Connections: A Mini Vacation

I hardly recognized myself — letting time go by without purpose

You wouldn’t think that going away for only a weekend, two days and two nights, would change what might be called your mental metabolism, but it did for me. 

We went to Rhode Island last Friday, where we stayed at the Weekapaug, an inn so luxe that the morning newspapers were delivered to our room in labelled fabric gift bags, there was a special “borrowing closet” where you could check out Hunter knee-high muck boots, and every guest room had a copy of “Sibley’s Guide to Birds” and a pair of binoculars. If the weather had been fine, we would have ventured out for a walk around a nearby salt pond with the resident naturalist, but it was really too cold for that.

Instead what happened was that I slowed down and didn’t mind having nothing to do. I hardly recognized myself —  letting time go by without purpose.

The vacations in my life that I have enjoyed the most were those during which I got acquainted with a heretofore unknown place, zooming around meeting friends of friends, birdwatching, or bustling about the new territory from department stores to museums, heritage sites to restaurants. The goal has always been to get everything in and not miss seeing something I would be sorry about later. This little trip was different.

My husband had made a weekend by the sea in Rhode Island a surprise Christmas present. There were no worrying “must-dos” and no nagging “should-have-dones.” I might have complained about how much time was, well, empty if I had been functioning at usual speed, but my wheels were turning slowly. Breakfast in our bedroom, off a well-laid tray, and dinner in the excellent restaurant at the inn were nice bookends of the day.

I think part of what made it such a breakaway — aside from the level of comfort and luxury — was unplugging from my computer. If I were at home it would have been a run-of-the mill weekend of puttering: picking up around the house, doing some cooking, keeping the email up-to-date, checking on whether there was anything I could edit, exchanging messages with members of the staff, and consulting my various calendars and datebooks to make sure I wasn’t forgetting something I wanted to do (which has been known to happen lately).  

Instead, we did something that, for me, was the height of lazy self-indulgence. No, we didn’t get massages and spa treatments. We went to the movies. That’s right, we went all the way to Rhode Island to go to the movies. The inn was showing “Lawrence of Arabia” in one of the common rooms, but  when we learned that two of the season’s best films, “The Darkest Hour” and “The Post,” were at the nearest theater, there was no holding us back. We hadn’t seen either, so we made it a double feature. How luxurious is that?