Friday night topic: Vacation time!

So… it’s that time of year. Everybody goes on vacation, and we can feel it in TR’s traffic, even.

The question is: where are you going on vacation this year, and why?

A related, and perhaps more interesting question: what is your ideal vacation spot, and why?

Personally, I’m not fond of vacations involving long drives, long lines, or theme parks, which apparently makes me rather different from most Americans. My ideal vacation spot would probably be the Virgin Islands or some place like that, if not an exotic locale like Rio—not that, you know, that’s actually where I get to go.

What about you? Discuss.

Comments closed
    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago

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    • dextrous
    • 8 years ago

    My ideal vacation involves a beach and something cold to drink. I got married a month ago. We went to Nassau, Bahamas for a week-long honeymoon. It was absolutely perfect other than we wanted to stay longer than a week and it was very expensive. I would definitely go again!

    • WaltC
    • 8 years ago

    Vacations? Bah…humbug! OK, I could, maybe, see taking a few days off in lower Pittsburgh to get most of my teeth capped–or else to experience a root canal every now and then. Maybe–all right–let’s go ahead and splurge and get a back room at a swanky Motel 8 with a *gasp* “in room” color TV (so you don’t have to watch it through another Motel 8 patron’s window)–all 19 glorious diagonal inches of brand-new bubble-screen Zeniths and RCA’s. You get a bed consisting of a mattress and sometimes corresponding box springs, AND you get one of those dreamy, too-rich-for-my-blood Magic Fingers (TM) boxes that will damn near bring you to an orgasm for 25 cents–if you can paint the ceiling in 1.75 minutes or less–or if you’ve got a bunch of disposable quarters lying around. They’ve got 18-foot dumpsters practically everywhere dotting the skyline–and that means good eatin’ every night! Every dumpsters a surprise, a feast, and a delight–you can find something new and exotic most every day. It’s for sure you cannot argue with the price! So grab the whole family and head on out to lower Pittsburg–if you make it back you’ll have had an adventure that I promise you won’t forget, ‘fer s’long as ye’ may live!

    Call Bobby’s Pittsburg Immigration Agency @ 897-BR5-5549. Tell ’em Walt sent ya’–that’s good for a free plate of warmed over spaghetti and PopaDoc’s Wine every mornin’ t’at breakfast. Have fun, kidees!

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    Home life with wife and children usually means little free time beyond weekends at a nearby mountain or marina club. Otherwise, long drives aren’t too bad if we get in some coast. Last month we lazily headed south down 101/PCH to Ontario and Vegas and rediscovered many quiet California towns on the way like SLO and Avila Beach which were enjoyable stops. My kid had a blast at truck stops once he discovered many had fountains outfitted with flavor dispensers he could remix his sodas with in countless ways.

    We arrived in Las Vegas the night the news on Osama bin Laden came out, so we rushed down to see if any impromptu parades or parties were happening on the Strip as on the news, and – nothing. Everyone glued to their golden slots, tables, and lines, and not a cheery patriotic face in sight on the casino floors and streets of the glory hole that’s Sin City.

    Next year we look forward to flying then riding outriggers to southeast asian island towns where life is more to be found in the restos and markets along the seashore than on the white beaches. That is, if my wife doesn’t insist on a standard-issue Eurodisney or DisneySea plus LVMH shopping tour for their sake. On my blessed own, whenever that might be, I wouldn’t mind repeating my long stays in Europe when I was a student, visiting natural science and history venues in London and Paris, with a bit of theater and classical performances.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Went to SLO this part March. What an oasis in the craphole that is Cali. Apparently one of the “happiest” cities in the country, and I can see why.

      Also liked Redding and Northern Cali.

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        What I remember was the friendly receptionist smiling at us with a “it’s a happy place!” as we went off, like she meant it. The street market wasn’t on that day so we drove through hilly See Canyon to refresh our memories. Great tri-tip at Firestone and laid-back atmosphere, SLO students are nice all around.

