“So,” a friend asked the other day, “where are you going this year for vacation?”
Vacation? Did he say vacation?
It occurs to us that we haven’t had a vacation since moving fulltime to Floyd County in late 2004. In fact, we haven’t taken a vacation since a two-week trip to Hawaiian island of Lanai in 1991.
Back when I “worked for a living,” so much of that work was spent on planes and in hotels around the world. When vacation time came, the last thing I wanted to do was crawl back on a plane and head for another hotel.
We have, over the years, taken some memorable vacations to exotic places: Rome, England, Israel, San Francisco, the Northwest and the Southwest. Some trips connected to work, some not. We spent News Year’s Eve in London, watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and witnessed many historical events in Washington. Often, Amy would catch a plane to join me in one part of the world or another for a few days of R&R after an assignment.
But the last actual “vacation” was two weeks on the tiny island of Lanai, away from the hustle and bustle of the Hawaiian vacation scene. We explored ancient hieroglyphics, shipwrecks off shore and had to hike out of the mountains when thunderstorm left the Munro Trail a sea of red clay and our rented Tracker ended up stuck on a hillside.
The next day, our hotel, The Lodge at Koele, sent a tow truck up to retrieve the tracker. It got stock and blocked the trail. For the rest of our stay we were known on the small island as the “ones who closed the Munro trail.” We took three vacations to Hawaii, the first on Maui, the second on the Big Island where we explored volcanos and the last on Lanai.
Unfortunately, Amy was not able to join me when my work took me to other interesting locales: Paris, Hong Kong, China, Stockholm, Austria, etc. Fortunately, she was not with me during visits to less hospital locales where people did stupid things like kill each other.
Our passports sit packed away in a box somewhere, stamped with interesting places. Neither of us has a desire to get on a plane and fly somewhere. I’m on the government’s no-fly list anyway because I wrote something that questioned the current administration and flying has become too much of a cattle-car experience.
We may take a vacation again somewhere but if we do it will probably be somewhere where we can drive and take our time enjoying the world around us without the hassles of schedules.
Besides, the first thing I’ve learned about retirement is that there are no days off, holidays or vacations. You’re far to busy for such things.