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.
My 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.