Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Planning A Vacation

I hate planning a vacation. Part of what I don't like is the planning part. Wait. I take that back. Most of what I hate is the planning part. No, that's not right. It's the planning part that I hate.

Now don't get me wrong, I think important things should be planned. I just don't want to do the work to make it happen. Maybe it's because I'm lazy. Yeah, that's it. Gotta be. Too much work involved.

You ever see "Vacation" with Chevy Chase? Well, it's actually based on a much funnier story that appeared in "National Lampoon" magazine. In the story, things were much worse. And much funnier. For instance, the dad shot Walt Disney and went to jail. Much better ending. Actually, you found that out in the beginning, but the point is, it was funny. Actually, that's not the point, but I'm getting there.

In both the story and the movie, something went wrong and everything that followed had to try to overcome from it in order to get where they were going on time. And I don't want that to happen. So, I'd just rather go somewhere and not worry about having to be somewhere else at a certain time.

When I was in the Army and got back from a tour in Korea, I found out I was getting a divorce. That sort of threw plans into a spin. So, I spent the next few weeks and months setting up my own place and getting on my feet. It wasn't easy. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about.

When the summer came, and since I had a bunch of leave time accumulated, I was able to take a full 30 days vacation all at once. I liked that. For one thing, when I got the children, I was able to spend time with them. I liked that. Not sure how they felt about it, but that was the situation.

I don't recall if it was that first summer, but one summer, I had saved up a little bit of money and had some available on the credit card, so we were able to go somewhere. And, because no plans had been made, I had no idea where we were going. But, we threw stuff in the car and went anyway. I was able to let them pick stuff. And they seemed to enjoy it.

I was in that little situation of wanting to make the most of the time with the children and still be the parent that says "No" if necessary. It's a difficult balance to maintain. Still, if they wanted to do something, and there was not a problem with it, I wanted to do it. Money was, of course, a factor. But, we did what we could. The only time I ever picked up a problem was when the daughter wanted to do one thing but the son wanted to do another. Trying to do something one wants to do and not make the other upset is hard on a single dad. But, it's hard on married dads, too. And single moms. And married moms. Hmmm. It's the kids!!! Oh, well.

Anyway, when we went on vacation, we didn't plan a lot. Just point the car and figure out where we were going just before we left, or even while we were on the way there. That's fun, if you can get away with it. And we tried. Sometimes, we even succeeded.

But, it's a little different now. The kids are grown. Or nearly so. Daughter is off at college and doesn't have a whole lot to do with me. She's busy and all. Or something. Son is graduating high school this year. Has too much going on to spend time with me on weekends, so I haven't been going there (it's 4 1/2 hour drive) on any schedule like I used. And last few years, neither has gone with me and the wife on vacation. So, it's just the two of us on vacation.

Last year, we went to Niagara Falls. Year before, it was the Grand Canyon. Well, this year is here and summer's on the way. And the wife wants to plan vacation. I don't want to. I really don't. But it's got to be done. Well, we're not flying anywhere this year. It's going to be driving distance.

So far, we've picked three close-by (relatively) destinations. We might make the trip to Chattanooga. It's really a nice place to visit. Not a big name vacation destination, but it's actually a good trip. We've done it before.

Another possibility is Key West. Actually, that was my suggestion from a while back. I'd mentioned the possibility of driving A-1-A before. The whole thing. From Hilliard, up through Yulee, over to the coast, and all the way down to Key West. And since the wife loves driving, she thought that was brilliant. So, it might be A-1-A this year. I wonder if I'll have to wear a White Sports Coat and a Pink Crustacean for the trip down A-1-A.

The other possibility, as it stands now, is Biloxi. I've never been to Biloxi. I don't think. Drove near there when we drove to New Orleans a few years ago. But never to Biloxi. I think that's where the wife wants to go.

There's a girl at work -- okay, she's grown, but still, at my age, about every grown woman at the office is a "girl at work." Anyway, she's been before and has offered to give us a list of "must-sees," "must-dos," and "must-eat-ats" for there. She also said Mobile, since it's on the way there and back, has some stuff we'd enjoy. So, we might take in the Gulf Coast this summer. Who knows.

As long as I don't have to plan it.

1 comment:

  1. I never plan our vacations, we just go at the last minute. My better half and I took a month-long cross country camping trip after I took the bar exam. We just went wherever, camped wherever and ate whatever, and had the best time ever. Now though, not too much time for vacations, so we do tiny road trips to wherever and it is still lots of fun! Hope the vacation planning is painless.


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