Massive Vacation 2012 part 1

In June/July I took a long-ish vacation and I kept a bit of a journal. Already, since I’ve gotten back things are so different than what I was experiencing. I’ve edited it because some of it is not public info, but for the most part, here’s part of my journey.

June 25, 2012
I’m currently on the longest vacation I’ve been on in my adult life. The only longer trip was my trip to Kenya & London in 2001but most of that was missions, so I’m not sure it counts. I left SF on June 19th at night to take a red eye to Philly and visit friends & family before heading to NY to fly to Mallorca, Spain. The time in Philly was pretty good. I was staying with a friend who’s doing an internship in Center City, so it was great to be in that area where there’s good shopping and ok restaurants (I’m an SF food snob) and start to relax.

A few things about Philly – it was unacceptably hot. Of course the days leading up to and following my time there were mild and almost pleasant, but wow – it was 97 degrees and crazy humid there. My last night I was having dinner with a dear friend and a thunder storm came upon us at the restaurant where we were eating and soaked us. It was quite a storm that managed to shut down most of the airports and do some damage. It cooled things down a bit, for sure.

Another thing about Philly – we’ve got to do something about the food. First of all, your restaurants have ENTIRELY too many things on the menus and all of them are heavy and fried and meaty. You know that I love both meat and fried things, so if I’m begging off, it’s a lot. For example: one night we ate at Smokin’ Betty’s because, well, it’s Smokin’ Betty’s and it was in honor of my mom. The menu is replete with apps, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and pizza dishes. Calm the hell down. Specialize in a few things and keep the menu to a minimum. Then, in the 99 degree heat, their specials were a ham steak with mac & cheese or fried chicken w/ cheddar biscuits and greens. Egads. In their defense, they did come up with a nice watermelon salad, but that kind of seasonally appropriate menu item was the exception, not the rule. The other thing that was odd was that there was NO dessert menu. None. Offer me a scoop of ice cream for Pete’s sake. But no – nothing. Other restaurants where I ate might have had one or 2 things. But generally, way too many heavy, hot, not seasonal food choices, with no desserts. Odd. Zavinos’ Pizza & Wine bar came much closer with a lovely crostini appetizer and good pizza options and 2 dessert choices. I had the Tiramisu, delicious and served in a small jar, which was kind of adorable.

My time in Philly also allowed me to connect with some extended family that I hadn’t seen in years. I have a cousin and her family there and then I was honored that another cousin schlepped up from Baltimore to join us for dinner. It was lovely to reconnect and see them, catch up and enjoy some good conversation. My cousin made us some RIDICULOUS curry, because she grew up in India, and gave us some souvenir dal to take home. It was kind of awesome.

I keep having these waves of stress and anxiety about work things. I have had real moments of worship and I’m slowly letting go. My family and friends are praying for me and even people on this trip are praying for me. I’m going to be fine, and it will all work out, but damn, it’s kinda sucking right now.

One of the things that has helped me is that I have had Chris Tomlin’s song Our God on heavy rotation. It’s reminding me of God’s greatness and desire to bring about healing and growth and ability to overcome seemingly difficult circumstances.

So now here I am in Mallorca with some women I met about 36 hours ago. They’re all amazing and I feel a bit like I’m the charity case here. They all are accomplished, strong, smart, creative, intelligent, funny and all around amazing. The other thing is that so many of them have physically prepared for this way more than I have and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up.

The travel portion has come off with very little drama. Our van driver from Jill’s house to JFK almost killed us a few times, but otherwise, we made it ok. We got to JFK and had a MASSIVE party at a restaurant in the airport called Bobby Van’s. They set up a huge table for us in the back and we had a great server whom we tipped well. We ordered a ton of apps and wine and sang happy bday to Jill VERY loudly and the other patrons were great about it, joining in singing and watching us have a great time. It was a great way to start off.

Our flights have been all on Air Berlin, and their service is good and it’s a fine airline, but their food is absolutely awful. I’ve now spent a total of 5 hours in Germany in my life and have found that they put cream cheese on EVERYTHING. Why is this necessary? The combo of stress and constant travel has also caused me to not hold down a lot of the food I’d eaten in Germany and on the plane, so that’s not given me the best view of their food.

Once we arrived in Palma, we had minor drama regarding our luggage, but we found it and all was well. We got our driver and went to Nunu, a relatively new restaurant here in Soller and it’s AMAZING. The food is so good, the service is wonderful, and it was such a delight. The restaurant serves hundreds of kinds of gin and specializes in fancy gins & tonics. We had a couple that were lovely and I’m sure we’ll be back for more. We had fresh oranges on the table that were so delicious and juicy and then platters of starters began to arrive. Fresh prawns, duck confit, and a seafood melty thing in a mussel shell with some warm fish soup as an accompaniment. For lunch, I had fresh sea breem caught THAT DAY and filleted at the table. It was by far the best most delicious fish I’ve ever had and I may not be able to eat fish in the states again.

When we arrived at the finca, I kind of hit the wall. I was so in need of sleep and a shower. I remember at one point Jill came in and said that I could come to dinner and blow it off and sleep and I clearly blew it off and slept. I woke up at 5 this morning after sleeping almost 12 hours. I so needed that. I lay awake in bed listening to the chorus of roosters in our “neighborhood” and enjoying watching the sun rise over the mountains, the day beginning and getting us ready for our first active adventure.
Our first full day here will be sea kayaking, which I’m pretty stoked for. The water is so blue and gorgeous and the waves aren’t crazy, and if I do get sick, I can puke out the side of the boat and move on. I’m not sure what to expect here, but I’m excited.

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