5 Things I’m Grateful For

Coming back to the routine of reality after a long vacation filled with new and exciting things every day can be difficult. I’m back at work and have already fallen into my old patterns. The last few weeks seem like a wonderful dream I’ve just woken from. I honestly can’t believe I was in Dublin just last week. Since those days are merely a concoction of my subconscious, I decided to put together a list of things inhabiting reality that I’m grateful for:

1. A Reliable Coffee Source (and Reliable WC)

I truly don’t think the caffeine affects me the way it affects other people. I certainly don’t need it to kickstart my day. However, drinking coffee every day has simply become a habit. A habit that was broken on vacation. There was a coffee maker in our apartment in Paris, but actually going to a market for grounds and then making it every morning seemed like a precious waste of time and money. That isn’t to say I never stepped into the nearest cafĂ© and ordered a cup. 🙂

In Dublin, the people we stayed with had one of those French pressers and once again, I was feeding my habit. It was nice. Until about an hour later when we were on a bus out to the countryside and my bladder was yelling at me for that one cup I had. By the time we reached our destination, I would generally be sniffing out the nearest loo.

2. Clean Clothes (I.E. Not Scaring Off Other People By the Mere Smell of Me)

In our Paris flat, we had a washer/dryer combo. Not two machines stacked on top of one another. One machine to wash and dry. I had really never seen such a machine. Do they exist in the States?? No doubt, but they would be more common in larger cities. Regardless, the directions were in French, and as you can imagine, confusion ensued. Caity was at the flat two days before I arrived and she hadn’t figured it out. Surely, if we put our not unintelligent minds together, we could get it working. Not so. We washed a towel three times. On our last day there, we (sort of) had it figured out, but it was too late to actually wash clothes. This hurt Caity more than I; I had only been there for a few days while Caity’s been abroad for months. Who knows what the washing situation was like in Morocco.

Regardless, I wasn’t as keen on the washing yet and by the time I was, I was due on an airplane home. By the time we reached Dublin, I had begun to recycle shirts. This was after I had already started recycling socks. I think that was the worst. Trying to stuff my feet in stinky old socks that had seen a lot of walking the last few days was pretty gross. Thank God I had plenty of underwear. I scooped out every piece of article I owned and stuffed it in my suitcase. I was just fine on that front. Next time, I will bring more socks. They’re gold, and helpful for wrapping small breakable presents in.

3. Comfort Food

This is the text my brother received the minute I landed in the States: “Will you make sure I have spaghetti and Prego???” I am a lady who enjoys her carbs and spaghetti is my favorite meal. I like it pretty plain, too. Just noodles and Prego sauce. Sure, I could have gone to any Italian restaurant overseas and ordered a big dish. However, I am not that boring on vacation! I feel being elsewhere, and especially in Paris, one has to try the typical delicacies of that particular region. So I had cheese. Lots of cheese, and I do not typically do cheese. And Whiskey in Ireland. God, did I try that whiskey… Didn’t finish it, though, but I did try it!

4. The Long Shower

I am someone who enjoys a long shower. I will just stand under the showerhead, not doing anything other than enjoying the heat. I am also someone who is ready to get going first thing in the morning while on vacation. There is so much to see and do and not enough time in the day! Being clean is important, but I cannot enjoy this necessity when it eats into the time I want to spend doing things. Sleep also becomes a hated need. First thing Caity asked me when I arrived in Paris was if I wanted to shower or nap. I responded with a firm, “NEITHER.” We walked instead and went to Notre Dame. By the time I could no longer push through the jet lag (dinner – the wine may have been a mistake… no, that’s crazy), I was starting to smell and I’d been up over thirty hours. I slept pretty well that night.

5. All the People I Left Behind

I am not one for sentimentality or expressing the deeper feelings, but I am grateful to every single person in my life… from my family to my friends to my coworkers, it’ nice to come back to a place where I’m known and missed and appreciated. It was really great to see my family for dinner and story time. I didn’t even resent the baby (much) when she drew attention away from me. 🙂