Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blogging from the Beach: Day 1 in Review

Since I completely forgot to bring a journal, I'm going to blog my memories of this vacation. The details are more for me to look back on and remember.

Preparing for this one took more than the usual effort. First was getting the basement dejunked (see previous post). That took a lot of time, willpower, and gobs o' grace. Second was a to-do list of significant school-related things that had to be squeezed in before I could leave. Wow. Can I say I have more respect now than ever for school teachers? I had some idea of how much planning goes into teaching a class of all same-aged kids, but NO idea how much hands-on stuff is required. My personal to-do list included attending a teacher in-service about the writing curriculum (I just know Julie and I are gonna be partners in crime), helping Cindy organize the art closet by making sure all 384 colored markers work, giving my new art supplies list to Jennie (the secretary), sending my history and geography year plans to Lisa (the principal), discussing discipline and room decorations with Cheryl (my co-teacher), helping the two of them throw out old curriculum-- a familiar theme--and watching them set up a teacher folder for me on the computer. I felt so official.

Then I came home and decided which curriculum to bring to the beach to work on. Now I know how it feels to not be able to just "get away from it all," professionally. But I also know that, besides mothering, there's nothing I'd rather be doing than teaching. It's the most pleasurable work I can imagine. (Lisa gave me a sit-down talk before accepting my commitment to the job. She said, "I just don't want you to think it's all pie-in-the-sky." I joked, "So you'd rather give me the pie-in-the-face?")

As for choosing the place to vacation, it was easy: Myrtle Beach has become a favorite of ours. Much less crowded than Ocean City, not gay like Rehoboth, family friendly like Outer Banks but with more to do within a five-mile radius. In particular, we chose to come back here to Myrtle Beach Resort because of the great amenities: Paul and Sarah did the research and I made the call to the owner. A very talkative, good-natured, Southern guy who gave us quite a good deal on this 3rd-floor oceanfront condo. It's small (only two bedrooms) but it's just our nuclear family this time (no friends) so it's cozy. The view is incredible from both the living room and master bedroom.

-Left house at 7:40 Saturday morning. I tried to get out by 7:30, but had to run back in the house for something. -OCD-about-security Paul had to go back in and make sure everything was as tight as it was two minutes earlier.
-The delay put us smack behind stalemated traffic on 95. An accident that closed the highway for a half hour.
-But we were all in good spirits--including Paul who tends to get a bit agitated when things don't go according to (his) plan. He concluded that, had we left five minutes earlier, it could have been us in the accident.
-Weather was gorgeous all the way down. Slightly overcast, perfect driving weather.
-No arguments except whether I should have coffee to speed me up (my choice) or skip it so I don't slow them down (their choice). I chose half-caf.

Having settled in for a half hour, we got a call from the the condo owner who just wanted to make sure everything was fine. I assured him it was, thanks. It was nice to have a welcome basket on the counter: a big yellow sand bucket filled with toilet paper, dishwasher soap, kitchen towels, and other goodies. It was a little touch I'll have to remember when we own a condo someday. When people are paying hundreds of dollars for a week in your place, give them five bucks worth of necessities.

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