Why are vacations so short? (Vacation story with photos!)

I don’t do very well with vacations.  I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “What the hell is her problem?”  I’ll tell you what my problem is…

My husband wanted to get away from work for a few days and he suggested going to the beach and renting a condo for five days.  Our plane would leave at 7am on the last day, so that really doesn’t count as a day.  The plane arrived at 3pm on the first day, so I’m not counting that either.  What’s my problem then?

Packing:  I ran through my house like a crazy person trying to find everything I might need for three full days away.  What did I want to pack?  Everything.  We’re hoarders and we can’t leave home for five minutes without the insane need to bring everything with us.  A million panic scenarios run through my mind.  What if I spill something on my shirt and I run out of clothes? (That’s why they have laundromats).  What if I get sick and need cough medicine/cough drops/a thermometer/anti-biotic cream? (That’s why they have grocery stores and pharmacies).  What if I get hungry on the plane and don’t want to pay $4 for a small bag of crackers? (oh shit, better bring food for the plane!)  I usually ending up needing NOTHING that I actually packed and everything that I didn’t pack.  (This time I could have used a different bathing suit.  My husband asked me why the hell my bikini bottoms were hanging off my ass to the point that it looked like I shit myself.  I had no reasonable answer other than, “DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND ONE OF THESE THINGS THAT FITS?!”)

TRAVEL: I’m not a fan of the airplane and sitting next to strangers.  I booked a window seat.  I paid EXTRA for this.  (Okay…I had to pay extra for EVERYTHING on the flight…we each got one “personal bag” like a purse or a small backpack, but the carry on cost EXTRA.  Since I wasn’t going to pay for TWO carry-ons because I’m insanely cheap, that meant I had to cram a house worth of stuff into one purse, one backpack, and ONE carry on.  I also had to pay extra to choose my seats.  I’m honestly surprised they didn’t charge me for the use of the oxygen on the plane).  So we board the plane by groups and for some odd reason my group went first and my husband’s group went third.  Totally weird.  I got to our row first and I see some lady sitting in my window seat.  I said, “Um…I think you’re in the wrong seat” and probably had a very grouchy look on my face.  She pointed to her leg (in a cast) and said, “They let me sit here.”  Well I can’t argue with her, now can I?   She was also in her 60s so I didn’t throw down.  My husband gets on the plane and he’s all, “who cares?  Sit in the aisle!” and he’s consoling her about her leg like it’s a fucking heart transplant or something.  “Are you okay ma’am?  How did that happen?  Let me know if I’m taking up too much room.”  EYE ROLL!

I’m part of the 99% and NOT the ONE PERCENT:  The condo that my husband found on AirBnB was absolutely amazing.  I’m talking granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breathtaking view of the lagoon behind the condo, not one but TWO screened in balcony porches, and walls that are not REALLY walls but instead are floor to ceiling window doors (I guess you’d call them sliding glass doors…I’m a writer…I should know words to describe things!) facing the lagoon.  Not sure if it was a lagoon or a marina or a canal or what.  It was fancy water that boats traveled to and fro upon.  I have none of these things at home.  And I want them ALL.  I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the most important part.  There was a swimming pool.  No.  There were TWO swimming pools.  And no one was using them.  So it was like I had my own private pool for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS!  I swam laps and pretended I was a movie star.  Okay…that’s a lie.  I pretended I was Michael Phelps and did every single swimming stroke I knew and some that I made up.  While I did this, my mind wandered and I came up with a new book plot.  For the present time, we’ll call it “Sexy Condo Story.”

Food is Weird:  The food on vacation is very hit or miss and I usually love it or hate it.  I got expensive shrimp that tasted dry and flavorless.  I got cheaper shrimp that tasted amazing because they added mango salsa on top.  I want to live in a place that has mangos and salsa combined.  I currently do not live in such a fantasy land.

