Being around the house these days makes me swing between three feelings. First, nostalgia for all that has happened to us in our house (where we have lived thirty years). Second, despair at getting everything organized, disposed of, moved, sold, etc. Third, regret about deciding to leave the pleasant things behind: the glimpses of the backyard 'band' and things blooming and the random butterfly, bird or squirrel; the spacious storage with plenty of room for books and collections; my big if disorganized office; the large spaces for entertaining friends; our improvised but effective wine 'cellar.' It isn't impossible to relax around all the memories, the things that need doing and the regret, but it's hard.
So how do you get a vacation from that? When you simply can't afford to leave town because of all you need to do otherwise and money being spent otherwise? We told ourselves we wouldn't leave town until we reached escape velocity from real estate hell. (That being still owning the old, too big place with too much land while having to pony up the money to close the new, more efficient condo.) So our fling in New York was the last out of towner for a while unless we do a brief drive to another city in Texas or something.
How about this? A pleasant hotel room with a stark modern aesthetic, just a few items of reading material, a bit of wine and some DVDs borrowed from the front desk. ("The Misfits" and "The Valley of the Dolls" were the ones.) It makes you more focused and it makes it easier to relax does a getaway like that even if it's a fifteen minute drive from home. Have lunch downtown, check into the hotel (you bought the stay in a charity auction), wander some cool shopping without buying anything, get a bottle of wine in the late afternoon and have a few sips (the wine was part of the auction deal), wander some more, have dinner, watch part of "The Misfits" and then decide impulsively to wander some more and have a drink and late night snack in a Mexican joint. And, if you can locate a place the next day to have a bit of early brunch, even though it's Easter Sunday, well it feels like a vacation. A silly one perhaps but a vacation all the same.
And "The Misfits?" That's the first time I ever saw it. What a movie!