Cruise Travel

Off to Sea: See Ya Mañana

DSC_2621She said I can’t go back to America soon
It’s so goddamn cold it’s gonna snow until June
Yeah, they’re freezin’ up in Buffalo stuck in their cars
And I’m lyin’ here ‘neath the sun and the stars.

-Jimmy Buffett, Mañana

I’m going on vacation this week, and it is all Jimmy Buffett’s fault.

You see, when I visited Miami last month to cover the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, I sat in epic Miami traffic and listened to one album over and over again–Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads.  There may have been loud singing-along.  There was definitely elbow-out-the-window-sticking (and a resulting ridiculous seat belt sunburn).  By the end of my five days in south Florida, man did I want to be out on the water.

But alas, there was no time for that.  After the wine and food festival, I came home to the snowy northeast, where I continued my Jimmy Buffett marathon in my kitchen, bent over a pot of soup (in a vain attempt to stay warm), remembering the feeling of sun on my face and mourning my fading tan (and, ok, peeling skin).  And then, a week ago, I booked a last-minute Eastern Caribbean cruise (it’s not a sail boat, but it will do).  I leave for Fort Lauderdale in a couple of hours and the ship sails tomorrow.

Because Jimmy Buffett.

I’m going on vacation!

It is at this point that you might be thinking–but Tracy, you go on vacation all the time.  And that, dear reader, would be where you are wrong.  I have not been on a legitimate vacation–that is, a non-work, non-blog-research trip–in actual years.  I sincerely do not remember the last time I went anywhere just for fun.  Do I enjoy my many work trips?  Yes.  I am so unbelievably fortunate to get to see so much of this country because of what I do for a living.  Do I have fun on blog trips?  You bet.  This blog, and the travel and research that go along with it, take me to some of the most amazing places in the world.  I love blog trips like I love breathing.  But when on a work or blog trip, I don’t ever unplug.  I can’t.  And there’s always something I’m supposed to do, somewhere to be, someone to meet, an email (or ten) to answer, things to tweet and photos to Instagram.  Again, I enjoy doing these things.  But I thought that for once, it would be nice to…not.

This week, I’m unplugging, both from technology and from responsibility for seven whole days.  I have a bathings suit, half a dozen sundresses, and a pair of strappy sandals in my carry on bag.  I have two actual books–you know, the old fashioned kind, with real paper pages?  And I have very few plans beyond that.

So if you need me in the next week, well, you won’t be able to find me.  But more than likely, wherever I am, there are actual boats, beaches, and bars.

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