“Are you going to write in your blog while you are on vacation?” My co worker asked me this, and I said “heck no! I won’t have time until afterwards.” Yet there I was, several thousand feet up in the air, sitting in a cramped Southwestern Airlines aisle seat, typing away until they served my orange juice; I had to close out because the tray table wouldn’t accommodate both my little laptop and a very full glass of OJ.
I dislike flying; it’s a means to an end. Oh, I am not afraid to fly, I just hate the discomfort of flying economy class, stuffed like too much sausage in too little sausage casing, with a couple hundred other people who cough, hack, and sneeze (without covering their mouths). Nonetheless, it’s all about the destination, and I can certainly handle a few hours of discomfort to get to the end result.
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It is now going on 5AM Seattle time, and I am sitting here typing, periodically looking out of my large window to gaze upon the full moon-lit calm waters of Elliott Bay while the seagulls call out to each other. Day One of the Seattle portion of my 10-day Washington State vacation is done, and I will be enjoying Day Two now. I’m up early because old habits die hard, and my body can’t seem to sleep past 6 or 7AM (Texas time). It’s too used to getting up at 3AM, getting out the door by 4AM to be at work by 5AM. Sigh.
I have been planning for this vacation since February. I like visiting Washington in the spring because of all the spring flowers, and because my and my brother-in-law’s birthdays are just a few days apart, and my sister always creates a big wonderful celebration in honor of her husband’s birthday (the coat tails of which I like to ride).
Work has stressed me out to the max (I wonder how long my mind, body, and Type A personality can handle the stress, long hours, and frustration). It took me a full day yesterday to rid myself of the stress and worry of being away. Because, as many of you know, it’s never a good time to take a vacation, even though (if you are full-time and not contract), the company pays you for a certain number of vacation days each year. You go away and some emergency always occurs and you feel guilty (or are made to feel guilty) about it upon your return. How dare you leave everybody else in the lurch! It took my supervisor telling a teary-eyed me that the engineer I was directly reporting to was taking her vacation (we both are gone at the same time) and she wasn’t going to cancel out the day before because of work issues, so why on earth should I worry about having to do the same? Made sense to me but I had never thought it through – all I kept thinking was that it was a terrible time to go on vacation.
In part, I worry because I don’t have the pull that engineer does (engineers and geologists are worth their weight in gold to a petroleum company) and I am not as high on the food chain as she is. I also worry because I have an overblown sense of urgency and duty to see that the people for which I work get nothing less than the best I can offer – it frustrates me as much as it does them when something is not working. And I blame myself first for any shortcomings. I’m not perfect, but I sure wish I was where work is concerned.
Nonetheless, here I am, in Washington State, and by golly, I am determined to enjoy myself! The work and stress will be there upon my return – it’s not going anywhere – so might as well put it out of my mind the best I can and apply myself to the task of having a grand time.
Today, I will take my two Canon 5D Mark II bodies and the rented Canon 5D Mark III and revisit Pike Place Market. I plan on going to the Seattle Aquarium too, to practice taking more aquarium photos. I will try to not splurge as much on food as I did yesterday (don’t even ask me how much the bill was for dinner – for one person – at the restaurant in my hotel, The Edgewater – suffice to say it was a really lovely dinner with a great glass of Mannys Pale Ale to wash it all down). And I will try to keep my souvenir expenditures down….now…..after spending too much on my two favorite little stalls in the Market – there’s this one stall that sells these magnificent hand-dyed silk scarves, and there’s this other stall that carries the neatest whimsical jewelry. Oh yeah, I spent too much yesterday.
If I am not too tired by the end of the day, I want to take a night ferry ride across the bay so I can get some shots of the Seattle city lights.
And yes, I guess I will be blogging about it periodically during my vacation after all. It’s a nice way to keep a sort of journal and tell all of you about it.