Coming Up from Down Under
I’m writing from my desk at the good old Crescenta Valley Weekly. Steve and I returned on Saturday from a two-week vacation in Australia, the first vacation I’ve taken in 10 years (since I started the newspaper in 2009). I’m here to share that I now know why vacations are so popular.
When done right, in my case actually leaving the area, a vacation can be invigorating. While I’m a fan of “staycations” – enjoying a vacation at home ¬– I’d be looking at all the work that my house needs and probably wouldn’t feel all that refreshed at the end of the week away from work. When I leave I don’t get stressed-out looking at the painting that needs to be done, the desk that needs to be cleaned off, the cabinets that need to be organized, etc.
For me, traveling Down Under was an experience of a lifetime and reintroduced me to how to be away from work. Aside from ridding my inbox of tons of advertising emails and writing my column, I left most everything to Mary O’Keefe and our office manager Rachelle. They went through my emails on a daily basis to make sure that nothing fell through the editorial cracks. I came back with memories of a lifetime to a mostly relaxed environment (there’s always a little stress at the CV Weekly).
Thank you to everyone who made my vacation a possibility. Without their support I wouldn’t have had the confidence to leave and create the memories that I will cherish always. These include the exciting things we did – climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, touring the Sydney Opera House, traveling through Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s major wine regions ¬– but also meeting with family that I have seen only a handful of times. Bruce and Joy McGrath in Melbourne were the consummate hosts. They took us to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat where gold was discovered in the 1800s (a definite high point for Steve), the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden in Olinda where we saw the most colorful rhododendron gardens, Woolamai Beach on Phillip Island, and Healesville Sanctuary, a preserve for some of Australia’s native animals. There was also time shared watching a movie and having dinner together. Steve was introduced to afternoon tea served with scones, jam and cream. The man fell in love with the cream and was always on the lookout for it.
In future weeks look in the paper for CV Weekly on the Move in Australia courtesy of yours truly. This week, meet Sophie McGrath on page 16 – our pet of the week.