September 2006

When Life Gets in the Way

Author: P. Venus

Hi there. It’s me again. For those of you who don’t know me from before, let me introduce myself. I’m P. Venus. Your average, not quite middle-aged, opinionated woman, who isn’t afraid to express herself. Just as long as I can hide behind a clever alias. For those of you who do know of me, I’m sorry it’s been so long since we’ve talked.

Several months of hard work have made P. Venus a dull girl and in serious need of a vacation away. One who doesn’t take advantage of the occasional sabbatical starts to ponder the philosophy of bumper stickers. “If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them” actually starts to make sense.

So where does one who lives on an island go when one wants to get off “The Rock”? My husband and I chose the mountains of Asheville NC. Let me first say that a 10-year-old, Lowcountry, four-cylinder station wagon (affectionately known as the grocery-getter), whose biggest climb is the Cross Island Bridge, is probably not the best vehicle choice for this road trip, but it is the best I have.

We reach our destination, a little road weary and hungry, but happy to be on vacation. I stroll up to the counter at my hotel only to learn that their phones and Internet are not working. To top it off, I can’t seem to get a cell phone signal here in the mountains. What kind of vacation is this if I can’t have instant communication to the outside world at my fingertips?

The next morning we rise early to partake of our “continental breakfast”. My first problem with this breakfast is that if they want to call it “continental”, they could at least throw in some French toast or a croissant, instead of muffins and mini-bowls of Fruit Loops. Second, there is something terribly wrong about a breakfast that is only served between 6:30 and 9:30 a.m. We’re on vacation for crying out loud. You could at least let us sleep in.

Despite that we carry on, and have a beautiful day touring the Biltmore Estate. We are elated that our tour of the grounds ends with a wine-tasting at their vineyard. We finally carry our tipsy selves back to our hotel only to find that it has been hit by lightning during an afternoon thunderstorm. The frazzled staff can’t guarantee that when we make it up to our room (after climbing four flights of stairs, of course), that we can even enter it with our keycard or if the room will have power!

Clearly I think I was never meant to go on vacation. Life was determined to get in the way of any possibility of serious relaxation. Luckily, my husband and I are fairly easy-going people and manage to end our vacation the next day with no other bumps in the road. Now all we need is a couple more days off to recover from our trip!

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