So far this year, I have been to Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Minnesota, to name a few places. Richmond, VA. and California don’t even count as “destinations” anymore, I’m in both places so often. All of these trips have been for work, and for that, I consider myself to be extremely lucky. But traveling so often for business makes leisure travel challenging. I find myself wanting to go to places that are very far away from my everyday life, thinking I’ll be forced to mentally disconnect so I don’t miss anything (or at least feel less inclined to check email). Getting to those places requires time and money, of course. So, until I can spend 3 weeks exploring Patagonia, I need to get serious about the value of my personal time. Turns out, all it takes is some sunshine and a swimming pool to remind me.
To get a brief respite, we spent memorial day weekend in Palm Springs. While not exactly an exotic locale, the desert does wonders for one’s state of mind. The vast arid landscape, shocking blue sky, and even extreme heat, reinvigorates in its own way.
We stayed at The Parker, a hotel that does quite well in making guests feel as though they are disconnected from the rest of the world. Rooms are spread across the resort, connected by lush pathways with secret seating areas nestled around water fountains or fire pits. Hammocks and outdoor games are laid out on secluded lawns for relaxing or quiet entertainment, two pools sit at opposite ends of the property - one for adults, one for families.
It took an afternoon before we got comfortable not doing anything, but once we settled down on our lounge chairs with some reading, the transition got easier. By day two, forgetting about the rest of the world was a piece of cake. We rode bikes around town (for all of 30 minutes in 100 degree heat, but still…), then traded our bikes for icy lemon drinks and made our way to the Petanque court. Laid out with bistro tables and surrounded by trees, I truly felt like I’d been transported to the south of France for a little while, spending a few hours trying to beat Dan at the game of Boules.
I’d successfully put off email and my phone for 48 hours. Suddenly, pushing everything off until the first work day after the holiday made much more sense when I could be swimming instead. Though I did check into Foursquare (and by default, Facebook and Twitter). How else was I going to make everyone jealous?