My Easter Vacation

Every now and then go away,
Have little relaxation,
For when you come back to your work
Your judgement will be surer;
Since to remain constantly at work
Will cause you to lose power of judgement…

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

I like this quote. I have used it before in my column. I may use it again. I like it because it is so true. It was written about 500 years ago and it is more valid now than ever.

But planning and getting ready for a stress free holiday is stressful in itself. That is one reason why many refuse to take a holiday.

Holidays are expensive. There are many hidden costs. And there are many fears. If you are in a wrong place at a wrong time then your time is up.

Workaholics feel they are indispensable. Or they are subconsciously afraid to accept that life will go on whether they are there or not.

Every time I book a family vacation, I have mixed feelings. My anxiety level settles down when I am back home with my family and am able to sleep in my own bed. I like the security and comfort of my home.

That is how I felt last Sunday when I got home after spending Easter week cruising some Caribbean and Mexican islands.

We had left on Easter Friday. The day started around 4.30 a.m. The flight from Medicine Hat was at 6.30 a.m. with a tight connection (I worry about tight connections!) in Calgary to fly to Toronto.

In Toronto we had to change planes and terminals and go through U.S. Customs and Immigration at the new big beautiful Pearson Airport to catch a flight for Fort Lauderdale.

We were in our Fort Lauderdale hotel at about 10.30 p.m. local time – 17 hours after we left our home in Medicine Hat. Long enough to get a blood clot in the leg which can be fatal.

After a good night’s sleep, we boarded Caribbean Princess the next day. There were long lines everywhere but the organization was great and the lines moved pretty fast.

Caribbean Princess is a brand new ship. This was her second voyage. It is beautiful inside. As we boarded the ship and entered our stateroom (cabin), we were handed a precautionary health advisory on Norwalk virus. Also known as “24 hour stomach bug”. We were advised to call the Medical Centre if we had diarrhea or vomiting.

We stopped for a day at Princess Cays island in Bahamas. Next port of call was Montego Bay. Then we sailed to Grand Cayman Island. Unfortunately, we could not land because of inclement weather. So we headed towards Cozumel, Mexico and then to Fort Lauderdale.

We disembarked at Fort Lauderdale at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday. Rushed to Miami airport to catch a flight at 12 noon. After over six hours in the plane we arrived in Vancouver. We cleared the customs and immigration and waited about three hours at the airport before catching a flight to Calgary. We arrived in Calgary at 9.30 p.m. with no connecting flight to Medicine Hat as it was Saturday. So we stayed overnight.

Four days from Medicine Hat to Fort Lauderdale and back. Three days at sea and three days at different islands. Quite a journey. Was it all worth it?

Yes, there was plenty of food – healthy and unhealthy. The service was good. Nightly entertainment in Princess Theatre could have been better. Recreational activities were plentiful. And the sun was shining most of the time (yes, I did use my sunscreen!).

I feel holidays are always worth taking – in spite of all the hassles. But wherever I go, I am glad to be back in Medicine Hat, sleeping on my own bed and getting back to my daily routine – until it is time for another holiday!

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