I annoy the native species:  While this is not a problem for me, per se, it annoys my husband to no end.  I feel the need to get as close as possible to every wildlife creature and take pictures of it like I’m a National Geographic Photographer.  No pelican, gecko, or bird was safe from my camera.  At one point I threw a bread crust to the bird on the beach and got in trouble.  My husband said, “You’re going to KILL IT!  That bird can’t digest all the preservatives in white bread!”  Oh really?  Then why the fuck did he lunge for my bread crust like he hadn’t eaten in a week and it was as appealing as shrimp covered in mango salsa?  Mmhmm…that bird devoured my bread crust and came back for more.  Unfortunately I had none to give him.  Sorry bird friend, that sandwich was too good to share any more with you.

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(Actual photo of Actual Bird eating the Actual Crust I Actually threw for him.  Her?  Not sure.  Pretty bird though!)

I’m obsessed with time:  What time is it here?  What time is it at home?  Are we missing meals?  I’m not hungry because we’re on vacation and my time schedule is messed up.  Should I be hungry?  Why am I going to sleep so early?  Why am I waking up so early?  Is my phone the right time?  Did it switch over?  Are we late for the flight?  Why are we so early for the flight?  Why do I care?  I’m neurotic, that’s why.

I dislike coming home again after the vacation:  It seems like you plan and get excited for the vacation for MONTHS… and then before you know it, you spent all that money and the damn thing is over with and you’re stuck back at work staring at the clock thinking to yourself, “Exactly 48 hours ago I was swimming in my private pool living like a rock star and now I’m answering phones and forcing myself to be polite to customers.  How the hell did this happen?  Why did I come back?”

Sigh.  Tis better to have vacationed and returned home to the bland routine than to have never vacationed at all.

I also got a sunburn on my feet.

But I did see a pretty sunset.

IMG_0968

(Actual sunset that my husband actually took with his camera.  Pretty!)

In case you’re in the mood for a vacation, but can’t get the time off work or don’t have the extra money right now…maybe you can take a mental vacation without ever leaving home.  What the hell am I talking about?  Take a trip to a fictional world full of amazing characters you haven’t met yet…READ A BOOK!

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Remember I told you I signed up to do the Newsletter Swap Program where authors promote me and I promote them in return?  Here is a mix of books I’ve read lately OR authors that have requested to be included in my newsletter.  Broaden your horizons and read on…

1) Kinky Carnival Games by Chris Genovese… find out what happens when Mandy goes on a blind date to a carnival…   (this book was freaking AWESOME…total 5 star read!)   99 cents on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kinky-Carnival-Games-Romance-Novella-ebook/dp/B00TC3608M

2) Forging History by Hanleigh Bradley… this book comes out TODAY (May 1) so you can be one of the first to grab it and check it out!  It’s book 3 in the trilogy, so you won’t have to wait to find out what happens because the series is finished!

https://www.amazon.com/Forging-History-Hanleigh-Bradley-ebook/dp/B06XBRM4ZY

3) Serving Strangers by Mr. Silence… this is FREE on Instafreebie and it looks sexy as hell…this is one of the newsletter swap people so I have no idea what the story is about…maybe it’s not for the faint of heart?  Consider yourself warned!  Here’s the blurb:  Rachel is a twenty-year-old waitress who only wants to earn enough money to take care of her sick mother and get back into school. When a handsome new boss, Richard, shows up one night with a new idea to boost business with sexier uniforms, all Rachel can think about is the impact on her tips, and Richard’s charming smile. However, things get out of hand when Richard makes the uniform a little too revealing. Rachel finds herself in an uncomfortable situation with a group of intoxicated customers who, with Richard’s encouragement, can’t seem to behave themselves. Before she realizes it, Rachel is giving a level of service she never imagined.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3103/27583

4) Bedazzled by Madison Michael    (Looks good, but I haven’t read it)  $1.99 on Amazon

A sexy twist on a cinderella story….

