Vacation Plans, Anyone?

Ahhh it’s a slow news day, it’s hot, it’s raining, and I can feel the energy fading from my colleagues, judges, and opposing counsel as everyone starts making vacation plans or are actively away enjoying themselves. I received four “out of office replies” on various matters just today. I’ve never understood that — why let your adversaries know that you are not working? You know that’s exactly when a massive summary judgment paper is being furiously prepared. Plus, don’t you check your messages all the time anyway? Keep things discreet, I always say…..

So it’s off to North Carolina, Colorado, Maine, or — as Rummy used to say — points “east, west, south, and north somewhat.” Ever wonder why everything just seems better on vacation? Not just food or your kids, but other stuff too.

Here’s some food for thought:

Arlene, a 27-year-old writer who lives in Philadelphia, recently went to Paris for a weeklong vacation with her 30-year-old boyfriend, a chef in the Philly area. The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and the Tuileries all lived up to their advance billing, but one aspect of the getaway scored a clear “better than expected”: the after-hours activities. “Even though we were running around like crazy seeing all the sights,” Arlene recalls, “we still had sex almost every day,” compared to an average of once or twice a week back home. “And the sex was better; we both seemed more relaxed.”

It never hurts to be in the most romantic city in the world, “strolling home every night to our hotel near the Champs-Élysées” and drinking fabulous French wine, recalls Arlene (not her real name; it was changed at her request owing to the intimate subject matter). But even if your summer vacation is in (fill in the blank with some C-list place; we’re trying to avoid angry e-mails from, say, the good people of Cleveland) chances are that being away will do wonders for your sex life. In fact, in Arlene’s case the Parisian part of the experience wasn’t even crucial. “It’s not the only time our sexual connection has flourished on vacation,” she says. “Something about leaving the laptop behind, turning the cell phone off and relaxing makes the sex better. Not only that, but being in a totally different environment sparks a sense of adventure and boldness,” all of which can add up to sex that is more frequent, more fulfilling and more memorable than what couples have at home.

As more and more Americans weigh canceling their summer vacation because of the highest gasoline prices since the dinosaurs gave their lives to form the stuff, while airlines–charging to check a bag, interminable delays, planes as packed as the Tokyo subway–seem determined to make getting away as unpleasant as possible, psychologists recommend doing all you can to preserve at least a short getaway. Especially for couples who are extra frazzled this year due to financial stress, the renewed intimacy can help power through the anxieties that will be waiting for them back home, whether it’s rising food prices, the threat of layoffs or just the usual marital strains.

So dear readers, have you all made your summer plans yet?