We've been home for about 24 hours and I am not at all adjusted yet. Vacation is like this incredible paradox, when done right, that sucks you out of reality and let me tell you friends: the best place to lose track of real life is on a cruise ship. This was our first time out, so we were testing the waters (so to speak) with an incredibly cheap deal (under $300 for a week!) on an arguably low-end cruise line. And we've already decided that we will be back and TAKE YOU ALL WITH US.
My friend Mark suggested reading "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace in which the author takes a cruise for a magazine assignment and comes away a bit scared of the vortex of "luxury" onboard (the steward staff who cleans your room three times a day but whom you never actually see, the porters who are not supposed to let you carry your own bags lest they get 'spoken to' by management for spoiling your vacation, the waiters who practically beg you to switch out your dinner if you're not in love with every bite, etc.) that plucks you from reality and into a micromanaged cavalcade of Things To Do so that you will come away relaxed and refreshed. I agree, it takes some getting used to. But if you don't allow yourself to be jaded (i.e., appreciate the fact that someone else is cooking and cleaning and attending to life's details) it is wonderful. Definitely a luxury I could get used to.
Acclimating back to real life is harder than expected, even with 2 days of decompression in Florida before we returned home. Ruckus wasn't as excited to see us as we were him (expected), having to think about what and when to eat, driving your own car which feels so foreign, the bed that does not magically make itself, etc. Mostly for me, I am tired. A weird tired. The kind of tired that seems to imply that my body has decided that I should be a Lady Who Lunches and lay on the veranda all day reading a book. The kind of tired that can't be fixed with a nap or a dose of caffeine, but the kind of tired that tells me that I have spoiled myself and now require 8 hours of sleep, plus a mid-day nap, plus I should sit with my feet up most of the time. My brain nearly revolted when I had to get back to work - how dare I?! Plus, it's coupled with a severe case of Sea Legs. After a 5 day houseboating stint once, it took me nearly a week to stop weaving on dry land. After 7 days on a boat (plus one in Florida on an amphibious tour, more on that later) I feel out of my element anywhere that isn't the bathtub. I find myself bobbing back and forth on the couch and rocking slightly in bed. It's weird. I might never get my "Land Legs" back, so get used to seeing me swaying. Or falling over. I have literally been standing still and then started to list to one side and have stumbled. I hope it's more comical than sad. Maybe I need a t-shirt that says "Just back from a cruise" so that people will know that I am not ill or feeble, just drained from pure relaxation.
It's like a drug, this "relaxation" thing. If they sold it on the streets, I'd be the biggest junkie out there. I'd be the one sitting on the corner, blissfully reading in the sun, sitting on a pile of trash bags while passersby drop change into my sun hat. If any enterprising individuals are reading this, invent Relaxation In A Can and I'll buy it. That and the scent of suntan lotion and sea air as a cologne.