Just imagine: you’ve planned a three-day vacation for yourself! If you are like me, you haven’t traveled just for pleasure since 2011 so it really is time, yes? I made this plan in bleak February, the dates tied to a conference I was thinking of attending. Not long after the sitter was secured I decided against the conference and instead opted for three days and two nights at a resort hotel and spa a mere three-hour drive from home.


I can imagine that. Beautiful room, fantastic amenities- –


And a fabulous setting, Lily, but before I get into that I need to explain something about me and fun getaways. For the past several years every time I’ve scheduled one it’s been scuttled at the last minute, due to pet emergencies or other derailing circumstances. This time I decided No more of that. To ensure I wouldn’t have to cancel again I told no one, outside of the sitter, of my plans.

Just imagine: a room with a view.

Good thing you didn’t tell me, I’m awful at keeping secrets.


I remember that about you, 9. At the last minute I persuaded a friend living near the resort to join me for wine tasting and dinner the first night, and to get together early the following morning for yoga and a hike.


No thanks on the wine, but the yoga and hike sound like fun.

Just dinner for me, please. Dessert included, right?


Right, 9. But the rest of the dinner is where things went wrong. I ordered the pasta, my friend ordered the Kobe burger. Later that night I woke up with an extremely upset stomach- -my best guess was food poisoning. I barely slept, hadn’t even packed a Tylenol that could have eased the pain.


My friend showed up the next morning, bright-eyed with yoga mat. I was barely able to make it to the door to let them in. Yoga not! I crawled back into bed. An English muffin was retrieved from the restaurant. The nausea was so bad it took me until three in the afternoon to eat it.


No fun!


No kidding. My friend had to go to work later that morning so there was no one to visit me in my misery. By 5 PM I felt well enough to shower, trudge up the hill to the restaurant and order a takeout dinner (hummus and veggies with a side of focaccia- –not the pasta), took a short walk in what had turned out to be a sunny day, and had a long hot bath in the soaking tub that looked out on the view.


All things considered, it was a nice evening. And just imagine, the next morning I felt well enough to roll out my yoga mat. When I turned left in Warrior Two pose I faced the full wall of windows. Though I’d of course noticed it before I actually gasped at the view- -terraced cliffs running down to the Columbia River gorge, tinted pink by morning sun. Then and there I realized the deep desire go on a yoga retreat in a breathtaking natural setting.

Just imagine: Columbia Gorge view as seen from the yoga mat.

Just imagine how good a breakfast of Greek yogurt, perfectly ripe berries and granola tasted later that morning. The drive home was scenic and uneventful, and, as of this writing, Hoosegow has very nearly forgiven me for being gone for 48 entire hours.

Just imagine: a delicious, healthy breakfast!

Thinking way back to other vacations I’ve taken, I remember it sometimes takes a day or two to wind down from the stress of getting ready to go. Illness and travel aren’t exactly strangers. In the future, I need to imagine a longer vacation with a day or two built in to recover from the effects of coming and going. And I need to do more than just imagine- -I need to follow through.

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