Have A Great Vacation
WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER now and, if you haven’t already, you are thinking about taking a vacation. Should we go to the mountains, or the seashore? Perhaps this summer we should go to Europe – anything but going to your crazy Uncle Harry’s “lodge” again. My skin still hasn’t cleared up from last year.
Las Vegas is always a fun destination – if you can avoid the temptations of the slot machines and the “All you can eat” buffets. Remember one thing – they don’t build those big resort hotel casinos with you taking home the money. You have a better chance of busting into Area 51 and having coffee with E.T. than you do of hitting a jackpot big enough to pay Junior’s orthodontist’s bill.
Vacations are fraught with all sorts of dangers – some big, some small.
Some vacations are not really vacations at all.
Any trip that involves spending more than 24 hours with “The Family” is no vacation. You may not spend as much money, but you will come away having made insincere promises to let Cousin Seymour and his band of gypsies come to visit you. And we all know where that will lead – angry neighbors, bail money, and a late night visit from the “Sons of Satan” Motorcycle Club.
A Family Visit will also load you down with guilt for “not visiting more often” and more of the ongoing vendetta for not naming your youngest child after your mother-in-law’s Great-Aunt Euthanasia.
In the Movies when someone goes on vacation they never show anyone doubled over in pain with stomach cramps. Nor do they show the family road trip interrupted with emergency potty breaks at every gas station and Cracker Barrel between here and the Mexican border. “Digestus Volcanoitis” is often a constant companion on vacations. One restaurant’s definition of the words “Fresh Seafood” will vary from another’s definition. One bad clam can divert your vacation itinerary onto a nonscheduled detour into a third-world experience – without the benefit of duty free shopping.
One of the more terrifying vacation nightmares often comes when you arrive back home. As you pull into your driveway you discover that you forgot to stop delivery of the morning newspaper for the last few weeks. Isn’t it interesting to see the rolled up papers on your lawn spelling out, “Nobody home – Burglars welcome.”
Even if you’ve done everything right, like stopping mail delivery until you return, you will now discover in the pile of catalogs and pizza coupons that you are late with the mortgage payment, the gas bill, the electric bill and the car payment. By candlelight you read the notice that you are being foreclosed on and your credit score is now 137.
Perhaps a vacation to Greece is just the thing to perk you up. After all, the whole nation that gave us Democracy, Socrates, and John Stamos Yoghurt Commercials is going belly up and you might be able to live like a king there for a few weeks until you max out the Visa Card. Then the angry Greek mobs will eat you.
An even better idea might be to just stay home, or if you really need to get away for a few days you might do what I have done a number of times in the past: sign up for those free weekends looking at Lake Tahoe timeshares. You get a short vacation and all you have to do is sit through a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation on why you should make the worst financial decision of your life and buy a timeshare.
If none of these suggestions seem to fit into your sense of ethics, or the boundaries of what is or isn’t doable with the kids along, I have one last vacation option for you.
Get a job with a travelling Circus. You get to see new places and people and, if you don’t mind the smell of llamas, felons and week old cotton candy, this could be just the ticket for you.