A hard-working vacation.

This is a hard post to write.

Vacations are always hard to write about because no one can relate.

But oh, the guilt.

Guilt is dirty. It’s right up there with shame, worry, and jealousy. They are the emotions that make us ugly people. The better you are at brushing these feelings off, well, I don’t really know because I’m a little pig rolling in the mud.

I travel a lot. I wish I could validate this statement by saying it’s for work. It’s not. The second I walk into Kansas City International Airport, I feel it – travel guilt.

Money guilt  The cost of this plane ticket and hotel could go towards paying off our credit card, the retirement fund, the kids’ college tuition or anything synonymous with the word adult.

Kid guilt  “No, mommy! Please don’t go!” The dagger.

Jealousy guilt  “That bitch went on vacation again?!” I can hear your thoughts.

Friendship guilt  Scott planned the trip with his friends and that included who we shared hotel rooms with. If it was up to me, you’re all invited.


We traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado last weekend. We visited the Rocky Mountains for pleasure.

Oh, wait. Let me say that again – for “pleasure.” 

Ah, Breckenridge. A sight for the eyes because no picture can do it justice. The air is thin. Snow is powder. Everyone is high. Well, yes, some are that kind of high but we’re all high-high. It’s 10,000 feet above sea level. A height where we’ve heard it all before – “it is now safe to turn on all electronic devices.”


We traveled with the friends that turn on their electronic devices when I FALL OFF A LIFT. They missed the part where I scream at Scott.


I screamed at Scott here, too. This was all his idea.

“It’ll be fun, Bug! We can ski all day, sit in the hot tubs at night, maybe enjoy a couple breweries.”

“Oh, sure. Ok, I can be a snow bunny!”

I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’ll say it – LIES.

I don’t get it. Maybe my parents should have taken me to the mountains as a child. I didn’t hear one kid scream like I did. Ski lessons at Breckenridge must include a lesson in bravery.

I know for a fact that my lungs want to fail at altitude. I came prepared with a can of Boost Oxygen. It works wonders when my body’s response to anyone skiing within five feet of me is hyperventilation.


Or maybe I’m not athletic enough. I’m comfortable under a bench press. I’m not comfortable raising my heart rate. Multiple falls from 5 feet, 9 inches is hard on my old bones of 34 years. Look at my friend, Kathy. She busted her ACL and MCL on the first day of skiing.

And I grew a mustache to keep warm.


Scott got felt up on the second day because mountain men taking selfies are dangerous too.


And then Scott landed in a tree on the third day. Look hard. He’s in there, Waldo.


I eventually stuffed a ski up Scott’s ass on purpose and followed directions from his friend, Hunter. I couldn’t yell at Hunter for cheerleading me down a mountain. We don’t have that special husband and wife bond. Hunter taught me how to zig zag down the hill of death. He taught me to relieve pressure off one leg to turn. It started to make sense. Everyone falls.


I realized if I was going to survive, I would have to do it myself. No one can help me but me. A nurse once told me that years ago while I was pushing a tiny human from my body.

By the end of our trip, I could ski on the easiest ski runs.

This trip wasn’t for cocktails and umbrellas. You could say it was for work – the hard, physical kind of work. The travel guilt is always there. This time I came home with the pleasure knowing I made it down alive.

Are you comfortable skiing? Do you prefer mountain vacations or beach vacations? Do you feel guilty when you travel? What kind of guilt do you feel? I swear my vacations are over for now. I’ll be in Kansas, at sea level.


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11 thoughts on “A hard-working vacation.

  1. Julie this is hilarious. …you have a way with words and I think all married people have wanted to shove a ski up the other ones kester at some point of their “winter wonderland vacation “. I have always loved the mountains and was happy that our family got to experience skiing and the magnificent beauty of Colorado. We started Cierra and Natalie pretty young and now they’ll be able to take their kids. …lots of memories were made and hopefully many more to come. …BUT…. as I’ve gotten older those beach vacays are sounding alot better…..I mean let’s be real. ..walking around in those ski boots like a robot stomping around. ..carrying all your ski crap everywhere ….snot freezing on your cheeks. …cold ass snow down your bibs…..falling down and watching a 6 year old kid go shush ing by you! ?!? …..BBUUTTTT….then you go down a freshly groomed run of packed powder and you’re flying down that run like a pro ….eyes watering ….carving your turns. …one with the mountain….yep its all worth it. ….we’ll until I get to the bottom and have to carry those damn skis and poles and stomp my way back to family, friends and Fosters!


  2. I love to travel with my boys!! Any where every where!! We were in Breckenridge the week before you guys! It was great!! A lot of easy runs!! We are not great skiers but love the fun and exercise! I’ll say sometimes I do feel guilty when I travel. Most of my friends are home with smaller kids and don’t travel like we do. Or traveling is not the top of their list!! I want my kids to know there’s a wonderful world out there.. Our next big trip is cabo in July!!


    1. Yes, a lot of our friends have little, little kids too. I wanted to at least kinda know what I’m doing before we bring the girls to ski. I definitely want them to learn while they’re young. We’ll bring them back next season. We are thinking about taking the girls to Sanibel Island in the summer. I’ve never been to Cabo! I want to go!! 🙂


  3. This post was SO funny and true! I am sure if my hubby talked me into skiing, it would go down the same way! I am not a skier and don’t aspire to be, let alone at 10,000 feet. We took our two young kids skiing about 10 years ago in Vermont….the hubs skied, the kids took lessons (and didn’t scream or cry once), and I sat reading a book and drinking “cocoa” in the chalet taking in the views! Best. Vacation. Ever.

    Love your blog. You tell it like it is!


  4. Ow ow ow! I can so relate except for the part where you were able to master the easy trails. I didn’t get that far. I believe I could not even master standing up. Yea.

    Regarding the guilt, it does no good (as I sit here sipping a gin a tonic from the island of Puerto Rico while my family sits at home in MA where it’s windy and dreary). 🙂 Remember, “Happy Wife = Happy Life & Happy Mom = Happy Home”.


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