January 11, 2016 - Vacation 52 Challenge - Week #1
I'm challenging myself to live every week and every day this year like I'm on vacation. I'm calling it my Vacation52 Challenge, which you can read more about here.
I promised to check in here once a week with an overview of how it's going to keep myself accountable.
My first task was to cull the clothes and limit my wardrobe as though I were packing for a 2-3 week vacation in Phoenix.
I'm off to a slow start in this regard. It's been on my to do list all week, but I haven't tackled it yet. So, I'll try again this week.
Highlights from My First Week of My Vacation 52 Challenge
We got 2016 started right. On New Year's Night we attended Glendale Glitters, which has been on my list for a long time. Each holiday season historic downtown Glendale decorates with about 1.5 million multi-colored twinkling LED holiday lights...
After walking around and taking in the fabulous lights, we headed across the street to Cuff, a new restaurant in downtown Glendale, which was named by Phoenix Magazine as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2015. We sat at the bar of this pleasant little eatery and enjoyed a champagne cocktail, a plate of calamari, and delicious bowl of Thai Green Curry. It was the perfect low-key way to kick off the new year vacation style.
Over the weekend and through the first week I was able to keep the vacation vibe going by:
- Sleeping in and then lounging in bed with a new book on Saturday.
- Taking the time to make percolated coffee.
- Celebrating a family member's birthday with brunch on Sunday at Sierra Bonita, one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants that I don't visit often enough.
- Taking in a movie.
- Settling in early with a simple supper Sunday night before catching the first episode of Downton Abbey's final season.
- Gathering at Peter's for a casual family dinner Tuesday night, something we rarely do during the week.
- Changing up the routes I took when walking Francie. This was one of the most easy and enjoyable ways to feel like I was somewhere new because I was. I discovered all kinds of pretty homes as I explored new neighborhoods.
- Headed out to the Uptown Farmer's Market, which was named one of America's 50 Best Farmer's Markets in 2015, on Wednesday morning to pick up fresh bread and vegetables.
- Walked home from my local grocery store in a gentle rain, a great treat when you live in the desert.
- Said "yes"when my stepson Mac and his girlfriend invited us over for appetizers, cocktails and conversation.
- Attended my monthly Weight Watchers Weigh-in where I managed to be -1.4 pounds after being +2.8 in November.
- Made several new soups - a red lentil soup with butternut squash and kale, a tomato based vegetables soup with pasta and ground beef and a lentil kale soup with spicy sausage- that we ate when we weren't out and about. They all turned out delicious and I promise to share the recipes soon. Till then you might want to make a big batch of slow cooker split pea soup, one of my personal favorites that can be made either with our without the ham.
Overall I feel pretty good about my first week. When you are as prone to over-seriousness as I am, keeping the vacation feeling alive all year is going to take focus and persistence. It's so easy for me to lose myself in my safe routines and too much work.
As I was having coffee with a friend today at one of my favorite neighborhood places, Luci's Healthy Marketplace, she shared that she and her husband had committed to keeping the vacation feeling alive several years ago while driving home from a week in California. What was one thing they did to create the feeling of vacation all year? They changed up their approach to cooking and eating, planning meals ahead, taking time to shop and cook together more often. How cool is that?
This Week's Lesson: To feel like you are on vacation every week of the year, do something new and/or different: read a new book, cook a new recipe, take a new route to work or when you walk the dog, try a new restaurant, see a new movie, make coffee a different way, if you usually turn right, go left and see where it takes you.
Are you ready to feel like you are on vacation all the time? I'd love to have you join me! Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.
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