I love vacation but I've never been very good at the actual act of vacationing. Growing up, Most of our family vacations centered around specific activities. Disney World. Gettysburg. Hershey Park and Amish Country. All of these vacations kind of came with requirements to do things while we were supposed to be vacationing. I slowly realized that these were not the kind of relaxing breaks that I enjoyed, and we actually changed things up in my high school years to visit more "relaxation" type destinations like our trips to the Upper Peninsula and Myrtle Beach. To me, a vacation isn't really a vacation unless you have absolutely no obligations to do or see anything.
Although it's been somewhat liberating to make this realization -- that all I really want from a vacation is the option to do nothing -- it's still hard for me to get into the mindset to allow that to happen. Even once I'm able to get work out of my head, there is still the pressure of the fact that I'm (presumably) in a new and interesting place and I shouldn't waste a single second until I've seen everything there is to see.
I think we're finally starting to get over that pressure out here. Venice is such a cool neighborhood, and for the first week out here I've felt a decent amount of stress that I should be exploring, checking out restaurants and going to the beach every day, and that any day that didn't include all three of those was a day wasted. And while I definitely don't want to take the fantastic weather and cool atmosphere for granted, sometimes the best part of a vacation is allowing yourself to just sit down and waste an entire evening eating delivery Chinese and blowing through the first season of Damages. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Incidentally, I wholeheartedly recommend both Mao's Kitchen and the FX series Damages. Check one or both out, if you're able.
So while it's been great to check out some of the local attractions -- the boardwalk, the Venice Beach pier, the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, In-N-Out Burger -- it's also been nice to just relax and enjoy the weather in simpler ways like watching the sunset off the shared balcony, daily naps by the open window, and the occasional TV binge. I'm sure that over the course of the month we'll have plenty of time to hit all the local "must-see" spots as well as take a few day trips into the greater LA area, so we're really not going to rush it. And anytime I start to feel the pressure that we're not "enjoying our vacation" as much as we should be, I just check the weather report for Columbus. That always helps to adjust my perspective.