I am amazed at how we Americans work so hard at vacationing. It has become a contact sport!
I have made the trip to Florida quite regularly over the past 40 years. In fact I am writing this from just outside of Orlando. I am always amused at how people, especially those with kids, react and interact as they approach vacation nirvana.
One can tell how close one is to the "vacation capitol of the U.S." by the expressions and actions of people at rest stops, fast food restaurants, and gas stations along I-95. As you get to southern Georgia the people are wound as tight as a drug addicted lab rat working for his fix. Eyes glaze over, tempers flare, smiles become those forced tight lipped things that do nothing but make you appear like you have lockjaw. The least little thing will set one of these traveling wonders off - "Where the HELL are my FRIES?" "This DAMN pump won't take my card!" "Get the homeless dude off the bumper". Nerves are a frayed as a twenty year old T-shirt.
As I was negotiating around I-4 - near enough to Orlando that you can "smell" it, the vacationers were so damn determined to "get there" and start relaxing and enjoying themselves that just trying to get off an exit can be life threatening. "I MUST GET TO ORLANDO AND RELAX!" The tension in the air couldn't be worked out by a drug rep convention. In the spirit of openness, I have been in this state of mind many time before. I remember working up a lather trying to get all our kids and "stuff" packed into our vehicle so we could hurry up and start vacationing and enjoying ourselves. Heaven forbid if one of the kids (or adults) had to go to the bathroom before a designated time/place. Life as we know it would end if we could not get into the McDonald's and fully eat and pit stop in the allotted time. "MOVE IT, WE ARE ON VACATION DAMMIT!!"
If you want to see what the Zombie apocalypse will look like all you have to do is go to Disney World and sit by the tram stop in the parking lot. The poor wretched creatures stumbling off of the trams are enough to frighten anyone. This group has been VACATIONING! They have ENJOYED THEMSELVES!! They are near DEATH. You can tell the ones beginning their vacation vs those ending it. The "newbies" still have some life left in their eyes. The kids will still be bouncing around and asking if they "can come back tomorrow". The "long timers" that are getting ready for the trip back to reality are truly the walking dead. There is more life in a butcher's trash can than in their eyes. The kids are crying and being dragged like a chihuahua on a long leash.
My point is - we Americans work WAY TOO HARD at relaxing. We take our week and try to ram a year's worth of recreation into it. I know you have all heard someone (maybe you or a family member) comment how they have to "recover from vacation". We WORK at our relaxing.
See you on I-95!