Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Vacations are good for you

Ok, well here is part one of the post I promised. Yesterday I said I'd post it by this afternoon, which turned into tomorrow morning, which is now today. Got it? Good.

There's nothing quite like a vacation to remind you of what life SHOULD be like. And while getting away isn't always 100% non-stressful (especially with kids), you should strive to make your getaway as relaxing as possible. Not just physically, but mentally too. By physically relaxing I don't mean inactive. I mean treating your body with the rest and nourishment it needs. Our room had a jacuzzi tub and you can bet I spent some time in it. We also slept in a lot, which felt really good. Mentally, many of us need to "get away from it all". That's easier said than done, but is vital to de-stressing. We all need to step back from time to time and evaluate our life, direction, motivation, goals, etc. I find I can do that better when I've had some time off. Time to remember who I am, what I want and why I want it. This also works for your diet. If you are frustrated or finding you are losing interest, step back a moment and look at the big picture. Determine your goals and what it really takes to get there. Decide if your current plan of action is helping or hindering. Or maybe it's just your attitude and expectations need some adjusting. Whatever the case, re-evaluating is always a good idea to get you going again.

I did just that this past week and find I'm more excited than ever about the direction I'm heading in life and in my health.

A quick summary:

Our vacation was a nice little getaway to Branson, Missouri. For those of you that have never been to Branson, it's a great place to take the family. You'll find Sliver Dollar City Amusement Park, White Water, Tours (Ride the Ducks) and mini-golf/go-cart racing galore! Shopping is great there and you can easily find something for everyone. Loads of restaurants as well to suit every appetite. And the shows are always a blast. I have no idea how many shows there are, but it'd take you weeks to see them all.

We opted for a couple of days at Silver Dollar City and a couple of local attractions during the week. Sadly it rained most of the time we were there and most of the outdoor rides were shut down due to lightening about half way through each day. We arrived early enough though that we were able to ride everything we liked. While the rides were shut down we spent time wandering through the shops in SDC, watching the shows available, and watching the demonstrations. I highly recommend watching the blacksmith and the glassblower - very cool stuff! Also the saloon show is always a riot.

Depending on when you get to SDC you can find a variety of shows. We were there during World Fest and saw a show from Ireland called Feet of Fire. Being of Irish heritage myself, I loved every minute. But even if you don't have any Irish blood in your veins, you would enjoy it. We also saw a Chinese Acrobatic act. Amazing how limber these people were! If you twisted me up like a pretzel I'd be broken for life. These people bended like they were made of rubber... they just bounced right back to a normal human form. AMAZING!

As for food in SCD, lots to choose from. As with most places, you can make about any meal LC if you know what to look for. If you go to the Lumberjack Skillet, they have what they call a low-carb fajita skillet. Honestly, it's only lc if you don't eat the tortilla that comes with it, but it's filling enough you don't need it. I get it every time we go and enjoy it immensely.

We also spent some time at the Hollywood Wax Museum. My kids have never seen a wax museum and though they'd enjoy it. We all thought it was cool, but it was a bit expensive for no longer than we were in there. If you have little kids, keep in mind there is a Hall of Monsters (which look pretty real... so it's kinda freaky, even for an adult) but you can bypass it though and alternate route.

The highlight of our trip was seeing the Bob Nelson show at the Clay Cooper Theatre. Bob has been one of my favorite comedians since I saw him in TV when I was about 10. When I heard he was there I knew we had to go. My only reservation was that I knew Bob used to curse a little in his routines. Before buying tickets I asked the clerk about his act and she said he'd cleaned it up in recent years. Later I learned that Bob was now a Christian and wants to keep his act 100% family friendly. Let me just say that this show was so awesome that we will go again next time we are there. We all laughed until we cried. And we were on the front row, so I got great shots, as well as the fact that we were actually a part of the show here and there when he decided to use people from the crowd for something.

All in all the trip was relaxing and much needed. We haven't taken a vacation since 2007 and needed the getaway badly. Now I'm back and renewed in mind, spirit, and my determination to take care of myself. (Nothing like traversing up and down hills on foot to make one aware of their physical condition, or in my case, lack thereof!) I'm also ready to get back to writing full time. I'll be honest. I've had so much on my plate the last month or so that the idea of blogging for writing for Examiner just stressed me out. But now that I'm looking at it through refreshed eyes, I'm ready to get going again.

I'm running short on time, but plan to come back later today to talk about the steps we can take at home to give ourselves a "mini-vacation" when we can't physically get away. (Also I'll probably share some photos, because you know my camera and I are never far apart.)


Barry Kraft said...

I have been reading this blog for some time. Wanted to let you know that. I am a fan and enjoy your post. my husband and I are enjoying your post. I agree whole heartedly about your bolg on vacations. I am originally from the Uk, where vacations are the norm and employees are far less stressed out and burned out than North America. However, what can WE do to change these employers perceptions of working more, more and more. Thanks so much for sharing.

Amy Dungan (Sparky's Girl) said...

Hi Barry and thanks for your comment! :)

I agree that as a whole we literally work ourselves to death. Sadly, it seems the almighty dollar determines working hours, whether it be the employer who chooses them, or the employee who works overtime because they can. I think the only thing we can do it to remind ourselves that work and money are not all life is about. It's important to remember to enjoy your life and spend time with those you love. Someday they will be gone and you can't get those moments back.