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10 Things for chilling in a hotel getaway

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We really never get to take a real vacation. Given the need to care for a severely disabled young adult who requires 24-hour attention coupled with a shortage of nurses, we can't get away at all very often, and when we do it's usually only for a couple of days. As I write this, we have gone to a hotel in the same town where we live. It's an opportunity to just decompress and get away from household chores while remaining close enough for any emergency if needed. We won't be doing typical tourist stuff. This list involves ways to chill in and around the hotel when chilling is the whole point.

    1. Enjoy knowing that no one is going to bust through the door without notice.

    We thought by the time we reached this stage of life that the kids would all be gone and we'd have the house to ourselves. Instead, we have more people through our house in a day than some retail stores.

    2. Watch uninterrupted TV.

    Or read uninterrupted. Or eat uninterrupted. Heck, do anything uninterrupted. Yeah, anyone with kids or teenagers may know this one. But here's the context: when our daughter was born, I figured I could deal with changing diapers again for a couple of years. Nineteen years later, I'm still changing diapers. There is no foreseeable end to the interruptions, except under circumstances I don't want to contemplate. A couple of days away is a welcome respite to a routine that I want to continue indefinitely.

    3. Shower as often as you want without worrying about cleaning up afterwards.

    Not that I make a huge mess, but you have to clean your own shower. I'm grateful for the people who take care of the rooms. They don't get paid enough, which is why tips matter.

    4. Put together a Lego bonsai tree.

    Have you seen these things? I got one for Christmas last year. Christmas. 10 months ago. I'll have to take it apart again when we head home, but I will get time to at least enjoy assembling it part way.

    5. Enjoy a phone that never rings.

    Every hotel room has one of these. I haven't had one ring as long as I can remember. That is such a contrast to the phone at home. I can chill just sitting and watching the phone not ring.

    6. Eat breakfast right around the corner without fixing it myself.

    Quality of hotel breakfasts vary. The last time I stayed at this franchise, though, the breakfast was pretty darn good. It's almost beside the point. I can roll out of bed and have breakfast within minutes without having to leave the building or cook.

    7. Spread out on a huge bed.

    We don't have much space in our bed at home. It's an old mattress. My arthritis is getting worse. There's no guarantee this bed will feel any better tonight, but it can't feel any worse, and in any case there's like a football field's worth of uncluttered space.

    8. Sleep as late as you want.

    No alarm. I want to get breakfast in the morning, but if I miss it, there's a restaurant right next door. I'll go to bed soon and will probably wake up naturally in plenty of time, but the sleep is more important than the breakfast.

    9. Figure out a new gadget that we don't have time to work on at home.

    We have a new button maker that's just been sitting on the dining table waiting until we can get around to figuring it out. Honestly, I don't have much to do with it, but I'm taking pleasure in watching my wife finally have the space and the time to put it all together and create something she's proud of.

    10. Sit on the couch and have a conversation that doesn't involve doctor appointments, medications, or state bureaucracy.

    I can't remember when we just sat and talked. Even when we steal a few minutes for a visit to our favorite coffee shop, conversation tends to be pragmatic. I value just having unstructured time with my wife of 22 years, and chilling in a hotel for a couple of days is the best way to get it right now.

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