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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The "Merits Of A Long Vacation" Story

It was an ordinary day.  And ... I know after reading my story today you'll have no sympathy for me.  But, I thought after telling you about other cultures and the length of their vacations, or "Holidays" as they are known in other areas of the world, you might be more sympathetic.  Seems that vacations of two to five years were common for those who lived in ancient Rome.  Centuries later, wealthy Europeans spent months visiting spas.  So, what's the big deal if my wife and I decide to take a vacation for ... lets say ... a month!  Years ago we vacationed for a week when Carol was only permitted that length of time by her boss.  
Enjoyed vacations along the Chesapeake Bay in small cottages where we could relax and unwind without having to drive or fly for any length of time.  If you are traveling miles and miles to reach your vacation destination, either by car or plane or ... perhaps even horse and buggy as is the custom in our home town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it may take a day or two to shake off the travel fatigue so you can hustle through the rest of your vacation itinerary before you hop back in the car, plane or buggy to get back home.  So, when Carol and I began our family, we were able to add an extra day or two, or even an extra week to our summer vacations along the Chesapeake Bay.  Times were tough with one salary, a teacher' salary to boot, but we found places to stay that were inexpensive.  It actually began to feel like vacation, with time to unwind and plenty of time to actually enjoy your time away from the grind of work with the entire family.  
Then the family grew up, left home, retirement arrived and we found we were able to add a few more days onto our vacation.  We now had more time and a few extra dollars to spend on vacation.  Reasoned that if we were finally able to fly to a spot in the sun along a beautiful beach, we need to go for at least 10 days or two weeks or we would be wasting the money we paid for the airline ticket.  Well, two weeks turned into two and a half weeks and to make up the difference in days, we opted to settle for a less expensive place to stay.  Then, last year we found a very nice place in paradise for less and decided to stay for three weeks.  Felt guilty at first that others didn't have the same chance that we did, but that quickly faded away.  Halfway through vacation we wondered if we had made a mistake with staying three weeks, but at day 18 or so we looked at each other and wondered if we could add another few days to the trip.  
Being able to do absolutely nothing except sit in a beach chair on a beautiful white sand beach in the Caribbean with a book in one hand and a drink in the other seemed to relax the soul more each day.  Started to feel we actually deserved our vacation for all the years of hard work.  Well, we have already made our reservation for next spring for three weeks once again.  Then, the other day Carol said, "You know, since next year we will be married 50 years, I think maybe we should finally add that extra week!"  Didn't take long before I placed an email to the realtor whom we rent our villa from in paradise.  Not finalized yet, but the merits of a long vacation totally outweigh the negatives.  Here's hoping that someday you too will be able to experience the merits of a long vacation, or holiday.  Those merits seem to be growing the older we become.   And, we have decided now is the time before it is too late!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.     

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