“You Smell Like Vacation”

Holy writer’s block tonight. I could not think of a thing to write about. So I started digging through some of my old writing and came across this little ditty. Last summer, I participated in Teachers Write, and online writing “camp” for teachers, and wrote this in response to one day’s prompt. Since we just got back from another vacation, I thought it would be appropriate to post this… plus, I have already have pictures to go with it. Of course, with the pictures, this post could also be titled, “Watch Jordan and Cassie age.” Ha. 


“You smell like vacation,” he mumbles, still 90 percent asleep but catching a whiff of my sunscreen as I gently kiss his cheek. As I lace up my shoes and ease out into the sunrise, his murmured words bring back a flood of memories, a jumble of the trips we’ve taken in the few short years we’ve been together.

As I start to run, I hear the roar of the ocean and feel the slap of its waves, and my mind recaptures the sense of awe from the first time I saw, smelled, and heard it – our first trip together, to Mazatlan, where we sweltered and sweat, escaping the heat with sugary drinks in the pool.
cassie_jordan by the ocean

I slow down for a stoplight.

A hot puff of steam from a Yellowstone geyser shoots up next to me, its sulfuric odor briefly overpowering.
Wife at Great Fountain Geyser

The light turns, and I keep moving.

Sweat trickles down my back as we hike through a bamboo forest, and I feel the cooling relief of a fully-clothed leap into a waterfall – a relic from our Hawaii honeymoon.
Bamboo Couple2

A semi blows past me.

I pause to inhale the sweet scent of wildflowers and the tangy odor of pine, keeping my ears alert for the rustling of bushes, the sign of a nearby Yosemite deer – or a mama bear, protecting her two little cubs.

I reach the halfway point and turn around.

My shoulders tingle a bit, and I reach my left hand to my right shoulder, then flinch away in pain. Blisters. I knew I should have reapplied sunscreen after that last dip in a Playa del Carmen pool.

I tip my handheld water bottle for a mid-run drink.

Instead of water, I taste the sweet musk of a good merlot, one far out of our budget, on our Napa tour.

I stop to tie my shoe.

A chilly, salty breeze blows across me, and though I briefly shiver, the soft lapping of Dungeness Bay waves at sunset stills me just in time to hear a bald eagle call from his post on the powerlines above my head.

All too soon, I’m turning back onto our street, slipping back into reality as I slow into a cool-down. The sounds, smells, and tastes of vacations past fade away as a wayward sprinkler squirts me and my stomach rumbles.

As I untie my shoes, my now-awake husband drops a kiss on my forehead.

“Mmm,” he says. “You smell like vacation.”

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