Vacation Part Two: We Like To Call It Relaxation

My mom’s twin brother and his wife (my Uncle Kevin and Aunt NeeNee) moved to Charlotte about seven years ago. We try to go down every year, usually in May, to visit them and frequently discuss moving there because we really like the city and the surrounding area. This year, since my sister had a baby in May, we decided to go in August and we soon found out that it is hot there in August. It was around 90 degrees Saturday and Sunday. We had promised ourselves that we were going to run or do some sort of physical activity while we were on vacation because usually our vacations are full of over eating, over indulging and flat-out laziness; we like to call it relaxation. The first morning we were there, we woke up bright and early at seven o’clock and went for a four mile run. It wasn’t too hot out yet which was good. We spent the remainder of the day doing the following: my husband painted and I fell asleep in the pool. I did take a few photos of the dogs and butterflies that were hanging out in the back yard with us all day as we relaxed.

After our exhausting day, my aunt and uncle took us out to a piano bar, Howl at the Moon in Uptown Charlotte. We had never been to a piano bar before so we didn’t really know what to expect. It was super fun and not entirely what I thought it was going to be. The “band”, if that’s what you can call it, was very good. There were five or six members that rotated on all of the instruments. Sometimes it was only pianos and sometimes there were also drums, bass and guitars. The crowd was composed mainly of drunken college students and drunken bachelorettes. It made me realize that I was never a typical college student or a typical bachelorette. When in college, I didn’t drink, I didn’t go out and I didn’t root for my school to win anything. Ever. When I had my bachelorette party, I went to Canada with my mom, sister, aunts and cousin. I spent the evening in a Jacuzzi with my mother and I probably went to bed at ten o’clock.

The piano bar was something different and fun. We stayed out until after one in the morning, which is unheard of for my husband and I. We did not go for a run the next morning, but we went for a walk at nine, which was a terrible idea. It was already around 80 something degrees at that point and I believe I sweat more that day, walking three miles, than I did the day before when I ran four. The rest of the day was spent in the pool. The following day I had an appointment at an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to get a very irritating cracking/popping noise checked out. After a disappointing diagnosis, a patulous eustachian tube* for which basically nothing can be done, we headed on to Asheville (well actually Pisgah Forest) to visit our friends Kaitlin and Brian.

*A brief description of patulous eustachian tube dysfunction taken from the website WebMD: In patulous eustachian tube (pET) dysfunction, the eustachian tube stays open most of the time. The eustachian tube is a passageway from the back of the nose to the middle ear that may be opened or closed by action of a valve-like device. Under normal circumstances, it remains closed for most of the day, opening only on occasion to equalize air pressure in the middle ear and the exterior environment. If the tube remains open, the patient complains of hearing one’s own voice or one’s breathing as too loud (autophony), hearing echoes of one’s own voice, or hearing ocean waves much like the sound produced by holding a shell over one’s ear. The condition is benign but may generate, over time, serious and even extreme responses to the abnormal sounds.

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