Sunday, June 8, 2014

Vegan learns to RELAX...

Let's pretend I'm in an IA meeting...
(that stands for iPhone-Aholic, in case you were wondering)
Here's roughly how it would go...
Me: "Hi guys, my name is Jacey Birch & I'm an iPhone-Aholic."
Group: "Hi Jacey!"
Me: "My iPhone is always in my hand & goes wherever I go, including the bathroom."
Group: "TMI."
Me: "And if I could physically attach it to myself, I probably would."
Group: "Gross."
Me: "And I have a very hard time understanding why people don't text or email me back in split seconds, like I do."
Group: "You have a problem."
Me: "I know. Which is why my Keys vacation was doctor-prescribed!"
(And by doctor, I mean my boyfriend insisted I disconnect & then patiently taught me how to relax!)

Step 1: Put the Phone Down

Trent started off by making me put my phone down & just breathe. Do you know what that did to my Type A personality? I feel like I need to be on-call 24-7. I wonder what will happen if an animal is in trouble & a rescue group can't reach me or what if a friend has a question & I'm not near my phone to answer?! Earth-shattering? No. The world will continue to revolve without me & my phone & my friends can physically function without me. (They can?!)
I tried to use the excuse that I needed my phone for the camera to take pictures but Trent handled that real well when he said he would be in charge of pictures... With an actual camera, not a phone.

Trent snapped this pic of me trying to relax within the first hour of us arriving at Ocean Key Resort in Key West... My face says it all! I'm actually physically uncomfortable attempting to decompress  without my techno-fix! I kinda feel bad for myself looking at this pic :(
So that's where phase 2 comes in...

Step 2: Order a Cocktail

Ok I admitted I'm an iPhone-Aholic, not an actual alcoholic :)
But there's not much that can compare to vacation kicked off with a glass of champagne... & strawberries too! 
Maybe I can get used to this laid-back lifestyle...

Step 3: Lay in the Sun

By Day 2 I was fitting in with the Conchs... They take tense-free living & elevate it to an art-form! I think I was seriously lacking in the Vitamin D department. I actually know I was since I went from sun-kissed to sun-burnt pretty quickly! Embarrassing for a Miami girl to forget to reapply the sunscreen but nonetheless Trent's plan was working like... Well... Almost like he planned it that way ;)

Step 4: Act like a Kid & Ride a Bike

We did get some mood-dampening rain showers in KW halfway through our mini-vaca but we made the best of it by renting bikes & riding right through all the muddy puddles! It brought be back to my youth, growing up in North Miami & doing the exact same thing on my banana-seat bike with streamers hanging from the handle bars! Wow, shave off a few decades from your afternoon activity choice & somehow, those shoulders start sliding back down to a more comfortable level.

Step 5: If it ain't Broke... Don't Fix it

Even as the clouds peeled back to reveal a beautiful island night, I was on a role & determined to keep up the Kid-Routine. It worked all day so why not keep it going into the evening?  I hitched a Piggy-Back Ride with this guy & I felt young & weightless! And not because I lost pounds... But you would be shocked at the amount stress really weighs!

Warning: Piggy-Back Holder has to be strong & up for the challenge for the stress to melt off.

Step 6: Escape to a Secluded Island

I can officially check a visit to Little Palm Island off my Bucket List! Just off of Little Torch Key, this hidden oasis keeps it's promise that guests must "get lost" during their stay. This is made possible by no TVs in the tiki-hut bungalows & no cell phones allowed in public areas! Aaaahhhh Trent did you call ahead?!? It also helps that there is no agenda or itinerary of any sort... Well... Except this one:

Step 7: Follow Expert Advice

Let me first tell you that I actually do have a hammock in my backyard in Miami. Do I ever lay in it? No. Somehow I can never find the time to just lounge. So you can imagine my surprise when I pretty much became, not only a hammock expert, but also a connoisseur of Naps!
I NEVER nap.

Betcha you can't find a Type-A personality in that pic, can ya? I'm pretty proud to tell you that I really don't remember anything that happened on Day 3 besides earning quite a few rope marks on my back from laying in that hammock for more hours than I can count. There is a dirty 4-letter word for the decadence I was diving into: LAZY! And I whole-heartedly loved every single languid moment of it! And when I got mind-numbingly bored laying there by myself... I could always find a partner to share the experience with.

Disconnect? Check.
Relax? Check.
Melt Stress Away? Check.
Escape Reality? Check.
Get Lost? Check.
On Vacation: Mission Accomplished!

Even the animals like the newly relaxed Jacey better! Little Palm Island is known for having some hotel mascots in the form of Key Deer that swim from island to island & are as docile as dogs. But I may not have even noticed this darling deer that curiously approached me if I had my face in my phone... Priceless Moment.

I'm proud to say I did what I never thought I could & it was so much better than I ever imagined it could be! I guess there was a time in the past when we were simple & didn't have the "smart" phones we now can't seem to live without. But now we are the dumb ones if we can't figure out how to turn the darn thing off & just live life!
From now on, all my future vacations will be phone-free! If not, they will just be a change of geography. 

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