It is that time of year when I start to go crazy if David and I haven’t yet planned a major vacation for the calendar year. Too much cold weather always has this effect on me. Although it has been a relatively warmer winter in North Carolina than it was in DC last year, any temperature below 75 degrees counts as cold weather and means that I am in need of a warm weather interlude. Consequently, there is no such thing as the concept of a cold weather vacation in my world. Ski trips might as well be a week at work, in my view.
Also, last week was a terrible week at work. I know that I have been speaking vaguely about such matters, but I am not writing in specifics about work-related incidents and cannot write in a more abstract sense about it either, at least until I have more time to reflect and make sense of it. There is nothing like a terrible work week that causes one to reflect on the need for a holiday.
David and I like to plan one international trip a year and then a few fun weekend trips or trips of a few days. Also, I like to plan some Mississippi time and some Texas Harry time as well. Last year, our international trip was Spain (that included a day trip to Tangier, Algeria), and we took smaller trips to New York City, Hilton Head, SC and Orlando. I don’t count work related trips.
So what is on the agenda for this year? Well, we have toyed with several ideas.
For a couple of years, Belize has been on our list. It has monkeys! It has rainforests! It is on the Caribbean! It is in Central America, but they still speak English! There are so many positive things about it, and yet, it still quite hasn’t made it to the top.
This year, I also tried to convince David that we needed to take a trip to the English countryside and maybe also to Scotland. There are so many old manor houses that now are holiday getaways, and it just sounds ideal and relaxing. Both David and I have spent time in London, but no time in the English Countryside. However, it doesn’t quite fit the definition of getting away to a warm place, so once again, that trip is getting pushed back.
Then, of course, there is the idea of the perfect trip to Tanzania that I have been meaning to take David on for quite some time that includes a trip to Zanzibar. However, that idealized trip requires at least two weeks of time and also several thousands of dollars which doesn’t work too well with our budget in a year when we have bought a house and lots of new furniture.
For David’s sentimentality, he has been craving a trip back to southern Italy, where he served his mission. We would start in Rome and work our way down to Sicily. This trip seemed the most suited for what desired a vacation to be in 2011.
Then, yesterday, while perusing Jetsetter, the best option yet presented itself. A cruise from Rome to Athens. I know that when I say the word cruise, you think, yuck. I would agree. We are not cruise people. However, this cruise sounded different. First, their are the boats, which they call sailing yachts. You talk about sailing, instead of cruising, and instantly, I am more interested. Also, the boats are considerably smaller than a cruise ship. They have fewer than 150 passengers, and as a result of their smaller size, the ports of call are smaller and do not accommodate large ships. Here is the itinerary we put a hold on. It would enable us to spend a day in Sicily, a day in Amalfi, plus some time in the Greek isles. You tack on a few days in Rome to start and a few days in Athens at the end, and that is an itinerary that sounds pretty great. Plus, by going to Italy and Greece, then it would enable David to visit some places that he has never been before (and I have never been to either country). I am thinking that it sounds ideal, but we still have to commit to the whole cruise thing. Some reviews that we have read about this particular type of cruise sound more promising, though. It doesn’t sound as forced and silly as what one typically associates with cruising. No formal nights or “themes” and no “Vegas-style” entertainment.
Speaking of “Vegas-style” entertainment, I am still thinking about what shorter trips we want to take to US destinations this year. We haven’t been to Vegas in a while, and I am somewhat interested in seeing what all of the glam new hotels that have opened there are like. Also, there is the shopping, which these days has improved to being a close second to New York. Aside from Vegas, we want to plan a trip to Asheville to stay in the Grove Park Inn. We also need to go to Pensacola for a beach trip, but that could be done in conjunction with a Mississippi trip.
As far as other trips go for this year, I am not too sure. It is a rough year scheduling-wise for me, because I am teaching both this semester and then again in the fall. But right now, I just really need a vacation to look forward to.