Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation Discordia

We took a two week vacation aboard our sailing catamaran. The two weeks was hard won. My husband doesn't like to use up his vacation all in one go. I think there's value in taking the extra time to let all of the work nonsense trickle out of your brain cells. He agreed to give it a try. We cruised the San Juan Islands.

The trip had its good points. The weather was gorgeous. We came back with tan lines - no mean feat in Washington State. The scenery was lovely and the wildlife sightings were fascinating glimpses into behaviors we'd never before observed (no whales). The cats weren't seasick and actively seemed to enjoy the anchorages.

The trip had its bad points. There was the involuntary test of the automatic flotation, I won't tell you about that one. Suffice it to say it isn't my story to tell. There was the midpoint maritial melt down. Oh, yes. Every vacation we have ever taken we've had some fight or the other. If we're lucky, it happens early so we can enjoy the rest of the vacation. It can be about anything. Anything at all. The point is the stresses of keeping body and soul together on a day to day basis trump relationship maintenance. It takes us several days of being removed from routine for relationship issues to finally get some attention. In this case, we discovered some very important and difficult truths: I love cruising. My husband does not. I'm an active, adventure-seeking vacationer. My husband in a cultural vacationer. Give me wilderness, trees, mountains, geology and wildlife. Give him museums, bookstores and the odd chocolate shop.

As the tan lines fade, and the stresses of bills to be paid mount, how do we reconcile our differences? Compromise. Not always easy. Very rarely sexy, except were it helps two people each feel like his and her needs might be met. I get to pick a vacation. Then he gets to pick a vacation. First up - an eleven day walking trip across Tsavo National Park in Kenya. (My idea...but he'll go with me because he wants to share the life experience, even when it's one he wouldn't chose. Isn't that sweet?)

In retaliation, I expect to be taken to London and/or Paris for a multi-museum tour. As if that will be a hardship. What do you suppose he'll pick as a vacation after I tell him I want to go to Antarctica to see Blood Falls??