Small Town Girl


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