California (or anywhere) dreamin...

 My last vacation (Anguilla, March 2015). The view from my apartment looks just like this- no, not at all.

My last vacation (Anguilla, March 2015). The view from my apartment looks just like this- no, not at all.

As winter truly sets in in NYC, I find my thoughts wandering to far-away places, tropical and otherwise. My social media feeds aren’t helping matters. Each day it seems another person is jetting off to a fabulous locale. My wanderlust is compounded by the realization that I haven’t been on a trip since last March. Although I was in Miami for about 36 hours in December for a family wedding, most of that time was spent sleeping and in transit and we were nowhere near a beach. Lest you feel too bad for me, I did get to wear a gorgeous dress and had a delicious brownie from room service -- if Cookie Monster had a cousin Brownie Monster, that role would be played by me. (Sometimes I think about having a wedding cake made out of a stack of brownies; this is a great idea right?!)

Growing up, my mom would throw indoor beach parties for us during winter. Beach parties were THE BEST! We would put on our swimsuits, Mom would fill her bathtub with warm water, lay beach towels on the floor, bring up board games and snacks, and we would “swim” and lounge as if we were on the sand.

Fabulous as they were, I need something more than a beach party right now. Until I am able to bid the city adieu, I’ve come up with a list of things I can do to bring a little bit of vacation to NYC.

  • Visit a museum – As I wrote in this post, I love art, so a trip to a museum always feels like a treat.

  • Explore a new neighborhood – While my great grandfather was born in NYC, there are still so many areas that I don’t know very well. For example, I’ve never been to Governor’s Island. Though GI is closed for the season, there are plenty of other places within the 5 boroughs that I can go.

  • Have a movie day/night – A 2-ish hour trip into another world, snacks, cozy seats, sign me up!

  • Curl up with a book – During law school, my desire to read for pleasure all but died. With hundreds of pages of reading a week for school, the idea of spending any free time sitting and reading felt like a continuation of my homework. If I could, I wanted to be up and about, or at least give my eyes and mind a break. I fell into a bad pattern of neglecting books and reading only on vacations. Too often I continue this cycle, forsaking my comfy armchair for the couch and HGTV. 

  • Get a Massage – I know some people who include massages as part of their regular fitness/recovery regimen. If I had won Powerball, oh wait I did, a whole $7, I might have spent some of the money on getting massages more regularly. Alas, my winnings don’t go that far and I’ve already spent them many times over. I usually have about 3 massages a year, one as a birthday present and the others tied to either another special event or a vacation.

  • Electronic Detox These days it seems like everyone is taking an electronic detox, or at least talking about doing so. Working at a social media-based start up, I know that I would really benefit from one but I'll admit, it's hard. When you're used to checking feeds, replying to comments, and posting for both yourself and work and answering emails pretty much around the clock every day of the week, stopping creates a big void. When I’m on vacation, I am often without my phone for hours and it’s bliss. For safety reasons, I wouldn’t go out without my phone at home, but I can be more mindful about how and when I am using it.

I’m not sure what I will do this weekend, but right now I’m leaning towards a book and a limited digital detox, or at least limiting work emails #babysteps.

 Sign at Blanchard's Beach Shack. If you're ever in Anguilla go here for lunch, it's delicious. Mel and Bob (owners) are basically part of our family but they did NOT ask me to say this.

Sign at Blanchard's Beach Shack. If you're ever in Anguilla go here for lunch, it's delicious. Mel and Bob (owners) are basically part of our family but they did NOT ask me to say this.

What do you do when you need a break but can’t get out of town? Have you recently been on vacation? Where should I go next?