Friday, July 3, 2009

Yeah I had a 2 week trip but definitely not a vacation. I think the problem is a difference in how that word is defined. My MIL, who I talked about extensively yesterday, seems to think that doing things other than work is the same as a vacation. I tend to think of a vacation as something that should be both fun and relaxing. I'm not opposed to doing things, but I like to enjoy what I'm doing, not just mark off a list of things that I have done.

Let me give a couple of examples. I wanted to visit the redwood national forest. Turns out there are more than one and more than one kind of giant redwood. Did you know that? Yeah I learned that a couple weeks ago. We went to the costal redwood forest between San Francisco and Eureka on our 10 year anniversary. Honestly I'm ok with that. I would have enjoyed spending the day walking trails with my wife. At one point this kids needed to go to the bathroom so my in-laws took them while we walked ahead on the trail we did walk. I got to have a nice 20 minute walk before the kids caught up with us. I really enjoyed it. The problem is that this was just the morning stop on our way to Eureka and we made a couple more stops on the way before having lunch and watching a movie in Eureka and then eating dinner before driving several hours to where we stayed. It was a series of check lists of things we needed to do for the "vacation"

I could plan a two week vacation visiting the giant redwoods so an hour was just stressful.

The one thing I kept saying I wanted to do was take my kids to the beach for a day at the beach. I wanted to let them play in the sand and water and experience the tide coming in so this is a daylong event in my mind. The date for this trip kept getting shuffled around to accommodate other things and in the end it was relegated to the Saturday after 3 days of Disneyland before a birthday party for my wife's grandmother. It wasn't worth it to me to drive 2 hours to the beach to have just enough time to let the kids stick their feet in the water before driving 2 hours back for a party. So the one thing I did want to do didn't happen.

Tomorrow I'm going to start talking about what we did do and there was a lot of fun in what we did. I just need to get this off my chest. I know some people like this kind of vacation. They want to go to Hawaii and do a million things. In the end they have more memories but in my opinion they didn't experience Hawaii. When I went I tried to limit what we did to one thing a day. We were there for 2 weeks and did a lot. I made a point of being in the ocean every day the entire trip. We saw all the major must see attractions but also found a few obscure sights that we had to hike to. It was the best vacation I've ever had because we got to experience the island instead of marking off a dozen things on a check list each day.

I saw an ad for a tour bus. They went on about all the things you would see and how much time they spent at each location. At one point they said you get to spend 90 minutes in the national forest that the trip was named after. It seems my mother-in-law would love to go on tour buses. A lot of people would love to go on tour buses. That is why they have these tours and good for them, but I'm not like that. I want to explore and find things. I want to ask a local about the best place to eat on the cheap. I want to walk through a city not drive. I'm just weird I guess.


jasonS said...

It's kinda funny. These were the types of family vacations we had growing up. We had checklists (at least in my dad's head) and we needed to hit all of them or it wasn't a successful trip.

I have completely gone the opposite direction with my family's vacations. I like to go to the beach, go on a cruise, not have to go anywhere or do anything and pick a fun thing to do each day. I'm with you, the other wears you out!

Annie K said...

That's not weird. When we go on vacation we NEVER make a plan. We fly by the seat of our pants because schedules on vacation stress me out.

Next time head to Tulum, MX. Everything is in slow motion there, no one is on a schedule and MIL won't be able to get a hold of you. Oh yeah, white beaches, blue water and the Pacifico's go down real nice.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Unplanned vacations are the best. When we went to Hawaii many years ago we ditched the tour group, rented a dune buggy, and drove all over the island wherever we darned well pleased. It was fabulous. Don't give me no stinkin' bus. Walk and free-for-all, and chat with the locals is my favorite, too!

Nick the Geek said...

When I was a kid I didn't remember taking vacations like this. I'm very happy with the vacations we took as a child, but I do remember most of the vacations my dad planned involved him taking off a week of work during which we had to work like painting the house and when that was done we got to have fun.

Annie K,
I don't mind having a plan as long as it's more relaxed, but I agree that the best is pretty well schedule free. I live by schedules everyday so I need to get away from that on vacation.

Yeah we never tried a tour while in Hawaii, but your trip sounds great. I should write about what we did in Hawaii sometime. It was a blast.

katdish said...

Ugh! I HATE check list vacations! Too much like real life. My idea of a vacation is to spend a week at the beach with nothing planned. If you feel like going to some theme park one day, then do it, but most of the time I would simply play in the sand and watch the sunset.

THAT's a vacation...

Helen said...

I get what you mean. I loved being in the ocean in Hawaii. We checklisted Oahu a bit, but not Maui or Kauai...

Nick the Geek said...


I think that is why I enjoyed Hawaii so much. We did do things each day but it was usually a pretty short trip so we could be back at the cabin early enough to make dinner and enjoy it overlooking the ocean.


We were in Hawaii for 2 weeks and we talked about going to Maui or one of the other islands but just never made it a priority. I'd like to go back someday and check out the big island.

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