The Perfect Vacation

My husband and I just returned from a fun week spent vacationing with some good friends.  We rented a home in Florida that was within walking distance to the beach.  The weather was warm and mostly sunny, and we had great time just relaxing and exploring the area with our friends.  It was the sort of vacation that my husband and I will be talking about for a long time, and I’m sure my friends will be talking about it as well.   But the thing is, I strongly suspect that we won’t be saying exactly the same things.

IMG_2990My husband and I will talking about how nice it was to walk to the beach, how much we enjoyed getting a break from what has been an extremely cold winter and how much more relaxed we feel after a week away from everything.  I’m sure our friends would agree with all that, but I still think their conversation about the past week would go something more like this:

Him:  “Did you notice that they vacuumed the floors four times?”

Her:  “They also did a load of laundry every single day.  Who vacuums and does laundry on vacation?”

Him:  “Apparently, they do.  The way they kept the kitchen so spotless should have warned us.  I barely finished my coffee before they whisked the cup away and stuck it in the dishwasher.”

And the thing is, all of it would be true.  I remember pulling into the driveway of a vacation house one year and seeing my husband up on a ladder, washing the living room windows.  When I asked him about it, he said he didn’t want to spend his vacation looking out dirty windows.  Later that week, we were sitting in a beach bar chatting with some of the locals, and I mentioned the window cleaning story.  After a brief and stunned silence, several of them offered us their business cards, telling us that they had wonderful vacation properties that they were quite sure we would love to rent.

The simple fact of the matter is that my husband are the ideal renters.  When we check out of any kind of vacation rental, the condo or house is usually much cleaner than it was when we checked in.  And if something was broken when we checked in, you can bet that it’s been fixed when we check out.  Sometimes I think that the property owners should be paying us to stay in their properties, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  We’ve never even been offered a discount.  The world is still an unfair place in so many ways.

I know our habit of cleaning and tidying while on vacation is, to say the least, unusual.  (I’ve even been known to vacuum hotel rooms when I can talk the staff into lending me one.)  But vacationing is all about doing what makes us happy, and my husband and I are happiest when we are staying somewhere clean and tidy, even if that means we have to do a bit of that cleaning ourselves.  And if we happen to be vacationing with friends or family, it also gives them a vacation experience that they’ll be talking about for quite some time.

104 thoughts on “The Perfect Vacation

  1. My wife would perfectly fit into your realm of tidiness and cleanliness. I remember so well our long and exhausting trip to the Oregon coast. When we finally arrived I was looking forward to spend the evening hours at the beach. But my wife started to clean up (I must say in what comes close to a frenzy) the camper. In that sense you can see I am bit different and could ignore a dusty camper and rather enjoy the sunset. I admit it all boils down to what makes you feel comfortable during your vacation, Ann.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I can identify with Biene! Although I would have preferred to look at the sunset, I guarantee you that I would have cleaned either before or after that sun went down. And it truly is about what makes each of us comfortable. We just have to claim our true selves, I think. Thanks for the comment, Peter!

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  2. This was hysterical. I’m the same exact way. I detest staying in a place that’s beneath my own standards. Good for you! Thankfully, we bought our own condo in Florida and yup! You can bet it’s clean and tidy and perfect. And NO! We’d never rent it out to slobs.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Glad you enjoyed it! (I did mean it to be rather tongue-in-cheek.) But yes, we are very, very clean people and sometimes that means we aren’t exactly satisfied with the state of our rentals. And you have no idea how much I’d love to buy our own condo. Then we could have it exactly as we want it. Not only clean, but a comfortable mattress, wall hangings we like, and all the comforts of home. I keep trying to talk my husband into it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we are a little “off the chart” in our cleanliness. Do you remember the old TV show, “The Odd Couple?” If so, we are both Felix Unger, which means that we egg each other on in the clean department rather than rein each other in. And the funny thing is, neither of our kids are overly clean! They’re not slobs, but their bar is set much lower than ours. Makes me wonder if the extra clean gene skips a generation?

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  3. We used to vacation a lot with friends who had kids the same ages as ours. We wondered at first why were so compatible. Then the wife and I realized that we had the exact same “dirt trigger point” and would get up to clean at just the same moment! Compatible cleaners, we are still friends some 30 years after that epiphany!

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    • That would explain why you vacation together so well! I have very good friends that are as clean as I am, and I have others that are the total opposite. We get along, but we could never live together long-term. But it is funny how some people just “get” each other when it comes to their living environment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m a little ashamed to say I did! There were these crumbs that were bothering me, but I didn’t want to call housekeeping and make a big deal of it. But then I heard some guy vacuuming the hallway so I went out there and asked if I could borrow his vacuum. He was only too happy to let me (he had a cigarette break) and I vacuumed the whole room. I was SO much happier, I can’t tell you!!!!

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  4. This made me smile Ann. Remnants of holidaying with my sister who is also much the same. Mind you, I’ve been known to do dishes before I eat and drink from them too. As you said, whatever makes you happy. And at least you and your hubby are on the same page. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we are perfectly matched to vacation together! And I always do the dishes before I eat and drink from them, as I don’t trust that someone did that before I got there. It’s worth the time it takes to put them in the dishwasher and turn it on, I figure. Glad this made you smile, Miriam!