        Haven’t been to Redding or anywhere north of the Russian river, there’s usually so much to see in the SF bay area where my parents used to live. I do like the pretty little town before Point Reyes overlooking Stinson beach and found tamales bay oysters a treat.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    3-week motorcycle trip: Toronto to Detroit (and through Detroit as quickly as possible) to Chicago (staying two days, one night in Palmer House and one night at The Drake, possible side trip to TR BBQ), and thence westward to Sturgis, SD, for 3 days of the the annual silliness that is the Black Hills biker rally (with 500,000 of my closest biker friends; also seeing Alice Cooper and Bachman-Turner in concert), and then north and eastward to Milwaukee, Duluth, Thunder Bay and then around the north coast of Lake Superior back to Toronto. All with my gorgeous babe on the back seat in her sexiest riding leathers.

    Meh… πŸ™‚

      • dashbarron
      • 8 years ago

      Sturgis? I’ve heard wild, wild stories about that place almost all of which are probably grossly understated and under-dramatized. I’m curious to go there one summer when we head out west…but it just might be too many people and too much activity.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t get paid vacations so they’re rare. I’m looking at trying to make it up to Portland and Vancouver this year or next.

    I loved Seattle (my trip last year and my first since 2001). Amazing air, weather. Beautiful. Sadly less weird than here but way less populated which I like.

    • Kamisaki
    • 8 years ago

    I’m actually in Las Vegas on vacation right now. It’s not too exciting, though. Vegas is my hometown, and I’m just visiting my family for a few days πŸ™‚

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    We were planning on spending a week at Green Lake, WI this summer, but the economy tanked my wife’s job and now we’ve decided to just sit on that money instead. Too bad, I was looking forward to it, but it’s not like she caused it.

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 8 years ago

    Hopefully the high price of gas will keep all the idiot tourists close to home so I can enjoy the places I plan to visit in peace and quiet πŸ™‚

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      It’s not the idiots that will have no problem spending $4/gallon. It’s the smart people that are easy to get around, drive like they have brains, and don’t cause issues that will stay home.

        • anotherengineer
        • 8 years ago

        That’s it $4/gal, must be nice, I’m paying $5.26/US gal.

    • oldDummy
    • 8 years ago

    Just got back from Ireland two weeks ago along with a 10 day stint late last year. But that isn’t where I’ll spend my summer. The NJ shore has among the best beaches in the world. That’s where I live and while the season isn’t that long, maybe 14weeks tops, one can see the beauty in the sand and clean water. 20 years ago I wouldn’t be able to say that. Right now the beaches are the equal of any beach in the Caribbean and that’s saying something.

    • not@home
    • 8 years ago

    I do enjoy the American southwest, but that is a 25 hour drive to get there and I was just there last October. I Like going with friends, but they always severely limit the time I can spend out there (they always need to be back for work) and what I can do out there (they do not like taking off into the desert for 3 weeks at a time). It is too bad going by myself gets boring after about a week and a half, although I have done that a few times. Summer Is usually our busy time, so October through March is usually when I get to take any trip I want, provided I saved some money for it. By the way, anyone have any off the beaten path suggestions for this area?

    Other places of interest are: Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Germany (visit family), Australia, New Zealand, Japan.

    • designerfx
    • 8 years ago

    thailand or paris, it’s either going to be basically east asia or europe for the honeymoon, basically.

    • jpostel
    • 8 years ago

    I travel a bit for work, so traveling vacations don’t do much for me. Regardless of where we go, I just want to hang out and relax. That tends to be at odds with “activities for the kids”, so we compromise and do multiple long weekend trips to the beach and one travel trip a year.

    • d34thly
    • 8 years ago

    I agree with Scott; I hate long lines and long drives, but with 4 kids that is unavoidable. My wife and I last took a vacation together in the Virgin Islands(U.S. St.Thomas). I think next time My wife and I get a vacation alone we’ll get out to Jamaica to visit the root of SKA. Family vacations can be fun too; Last summer we spent weeks in St. Louis and LOVED it! We got lost in a very bad part of town, but even the gangsters in St. Louis were very helpful ( when a guy with a gun and his friends approached our minivan and asked “are you lost?” I never expected such articulate directions to the science center and planetarium). If you ever get out there make sure and visit the City Museum, i can’t even describe it as it is one of the most fun and interesting things i have seen in my life (it will blow your mind and exceed your expectations) Make sure to dedicate at least a day just to city museum.

