Monday, March 7, 2011

The Rush of Spring and the Year of Travel

Spring has peeked its friendly face here by way of a few days in the mid-60's last week.  But she quickly retreated when Old Man Winter blew back in to town.  The age old war of seasonal change goes on.  Daylight Savings Time is this weekend and the kids start Spring Break on Monday.  Signs of Spring are in abundance outdoors too as green shoots are appearing throughout the garden and I could swear the grass appears to have taken on a greenish hue.  Spring-like rain showers and a good old-fashioned Midwestern thunderstorm have also occurred in the last ten days.  It won't be long now.

As is customary for me, Spring brings a huge shift in gears.  Gone over the next month will be the leisurely after dinner nights of Winter spent watching television, reading or surfing the web.  Nope, I've already started to shift into a higher gear as our vacation to Mexico draws close.  Lots of preparations and last minute planning have been the work of the past week.

We decided to try having our groceries ordered in advance and delivered to our villa before our arrival in Akumal.  We debated on it last year, but being newbie tourists to the Riviera Maya we elected to not trust the sources we read online and arranged with our villa manager to get groceries once we were there.  The booking agency I used this year recommended the grocery service so I thought that was a plus and they really do have a lot of good press in the tourist forums.  I hope it works out as grocery shopping is not how I want to spend my vacation.

I'm really looking forward to this Mexico vacation because it was just so truly relaxing last year.  A week-long holiday in the tropics does have a way of getting you to unwind and relax.  In less than two weeks I'll be sitting here and having margaritas all day long while I read or spend time with the family having a good time on the beach and in the pool.

Ah! Villa in Akumal Sur, Mexico (the Riviera Maya)
This year we are planning to voyage into the interior of Mexico to visit Chichen Itza, the ancient Mayan ruins.  The trip, one-way, is three hours so it will be a long day.  But being one of the New Seven Wonders of the World we just feel it would be a travesty to not go visit it when we are so close. 

We'll also do an afternoon sailing on the large 45-foot catamaran similar to last year.  Instead of a full day sail with lunch on the beach and jungle ride in the back of a pick-up truck (gosh that was a tense moment or two), we all agreed to do a 4-hour sail with snorkeling and snacks provided by the sailing outfit.

Patrick and I are planning a trip to Vegas sometime in April courtesy of a nice windfall we came in to this past week.  So I have lots of planning to do there as well.  The windfall also allowed me to pick out some new carpet for the formal living room and dining room at last.  They come to measure this week and hopefully it will arrive while we are on vacation so that we can schedule installation shortly after our return.

Back in January we made the decision (finally! after years of telling everyone in the family I wanted to do it) to visit Washington, DC over the 4th of July this year.  We booked our airfare and hotel back then but I need to start looking at what we'll have time to visit and see while we're there.  I'm really excited to share this truly American and most-patriotic event with my girls.  Being in DC on the 4th is something that has stood out in my mind for years as one of the greatest things I've participated in.  I'm glad they'll finally get to experience it.  Maybe they in turn will make it a tradition by taking their children some day.

Fireworks over the National Mall, Washington DC
Somewhere amidst all this travel I have to find time for the gardening I have been planning this winter.  Plants and bulbs are ordered, planting and sowing schedules are committed to paper, and seeds have arrived.  There's no turning back now.  Onward towards Spring I march.  Eager for the faster pace, warmer weather, and higher spirits that come with it all.