That Greg Burgas, the scoundrel, asked What’s your favorite vacation?
Overthinking this, as usual, I don’t recall any vacations growing up. Oh, we would go camping, which I hated, and we might see some attractions. Day trips to Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY; Catskill (NY) Game Farm et al. Maybe the trip I took with dad to Lake George, NY was a vacation, though it was only a few days.
My family visited NYC several times, but it was partly to see my mom’s cousins. Going to the Empire State Building, Coney Island, or Jones Beach was a secondary consideration. Likewise, trips with my wife’s family to Massachusetts didn’t usually feel like vacay, mostly because it was often logistically or interpersonally… complicated. However, the trip to Newport, RI, in 2012 was far less stressful far than most.
My wife and I did take a trip to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont at some point before the daughter was born; THAT was a vacation, as was the trip to Maine in 2003. My favorite was my trip to Portland, ME, with my soon-to-be wife in March 1999, when we got snowed in for a couple of days. And even the three of us going to Yorktown in 2008.
But when I think of vacations, I think of three trips, or maybe four. There’s the one in 1998, which I wrote about while attempting to write about my 2011 vacation.
2011: the Olin international reunion in Peterborough, ON, Canada. We stopped at Niagara Falls (more ); Toronto (more, more, more); eating in Canada; reunion; Canton, NY
2016:the Olin international reunion in Ashtabula, OH. Corning (NY) Museum of Glass; Seneca Nation; Lucy-Desi Museum; Pro Football Hall of Fame; First Ladies National Historic Site; Rock And Roll Hall of Fame (more); reunion; traffic; Letchworth State Park. There was more, but I didn’t write about it until the following year.
Closer to Albany, NY, than San Diego
The fourth is our honeymoon in Barbados in May 1999. Considering it’s the only time I’ve ever been anywhere besides the US, Canada, and Mexico, I’ve written relatively little about it, in part because it predated this blog.
Truth to tell, it was just grand to go to any all-inclusive resort for six nights, especially as a prize for coming in second on JEOPARDY on my second episode. But arranging for the trip was terribly complicated, and it makes sense that the show has since opted for cash prizes for second and third place.
The ocean was gorgeous. My wife went snorkeling, but I opted out. There were three different places to eat dinner, and the food was fabulous. We bought a rum cake to take home; it was extraordinarily delicious. We enjoyed having tea at 4 p.m.
Everything was interesting to us, from the way the news was far more international to the wall-to-wall coverage of cricket. I must say that the cab ride from the airport to the resort was a white-knuckle affair, and there was a fatal automobile accident that very afternoon we arrived.
When we returned to the States, we needed to pay $13 apiece for the privilege. (If we didn’t have it, would that mean we could stay forever?) Somehow, we were bumped to first class on the five-hour flight home. Customs at the JFK airport, though, was chaotic, with the queue somehow turned into a figure eight.