MYRTLE BEACH - A VACATION 7 YEARS IN THE MAKING

Adam and I have been together for over seven years, and in those seven years we've seen and done some amazing things. The trips and explorations we took during our two years in Alaska alone are more than most will ever do. But in all our travels, trips and adventures, there's something we'd never done together. We'd never boarded a plane and flown somewhere to vacation just the two of us. Just because we wanted to go there. Even our honeymoon was four nights in downtown Chicago, a cool 45 minute drive from our front door.

Believe me, I realize this 'problem of mine' is a super luxury, one I'm not sure we'll get to do again in a long time, but we decided seven years was long enough to wait, and we booked a trip for two to Myrtle Beach. 

I had never once in my entire life thought of Myrtle Beach as somewhere to visit. Wasn't on my radar, and probably wouldn't ever have if my "Uncle" didn't own a condo in Myrtle Beach. With his generous off-season rental offer we decided to give the Walmart of the Skies (Spirit Airlines) a try, and see what South Carolina had to offer.  

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We had zero expectations, hardly a single item on the agenda, and our main hope was that we'd have warm weather to enable us to wash away the cold long winter of Chicago. We hoped that we'd eat good food (hello there hushpuppies, please get in my belly), drink too many drinks, walk along the ocean, and most importantly, relax. It was a goodbye winter trip. A 30th birthday trip (for me). And a delayed honeymoon / early two year wedding anniversary, all rolled into one. 

With no family or friends in attendance we were free to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to. With only two voting parties and zero plans it was easy to skip from a cocktail on the porch to a game of miniature golf (did you know Myrtle Beach has more miniature golf courses than any other city? The more you know!) to another game of miniature golf to a snack to a nap to binge watching House of Cards without wondering if someone wanted to do something else, or eat somewhere else, or was bored, or tired, or hungry, or anything else because WHOOOO HOOOOOO WE'RE FREE! 

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I bought a $5 straw fedora and wore like it was my Myrtle Beach uniform. We ate more fried seafood than is recommended by the FDA. We drank coffee on the screened in porch and watched golfers attempt to sink their puts on the 15th hole. A trip to the hot tub in the sprinkling rain at 9pm. The place to ourselves. I drug Adam to Alligator Adventures, kayaking, and a three mile walk along the beach. He drug me golfing. 

On my 30th birthday I was so happy. So content. And anyone who knows me well knows that this is NOT a way that I describe the anniversary of my birth. For the first time in as long as I can remember I wasn't upset that it was my birthday. I didn't shrink away from the fuss of this day being all about me. I relished in it. I loved all the messages, texts and calls. I loved how Adam let me pick what we did, where we ate, all because this was the day I was born thirty years prior. I got ready for our fancy dinner out and I felt so peaceful. The overwhelming feeling of happiness I felt on my birthday was something I have not felt since I was ten years old.  

Was it the trip? Was it just because it was Adam and I, away from the world? Was it because I was turning 30? An age I've felt I was since I was in my early twenties, just waiting for my actual age to finally catch up to the one I've felt I am for all these years? 

Whatever it was, it was bliss. The sun, the sand, the cloudy days, the glorious pool and resort, the trashy boardwalk, the never ending seafood buffets we refused to try, the touristy crap at every turn, the southern hospitality, the fresh seafood, the sea air, all of it felt like I was hitting the refresh button. 

It took seven years for us to treat ourselves. I plan to make sure it's not another seven before we do it again. 

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MONOTONY

Something a friend said the other day has stuck with me. The other day she said, "I realize that I thrive in chaos. It's the monotony of life that I struggle the most with." 

As I sit here on a Saturday morning, drinking coffee and reading, content with a weekend stretching before me with a to-do list containing things like, drop off items at Goodwill, vacuum, take dogs to the dog park, I realize that I am 150% opposite my friend in every way possible. 

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I thrive in the absolute drudge of nothingness. In a weekend without plans, or goals, or disturbances. I live for a work week that is so mundane in its existence that the days bleed together. Where the highlight of my week is marked by finishing my book in the quite hours before bed. Happily placing it on the shelf and sticking my bookmark in the pages of the next book. 

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It's not that I don't wish for excitement. I do. I look at others vacationing and jetting, joining and doing and I feel that sense of longing. Wishing I too had the resources to buzz from item to item, event to event, trip to trip. But it isn't our today, and it wont be our tomorrow, and where that once ate at me I now feel peace. Have I learned to sink into what we have? In the simple moments? Or am I simply better at coping than I was at 24? 

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It could simply be my natural inclination towards winter hibernation. My bodies ability to sink inward and wait for spring that helps pass the days. All I really know is I feel content. To sit with my coffee and my book well into the afternoon with a to-do list four items long, and no rush to check them off. 

I have wants, but very little needs, besides time to sit with my book and my thoughts, waiting for spring.