I'm in a Monday morning funk. Still in my bathrobe. Sulking. Instead of being grateful that I have legs, which is my policy.
Just returned from a Jewish Women's Retreat in the woods near a town called Angelus Oaks. Yeah, I hadn't heard of it, either. Apparently, bears know it well, since a gal opened her cabin door and one was chilling right outside. I didn't want to walk alone at night (hell--ever) after that. But otherwise, the weekend was a good experience. I met some really cool women who have had amazing lives (a bunch of them were older than me) and taught three Nia classes to smiling and appreciative students (even if two of these classes were at freakin' dawn.) They served massive amounts of tasty food, provided lots of pretty paper and glue for a Saturday night art project, built a big campfire for s'mores, and introduced me to the wonders of Liat, the 25-year-old song leader, who could play absolutely anything on her guitar for sing-alongs. Because I'm a big diva, I insisted on my own cabin (the other women were four to a room) and I'm glad I did, after Saturday morning reports of snoring, heating disagreements and constant bathroom trips. I'm a light sleeper, and I was snug in my tiny cabin with the white noise feature on my iPhone and a luxurious mint-green velour blankie from home. It also gave me a place to hide for 15-minute increments of reading when the hours of making cheerful small-talk with strangers got to me (extroverts are really just introverts who charge their batteries with huge swatches of alone time.)
And that should conclude my near-constant gallivanting for the present. We had returned from the Florida/Bahamas/Disney Cruise excursion only four days before I left for the weekend. I am happy to say I am a cruise person (I think? This was a short cruise) and that the Disney Dream is gorgeous and not just for kids. One of the highlights was an adults-only dinner at Palo where we were treated like kings and queens, and the "Rainforest Experience" in the adults-only spa where you could stand in a beautifully tiled chamber and press a button that said "Mediterranean Storm" or "Siberian Mist" and get a personal show of water, light and scent. In the ports of Nassau and Castaway Cay (the Disney-owned island) I loved, respectively, the Dolphin Encounter (it's impossible to be cynical about hugging a dolphin) and the Stingray Adventure, where we snorkeled in a crystal-clear white-sand cove with 56 resident sting rays swooshing and flapping around us. Bliss. Disney Dream employees either love their Disney jobs or are operating under threat of some horrific punishment, but they were smiling, generous and warm 24 hours a day. Free self-serve ice cream cones and towels shaped like animals and a veranda overlooking the navy-blue sea didn't suck, either. Oh, and Jarrah was all about the Oceaneer's Club and the Aquaduck, a water slide four flights of stairs above the top deck that actually extends over the sea.
I also fulfilled a life-long dream of visiting Epcot park, and it did not disappointment (it didn't hurt that it was International Food and Wine month, either.) The various lands are so beautiful, and the gray, misty weather really cooled things down that day (otherwise, both Florida and the Bahamas were ridiculously hot and sticky for October.) There were no crowds, and it was all very relaxing, except for Mission to Space where I'm fairly certain my heart actually stopped for a couple of minutes. We also visited Magic Kingdom, which was sort of interesting and sort of meh, considering most of the rides are the same as in the park where I practically grew up, and it was horribly hot and crowded. We took one Disney sabbatical day and traveled a couple hours to the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater, FL for a pilgrimage to the marine rescue center that is the home of Winter, the famous, tail-less dolphin from the movie "Dolphin Tale." That was a great day, and sunset on the sugar-soft, white beach capped it off beautifully.
See? I have nothing to be funked about. This always happens, though. I look forward to my birthday celebrations but I dread them, too, expecting too much and also expecting disappointment. It's a vicious cycle.
But enough about me...how are you? How do you feel about YOUR birthdays?