One of the things that is true of my wife: she is constitutionally incapable of doing that thing people call a “staycation.” The idea that we’d stay home and, for instance, see the sites of Albany – tour the state Capitol or go up to the 42nd floor of the Corning Tower – tallest building between Montreal and New York City, I’m told, would likely not happen until whatever chores that needed to be done were done. Generally, that means that we don’t always play as much as I want.

Early on in our marriage I realized this. It was in the days after 11 September 2001, and naturally the news was terribly depressing. I suggested that we go SOMEWHERE. She said, “We could stay home and go on vacation.” We’d only been married a little over two years, but I’d known her for nine. I said something like, “You are constitutionally incapable of staying home without finding things that need to be done in the house. There are ALWAYS things to be done in the house.” I insisted that we had to go SOMEWHERE ELSE.

It turned out that she had a gift certificate from before we were married to a bed and breakfast in Cherry Valley, NY, only about an hour’s distance, but a world away from our lives. The place we went to had no TVs. It had some lovely shops. I’m not a shopper, because shopping tends to mean going to some megastore, but this kind of shopping was quite all right.

Two things occurred on that Columbus Day weekend I remember quite vividly. Carol’s (and my) niece Markia was born – we got a phone call – and the war in Afghanistan began, which I heard on someone’s radio. Re: the latter, you can get away for only so long, and sometimes not far enough away.

What reminded me of that was the past couple weekend trips. One was to the Mid-Hudson Valley, about an hour south of Albany. We stayed in a Holiday In Express in Poughkeepsie, attended a party, seeing some old friends, including one I hadn’t seen since 1991, and generally had a great time. The other trip actually ended today, visiting my mom, sisters and niece in Charlotte, NC.

The difference is that, in each case, seeking Internet connectivity was a primary consideration. I used the Hotel Internet Guide, because, somehow, being connected has become just as important as price and location. What that says about me over the past nine years, I’m not sure.