Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday five: getting the heck out of Dodge

Mary Beth of the RevGals suggests, "Let's think about VACATIONS! I certainly am!"

1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?

Fishing. Dad loves to fish; Mom's a fan, too. Often, Saturday DAY trips would start at 5 a.m. with a drive into Neighboring Cheese-oriented State, a day of fishing, and a return home after midnight. My sister and I were mostly resigned to this; I've always loved to read, so I got a LOT of reading done on those trips!

2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever:

Two stories--

There's a small, family-run, 3-cabin resort in the northern middle of Neighboring Cheese-oriented State; various members of my dad's side of the family have been spending vacation time there since the 1930s. (It's on a "rent a cabin for the summer" basis now, so I haven't been there in a couple of decades. Bwaaa.) My family went, the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, and I got to bring Lori, my best friend. We (still!) have the sort of friendship in which we can find fun in a trip to the grocery store. A solid week together was fantastic; being at the lake with the swimming and the boating and the hiking and the canasta games and the chocolate-covered peanuts = fun, not to be measured with existing technology.

And then there's that whole "honeymoon" thing--Beloved and I got married, two Octobers ago. Immediately afterward, we spent a few days at a lake house belonging to friends, which was a welcome respite. Lovely and still. A month later, we went to Chicago for a long weekend--great pizza, great art, great theater, gorgeous hotel, terrific wife. WONDERFUL.

3) What do you do for a one-day or afternoon there a place nearby that you escape to on a Saturday afternoon/other day off?

There's a lovely town on the nearby Very Big River...including fun shops and several lovely B&Bs, as well as its proximity to two excellent state parks.

Alternatively, the back yard hammock is good!

4) What's your best recommendation for a full-on vacation near you...what would you suggest to someone coming to your area? (Near - may be defined any way you wish!)

Our Major Metropolis is so full of world-class music, theater & art, good food, great parks, sports teams...there's something for every taste. Truly--it's hard to justify leaving it for a vacation somewhere else!

5) What's your DREAM VACATION?

I'm thinking we should start in Norway and make our way south. It would take a while, and also a chunk of change:
  • fjords and the culture of my rellies
  • Iona Community
  • London--significant stopover
  • German/Austrian music (and some Eastern European choral music) and the culture of Beloved's rellies
  • Paris--the obvious
  • Italy--eating our way through Tuscany, stopping in Rome for some history
  • Greece--continuing with the history, and ending up on a beach by some Very Blue Water before we come home
Bonus: Any particularly awful vacation stories that you just have to tell? ("We'll laugh about this later..." maybe that time is now!)

Oh, four or five leap to mind. The one I'll share happened when I was about five years old, and my sister was a toddler. My dad had borrowed his brother's tent and camping gear, and we were going to have our first family camping trip. It was early summer, nice and warm out, good weather forecast. Well, we arrived at the campsite, my folks got stuff set up and, just as Dad was pounding the last tent stake, Mom looked up to see my sister heading for the lake, full speed ahead. I'll sum up the rest of the weekend with these important points:
  • There was no beach. At the shoreline, the water was 6 feet deep.
  • Mari went for it. Mom jumped in after her.
  • Mom can't swim. Dad jumped in and fished both of them out, just as the sun was going down.
  • It got down to 25 degrees that night.
  • We packed up and went to the Holiday Inn in the morning.
I was the only person who'd had any fun at all camping, but the area chipmunks also seemed pleased when I shared my nutritious breakfast with them:

In addition to its 100% of minimum daily requirements of vitamins and iron, it was a great big bowl full of delicious camping metaphor.


Purple said...

Your dream vacation sounds...well...dreamy.

Cecilia said...

you consistently make me laugh. out. loud.

LOVE the last story!

and you.

Pax, C.

Barbara B. said...

I loved your last story too! :)

And I have to agree with you about Minneapolis -- what an awesome city!

Mary Beth said...

I remember KABOOM!

and your 1) could have been mine, for our day trips. Except that we packed up at 3 am (not making it up) - my father had a theory that you had to be there with a line wet when the fish woke up - and headed to the TX Gulf Coast for salt water fishing.

I, with the book. Always. Resigned was the word!