      • thesmileman
      • 8 years ago

      With 4 kids I bet work IS your vacation.

    • dragmor
    • 8 years ago

    Get real its the middle of winter, light at 06:30 dark at 17:30, lucky to break 20c during the day. That’s no time for a holiday.

    Xmas is holiday season, plenty of public holidays. Nice 40c weather, house on the beach.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Everyone knows we’re Northern Hemisphere-centric in these parts.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      Better than winter in Canada. -20C typical, lucky to break -7C and sunrise at 07:30 and sunset at 16:30.

      Leave for work in the dark, and get home in the dark, 2 more yrs and then it’s time to head closer to the equator.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    Here’s a question for those of you who are americans: you have a right to take a 12-week ‘bonding leave’ with your newborn. This may be unpaid, though (depending on the policies of your company).

    Would you feel comfortable taking the whole 12 weeks off to bond with your child? If yes, how do you justify the loss in income/advancement opportunities? If no, how do you justify not spending time with your new family member?

      • bthylafh
      • 8 years ago

      I took a couple weeks off when my daughter was born, then another couple weeks when she was two months old after my wife went back to work. That second two weeks was enough… I’m not cut out for dealing with newborns solo[1], and I think only my mother-in-law coming by occasionally to give me a break kept me from cracking.

      I could indeed have taken the whole twelve weeks off, but I’d only have been paid for the amount of time I had vacation stored up for, which I think was a bit over a month total at the time. I wasn’t really worried about advancement opportunities.

      [1] It might not have been so bad, except she was born with an esophageal valve which was slightly too small (since grown out) and so it was hard for her to keep the milk down. One would have to change her clothing three times a day or more, and since she was a winter baby just kitting her out with a diaper was right out.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      Newborns don’t even remember experiences, so that would be one heck of a wasted 12 weeks. Bond with them later.

        • jpostel
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t think the bonding is one directional.

        I have historically only taken a week off for each of my kids. That is a bit misleading because I work from home, so other than when I am traveling, I spend tons of time with my kids regardless.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]I don't think the bonding is one directional. [/quote<] This.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 8 years ago

            I guess people really don’t like you for some reason. I can’t imagine why you’d get voted down for your comments.

        • cegras
        • 8 years ago

        That’s a pretty uninformed opinion, the early infant-caregiver bond is pretty crucial in determining childhood security and temperament during the first few years.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        How many kids do you have, and when do they get out of jail?

      • d34thly
      • 8 years ago

      My wife took the whole time off and lost her job of 14 years shortly after returning. Luckily she found a better job that pays better on account of her mad skill-set. I guess if I were in a trade/ textile or an office job i wouldn’t risk the full allotment of time off. If you are in an educated, experienced power position I guess I wouldn’t worry. I myself am an independent sysadmin/netadmin, IT, PCtech so any where I work basically pays the same.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]My wife took the whole time off and lost her job of 14 years shortly after returning. [/quote<] It's illegal to fire someone for taking a bonding leave.

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]It's illegal to fire someone for taking a bonding leave.[/quote<] But it's perfectly legal to fire them shortly after returning for unrelated reasons. I'm not saying the reasons were truly unrelated in this case, or that it's 'right', but there it is...

          • anotherengineer
          • 8 years ago

          However it’s NOT illegal to layoff someone due to ‘other reasons’. Happens quite often, but at least then your entitled to EI.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      I took paternity leave when my (now ex) wife was 8 months pregnant. Spent as much time with my son as I could. He’s a good kid (though he’s an adult now) and I think the amount of time that I’ve spent with him over the years has helped in that regard.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      I took 3 weeks off for my first child, and 1 for my second.