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    • I didn’t use to do it either, but the habit has grown on me. Now I always wipe off the surfaces that the staff doesn’t clean with an anti-bacterial cloth. I only vacuum if there are a bunch of crumbs on the floor, although if they were there when I checked in I’ll call housekeeping and have them do it. I once found neat little pile of toenail clippings next to the bed of a room I’d just checked into…… yuck!

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  5. I’m not sure if I ought to invite you to come stay at my house in Florida, or bar the door so you don’t see the chaos I live with on a daily basis. I blame the blog, it’s work to come up with a post every day. Of course that only explains the last six months…

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  6. This is absolutely hilarious! Okay come on over, anytime!!
    My sons fiancee is fastidious. So much so that when we stayed there we got banned from using the blender because he twas not cleaned to her high standards. She used a toothpick to clean it! Now I just say…ok the kitchen is clean, but not to yourstandards. Go ahead, feel free to reclean! 🙂

    My husband’s reaction: ( I had to read this to him). Bet you one or both of them are Virgos. Are you? He says he divorced his ex wife because of her obsessive cleaning. Given that he is not the tidiest man, tends to live large.

    K. The house is yours…. name the date.

    Peta

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    • I’m a Tarus, and my husband was born on October 15, but I forget what that makes him. And I have to say, as clean as I am, I have never cleaned a blender with a toothpick. I suspect that your son’s fiance would find my housekeeping to be a bit below her standards, too. Still, I’d be glad to stay at your house some day! It could happen…LOL!

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  7. God, I wish I was more like you! I can’t even muster up the energy to keep my own house clean, let alone a vacation rental. Although, I do take better care of places I stay than my own home. Which, if you think about it, is kind of weird. I need to be cleaner. Both my parents are neat freaks…I don’t know what the hell happened to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a son and a daughter and neither of them are neat freaks either. Neither were my parents or my husband’s parents. I’m honestly beginning to think it skips a generation. And hey, it’s your house! You don’t have to keep it clean unless you want to. We only do it because we like it that way!

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  8. Oh this made me smile. I’m going to look you up the next time we vacation cause my husband never does these things at home , much less on vacation…. glad you enjoyed the cleaning….oh….vacation….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We used to rent houses and I had to “sanitize” them before I would let anyone use bathrooms, etc. We finally bought our own vacation home, which we rented once and I found raisins in the couch and beer cans in the yard. That was it for me.

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    • You sound so much like me! And I would never want to rent my vacation home to strangers either (not that I have one, but still). If I ever get lucky enough to have our own vacation home, I would only let friends and family stay there. And even they would be banned if they left raisins in the couch and beer cans in the yard!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right, Des. When we are on vacation, we don’t want to think, ‘”this is nice, except for….” So we just clean and fix what we don’t like, and then we are free to relax and enjoy!

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  10. Great that you were able to get some R&R. You guys sound like Holly and I. And when we camped I was constantly sweeping the tents and tidying up the surrounding area. It made me feel good to know we were organized and clean even if we were out in the middle of the forest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we are exactly like you and Holly! People who don’t like to clean or who don’t care about living in a clean place don’t realize that for those of us who do, it makes us happier when we are staying somewhere clean and tidy. We’re not doing “work,” we’re just arranging things the way we like them!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It could happen! Do you by any chance live within walking distance to a beach? Or in view of some mountains? We’d be willing to trade a great location for a bit of housecleaning for sure! LOL!

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    • I believe you! Honestly, we are unusual renters, in that we treat a rental property as if it were our own home, and take very good care of it. Far too many people just trash them, which is why I’d never own a rental property either.

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    • Glad to know that even though we’re in the minority, there are others like us! And I like your point about our cleaning being a gift for the owners and next renters. For years, we rented a condo on Sanibel Island from the same woman. The first time we did, she called us the day after we checked out to thank us for leaving the condo in such great condition. She said no one else had ever left it so nice!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can sympathize with her! Sometimes it’s hard to relax and enjoy the vacation until the house is clean, especially for us “clean freaks.” But we are who we are…. Thanks for the comment!

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  11. Pingback: Sunshine Blogger Award | sadiewolfblog

  12. Our vacation residences, when we are lucky to go away for a week, are always neat and clean. I, too, have been known to vacuum. Actually, they are cleaner/neater than our own home. By a lot. I feel the pressure of being a good renter. And if something breaks, I feel guilty for a long time.

    I’m glad you had fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think some of our “need to clean” comes from feeling that we need to take good care of the house or condo someone is sharing with us. And the fact that we are more comfortable when things around us are clean and neat. We did have a great time!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The problem is, once we check in, we have paid for them and it’s usually non-refundable! So we just clean and make the best of it. But only the rentals that are in good shape get our return business. Thanks for the comment, Sheryl!

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  13. I enjoyed reading this post so much, Ann! And I totally get the not being able to feel comfortable when things aren’t ship shape. 😊 The first thing I do when coming somewhere not as clean as I like it to be is grab some sanitary tissues and start polishing 😂

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