Keeli Larsen, a modern day Cinderella, dreams of success, jewelry designs and the out-of-her-league, gorgeous man in the penthouse office – her very own Prince Charming. Although they have never spoken, a crowded elevator, a chance encounter and a misplaced hand are about to change everything.

Millionaire and sexy hunk, Wyatt Lyons Howe is trapped by four generations of family loyalty and tradition until a brief moment with Keeli rocks his staid world. Is Keeli his ticket to freedom or Is she just an opportunist looking for a bankroll? Unsure of her motives, but unable to stay away, Wyatt is bedazzled.

https://www.amazon.com/Bedazzled-Beguiling-Bachelors-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01EUJBPZA

5)  The Billion Heir by Nikky Kaye  99 Cents on Amazon (Also looks good, but I haven’t read it yet)

If you had to reform the public image of a bad boy billionaire, where would you start? Well, hiding your own scandalous past might help. You can’t spell “manners” without a man, but if an urban cowboy can fight in a tuxedo and scare away paparazzi… Is he more trouble than he’s worth?

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2501/24341

5.5) Crash into me by DD Sparxx   $2.99 on Amazon  (haven’t read it but the cover is hot as hell!  Here’s the blurb:  Ashford Westinghouse is handsome, well built, and successful. He certainly doesn’t see himself as lonely. He often uses one night stands as a coping mechanism to help him blot out the pain of losing the only woman he’s ever loved. She left him without a hint as to why and he has no desire to ever let his heart get destroyed like that again.

Isabella Alfieri is beautiful, independent and successful in her own right. Her world is almost perfect, but she still can’t seem to forget the man she loved and left seven years ago. And she’ll never forget the reason she had to go. She’s kept her secret all this time. Aside from her family, there’s only one other person that knows her secret and she would never tell a soul.

What will happen when fate intervenes and puts her on the flight he’s co-piloting? The flight that sets them on course for their worlds to come crashing back together after all this time.

**Crash Into Me is a full-length, standalone romance with an HEA, no cliffhanger and no cheating.**

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2493/27606

6)  Sheer Indulgence (Free on Instafreebie…since it’s free…why not?)

Ten tantalizing, titillating, tear-jerking, pulse racing, fall-in-love today book samples from some of today’s hottest writers.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2781/24656

7) Kiss me, Promise me by Brea Viragh  (99 cents on Amazon..haven’t read it yet)

He’s arrogant, hot, and hard to resist…can she keep saying no?

Travel back to the mountains of Heartwood in this steamy, small-town contemporary romance.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2697/24811

8)  Queen of Emeralds by Kelsey McKnight  ($3.99 on Amazon)

Historical Romance that actually had me hooked since page one.  Read it and loved it!

British heiress Charlotte Holloway never had any interest in marrying…
However, a woman in Victorian England spends her life in the control of men, making finding a husband necessary.  The handsome Scottish laird Conner MacLeod crashes the social scene. He sets her body on fire with a mere touch, but he has a bad reputation of leaving a string of women in his wake. Nonetheless, when Conner offers his emerald queen sanctuary in his Highland castle, Charlotte flees with him into the night…but those who wish to trap her are never far behind.

https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Emeralds-Scottish-Stone-Book-ebook/dp/B06XT66GGR

9) Powerless by Liz Gavin  (Free on Amazon!)

I just grabbed a copy because I saw it was free…  Here’s the blurb…

This short-story is intended for adults only! It contains graphic language plus kinky scenes involving a stressed out stock broker, her gorgeous ex-jock assistant, and a naughty young receptionist. Plus first-time lesbian action, naughty toys, and light BDSM.

https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Liz-Gavin-ebook/dp/B00FHNW530

10) Come they told me by Eden Connor  (Free on Amazon)

I read it….it’s a hot menage story m/f/m and it’s FREE!

https://www.amazon.com/Come-They-Files-Banger-Lever-ebook/dp/B00R8TCJQ4

Thanks again for reading and have a great vacation…whether you’re traveling near or far or never leave the house at all!

Grace

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