      My work is cool in other ways that it’s no big deal to leave early to catch my kids talent show or telecommute, s’long as the job gets done. I’m also rare (in the U.S. at least) that I’ve had the same job for so long that I get massive vacation / PTO compared to most Americans: just under 4 weeks a year, all paid.

        • anotherengineer
        • 8 years ago

        Not as much as the full time CND school teacher that gets 12 weeks paid vacation lol (every year)

    • TaBoVilla
    • 8 years ago

    just came back from vacations =)

    [url<]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=19120763&l=86029174bb&id=538590083[/url<] anyway, living in europe is like living on a permanent vacation compared to the US, starting next week I work 8 to 2 a clock.. they call it "intensive" summer schedule lol

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      “anyway, living in europe is like living on a permanent vacation compared to the US, ”

      Yes it is. Keep in mind, though, that the job market is global now. How are you going to compete with Koreans that work 12-15h days? Look at what happened to Nokia; that should be a solid warning shot for you.

        • cegras
        • 8 years ago

        I would say the Europeans know that there is something else to life besides a rat race. Given that their model of life has not entirely collapsed, Id say they’re managing it quite well.

          • trackerben
          • 8 years ago

          I wouldn’t know about Europe’s long-term. Socialized transfers to overprotected collectives has ruined the work culture of the PIIGS. The continent has pretty much failed to keep the Judeo-Christian heritage which informed its peoples with strength and greatness, many are now failing to Center even in basic nationalism, as overeliance on weak EU institutions and systems has replaced national characters.

          Sociocultural anomie has progressed to the point that most Europeans have little faith in their personal future and behave accordingly. Many countries are now suffering unprecedented 5th-stage demographic transition, their native peoples unwilling to reproduce in enough numbers to maintain their demographics maps or even their workforce replacement levels. Some Eastern nations are projected to disappear ethnically as well culturally in this century.

          In Paris the elites are secretly worried that France will no longer be a western-centered country within 50 years as Muslim-origin immigrants and their children will demographically overwhelm and change the character of its polity. Ungovernable zones where policing and laws do not readily avail are spreading beyond ghettos and not just in France or Belgium. Even England’s MI5 has desperately called for public help to sandboxi troublesome muslim communities calling for Sharia in the country of Shakespeare.

          Add the recent exposure of EU mechanisms and principles as a house of cards built on unsustainable bulwarking against global competition, and it’s easy to see that ways of life of the old continent may be mostly gone by the middle of the 21st century.

          Which is why it’s a good idea to vacation there and see how things still are, the last days of an era which was so sweet and promising during the belle epoque. Which deconstructed due to various x-socialisms through two confidence-breaking world wars and into a retreat to inward-looking and decadent post-modern socialism. Toward a dismal future now so obvious even to non-intellectuals that both the historian Barzun and SecDef Gates can agree that Europe cannot continue as Europe unless its people change their attitudes.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          Tell that to the Spanish

      • d34thly
      • 8 years ago

      My brothers Family lived in Cambridge for years. Now that they’re permanently in the states as educators, they take every summer vacation in England.

      • albundy
      • 8 years ago

      lucky basturd! Yes, i am very jealous! I have to live in a cr@phole called New York City in an apartment that is smaller than your thumb. I’d rather live anywhere else, like Dumpwater, Florida, but unfortunately everyone is running to large cities for jobs.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    I’d like to see the last shuttle launch (scheduled for July 8). Probably not going to happen, though.

      • Kharnellius
      • 8 years ago

      I went to see Discovery launch in November…until it got pushed back a day…then another…then another…then a month…then 3 months.

      Was not a happy camper. πŸ™

      It was still cool seeing the Kennedy Space Center, though, and it was also the first time I had visited the Atlantic Ocean (or any ocean for that matter, I know…weird).

        • FuturePastNow
        • 8 years ago

        I’ve been to KSC before, but never seen a launch. And I can’t shake the gut feeling that this will be the last time NASA sends a human into space.

          • Kharnellius
          • 8 years ago

          On the Space Shuttle, but not ever.

