Thursday, June 9, 2011
Good week of relaxing
It has been about 15 years since a full week’s vacation.
Those are hard to come by in the weekly newspaper business.
But last week the Burlesons spent six nights in Perdido Key, Fla. It was no doubt our best vacation ever – largely because there was lots of relaxation on my part.
It was easier, newspaper-wise, because of the Memorial Day holiday falling in that week. With early deadlines, I was able to finish “my part” of the paper.
Saturday night, before leaving for the Gulf Coast, I started to try and do even more, but then I got this text from staff member Beth Breithaupt. Beth is recovering after liver surgery. She simply reinforced what this “hands-on” editor already knew.
“We can do it Tuesday. Trust us. We’ve been doing this a long time, since 1987, and we won’t let you down. Go on and have a great vacation and forget about work for a week and focus on having fun with your family.
“We are all more blessed than we can even comprehend, with our families and friends, health, freedom and so much material wealth that most of the world’s population can only dream of. Time we didn’t spend with our spouses and kids is something we can never get back and will most certainly regret the rest of our lives. Our kids grow up too fast. Your Erin (who is now 9) reminds me every week how short our time with them is. Twenty years go by in two blinks and they are gone off starting their own lives and don’t have time for us anymore – due to jobs, college, boyfriends/girlfriends, friends or the self-absorption that comes with that age.”
This was the first time in a while that the family had all loaded up for the ride down together – including the newest addition, our dog Daisy. For the past few years, at Thanksgiving, Emma has just driven the short distance down from the University of Southern Mississippi and met us. The seven hours or so to the beach went fast this time – particularly when we were all singing Creedence Clearwater Revival hits.
We had not stayed on the Florida side in quite some time. Normally we’re just a few miles away in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach.
It was great – a super nice condo overlooking the ocean, big pool and lots of nice people, including new friends I met from Atlanta, Ga.
For me, personally, the seafood is one of the main reasons I love to vacation on the Gulf Coast. I started Sunday night with oysters on the half shell and ended Friday night with oysters on the half shell.
In between, I had fried oysters and shrimp, pizza, chicken fingers, hamburgers, tilapia and more.
We visited a couple of our favorite restaurants – The Shrimp Basket and King Neptune’s – and some new ones to us – Trigger’s, Doc’s Seafood Shack and Lillian’s Pizza. And then late one night we just had to have some ice cream, so we appropriately found “Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor.”
Some of the best of times were spent at the pool or in the ocean with the family. We enjoyed “catching the waves.”
We also played some putt putt golf, rented a couple of good movies and watched the national spelling bee together on ESPN.
I even read about half of a book – with a nice breeze helping cool down the record-high temperatures.
I could get use to these week-long vacations.
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