OK. So here’s my keep-it-all-together trick. My secret sauce. It’s actually a little trick I learned in Lamaze. And I’m glad I got something out of that because once the contractions kicked in, that breathing bologna went right out the window. Hook me up and let her drip. Although I did get a few massages from my husband during the help-her-relax-through-the-most-excrutiating-pain- a-human-being-can-feel-without-going-into-shock-and-dying portions of our classes. And it was also during this portion of our weekly class that I learned my little trick. Our instructor would turn down the lights, we’d close our eyes and she’d give us the description of a serene locale.
“You’re walking on the beach,” she’d say. “You can hear the crashing waves. A gentle breeze is blowing on your face.”
Then all of the sudden I could taste the salt in the air and feel the sun on my shoulders. I could hear that crunching squeak the sand makes when it slides under your feet. The way the sand feels cold between your toes but hot on the soles of your feet. The squawk of seagulls. This was powerful stuff because we were in the community center in Durango, Colorado.
My whole body would relax. I could feel a tingle up my spine and scalp and the hairs and the back of my neck stand up. That feeling you get when your feet are being rubbed and that exact spot that you didn’t even know needed rubbed until someone stuck his thumb there gets hit – utter and excruciating pleasure.
So the other day I got my weekly Travelzoo Top 20 newsletter in my e-mail inbox. If this isn’t something that you get, I highly suggest you sign up. Travelzoo is a travel deals Web site, http://www.travelzoo.com/. They claim they check out all of the deals they are promoting to make sure that they are legit, down to trying to book cheap tickets to make sure that you can actually get the prices that ticket brokers are advertising. Each week they send out the best 20. There was Jamaica and Las Vegas, call me crazy but neither have ever really appealed. Then there was Caribbean all-inclusives starting at $499 including airfare. Click.
I planned a whole trip to the Dominican Republic for my little family of four, which included airfare from Oklahoma City, all-inclusive accommodations at a family-friendly resort that was only a few miles away from a national park and some artist colony. I planned an excursion to the site of the largest mating spot for humpback whales … I was walking on the beach. I could hear the waves. A gentle breeze was blowing on my face. And all for the low-low price of $3,065.67.
It was within reach. 3,000 bucks really isn’t that much to take a family of four on vacation. And I even almost convinced my husband that we should use our tax return and stimulus checks to go there instead of paying off some bills.
We didn’t book it, but every once in a while, when deadlines loom and babies scream and the trash has to be taken out, I can slip into a quick Travelzoo coma. Because everything there is within reach. And when I come to I’m totally as relaxed as if I’d just had an hour message.
- Lindsey Johnson