The sun is beginning to set.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Remember those dreaded first-day-back-to-school essays? 🙂

We just spent the better part of July in a vacation rental in Maryland, and I’ve gotta say that it’s kinda weird being on vacation when you’re retired. (Or semi-retired as my husband and I are; he still teaches part-time and I try not to let my writing totally consume my life).

picture of our summer rental

Our summer rental this year. It was so nice to not have to worry about maintenance.

This wasn’t an extremely exciting vacation–not one where you go someplace you’ve never been and do a lot of sightseeing. (We’re planning one of those for next year–to Europe. Yay!!)

We went back to the small town near where our former summer cottage is. So no new sights. Just the same familiar small harbor, tiny beach, homemade ice cream parlor, seafood restaurants, etc.

I did some writing, when I felt like it–finished a manuscript in fact. But I put the rest of my writing-related tasks on hold as much as I could. Tom spent most of his hours, as he would at home, glued to his laptop screen. (The rest of the time, he was out taking pictures.)

the local beach

The local beach–small but as you can see, definitely not crowded.

But somehow it still felt like a vacation. We gave ourselves permission to relax, to do what we felt like in the moment. Not that we don’t do that a good bit in our ‘retired’ status anyway, but there’s something about being away from home, away from your normal routines… And something about announcing to yourself and the world that you are “on vacation.”

We took long walks, read, visited friends and family, went sailing a couple times, gained some weight on restaurant meals. Oh and we went to a wine tasting. That was fun!

picture of Kass and her husband

A selfie after the wine-tasting. We were very mellow. 🙂

And we watched a lot of gorgeous sunsets.

The sun is beginning to set.







sinking lower



Then we came home when we felt refreshed and, as Tom put it, “vacationed out.”

It was low key, but definitely a vacation from our ‘retired’ life. It was good.

How about you? What elements of vacations make you feel like you’ve truly been “on vacation”? Is seeing new sights a requirement?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week,  usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

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  • Reply
    K.B. Owen
    August 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Looks like a good vacation to me! Love the “mellow” pic of you and hubby! 😉

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    August 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks, Kathy. After tasting six wines, with seconds freely given if we liked them, we were feeling no pain! 😀

    • Reply
      Vinnie Hansen
      August 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      That’s a generous winery!

      My husband and I have two types of vacations: 1. a meltdown, like a trip to Hawaii, where we stay in a rented condo and enjoy all the creature comforts 2. an adventure, like our trips to Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba, etc. where we travel light and live cheaply.

      • Reply
        Kassandra Lamb
        August 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        And they served appetizers, Vinnie, all for $15 per person. Then we went back to our rental and ate a light supper, and had more wine of course.

        I like both of those kinds of vacations, but I’m starting to get too old to “live cheap.” I’m far too fond of my creature comforts. 😀

  • Reply
    Shannon Esposito
    August 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Vacation is such a foreign concept to me. I didn’t have any family vacations growing up so when we took our kids to the Grand Canyon a few years ago, I felt like that was my first “real” vacation. It was amazing and I definitely would love to do more traveling. Vinnie sounds like she’s got the right idea on both counts! But, I also feel like I live a permanent vacation in Florida. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      August 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      I guess that’s what I was getting at, Shannon. I already feel like I’m ‘on vacation’ a good bit of the time, being semi-retired and living in Florida. I’m starting to make a mental distinction between ‘traveling’ where we go someplace exciting like Europe or the Grand Canyon, and ‘vacations’ where we’re mostly focused on chilling out.

      Isn’t the Grand Canyon awesome? That’s one of the few exciting places I’ve been that I’d like to go back and see again!

  • Reply
    Kirsten Weiss
    August 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Just getting away from the Internet makes it a vacation!

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      August 7, 2014 at 1:11 am

      Exactly, Kirsten! I told the cyber world I was “on vacation” and then ignored social media for a whole month (unless I wanted to lurk a little bit to see what everybody else was up to. BWAHAHAHA)

  • Reply
    Pirkko Rytkonen
    August 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I totally understand that retirees need a vacation from retirement! Our problem is that my hubby still loves his work and can only go a few weeks at a time, but it is to ‘chill’ out so he can be refreshed. Then we go again …. 3 or 4 times a year. My ideal vacation/travel would be Europe with a lot of sightseeing and experimenting new culture as soon as he retires!
    I like those pictures!

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    August 7, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Oh, yeah, Europe is my favorite kind of vacation too, Pirrko. We went about 6 years ago and saw Ireland for the first time. We’ve been saving our pennies (well, dollars–lots of dollars needed for that trip unfortunately) and hope to go back next year.

    Maybe you can convince him to retire soon, but then again it’s good to have work that you love!

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