          [url<]http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/orion/index.html[/url<] This is what will replace the Space Shuttle.

    • thesmileman
    • 8 years ago

    What is this “vacation” you speak of????????

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      Indeed, I was wondering the same thing. Is that those 7 days/yr I get that I have to keep rescheduling to meet deadlines?

    • paulWTAMU
    • 8 years ago

    I’m fine with driving up to about 5-6 hours one way. That’s my limit. Then you’re not totally trashed when you get there. Although, a couple of times growing up dad and I did round trips through a given part of the country. We lived near Denver at the time; once we went to Utah, once to the Dakatos…drove for about a week, spending 1-2 days per stop, and that was kind of a blast. Saw a lot of the country, hiked a lot of trails, saw some neat things.

    Personally I like places with good cultural attractions–zoos, museums, etc. or good natural attractions.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve been on vacations before but honestly there’s not much appeal to me. I am the kind of person who would rather just relax at home or hang out with friends rather than travel.

    I think that tourism in general is pretty illogical unless you have a strong focus such as surfing where there are good waves, meeting family & relatives, eating some specialty food, etc.

    If you are going just to go somewhere.. or to see something that you can just find photographs online of, you are probably just wasting money while chasing an imaginary method of escaping the stressful factors of your life.

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      well, if you think destinations are there just for you to look at things, then there’s your problem.

      then again, i really don’t understand why people would go take a vacation in a giant metropolis like New York or Paris just to go shopping. At least, if you’re going sightseeing, you’re seeing things live that you can’t at home. Shopping… in the age of the internet… bleh.

    • OffBa1ance
    • 8 years ago

    I have been on vacation for 5 months in Central and South America and now we are flying to Miami to road trip around the States and Canada for 3 months :).

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 8 years ago

      Pfft. I have been on vacation for 6 months in Musha Cay and now we are flying to Canary Islands for 4 months :)).

        • RobbyBob
        • 8 years ago

        1-up.

    • DumbYellowDog
    • 8 years ago

    Every late December/early January we go somewhere, mostly to escape the Xmas and new years frenzy.

    Of the places I’ve been, I liked Cambodia, New Zealand, and Cuba the best. Perhaps the lack of hordes of American tourists in those places had something to do with it.

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    Probably nowhere farther than Tulsa or Springfield, to zoos for the daughter.. I don’t like the things you don’t like either.

    I’d like to visit Scotland again for a week or so. Have to hit a couple distilleries this time. I just wish I didn’t hate commercial flying so much.

    • CasbahBoy
    • 8 years ago

    Probably nowhere. I haven’t had more than 3-4 days off in a row, counting the weekend, in years.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      That sucks. πŸ™ Where do you work?

        • paulWTAMU
        • 8 years ago

        YEah I’d like to avoid that place like the plague.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 8 years ago

      An IT consulting company; my specific position is one where I’m assigned to one “home base” client full time, while being a sysadmin helping with the environments of many. These days I’m actually given a reasonable amount of vacation time, but I can’t really use it. If a critical enough problem occurs with my own client or another, I’m going to [b<]have[/b<] to work. Back when I was on the help desk for this company it was worse, though. We accrued vacation days at a rate of one per month, with no paid sick time and no paid holidays off (unless we were asked to work on those holidays in which case we got doubletime). There was no limit to sick days and unpaid days off, so the typical "use too many and you'll probably get canned" worries applied.

        • thesmileman
        • 8 years ago

        It sounds like you are doing tons of overtime though right? You have to be pulling in a fair amount in that. The guidelines changed at the beginning of the year and since you are on call you have to be considered non-exempt and have to get paid overtime. My friend works for a energy company and they just called him in an said they had to back pay him for 30 hours a week at time and a half since February. He is a very happy person right now.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    Going to Finland in four weeks, to see friends and family.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      So you are a Finlander then?

      I know some Finlanders, my friends Mummo made the best pulla. mmmmmmm

    • thanatos355
    • 8 years ago

    Never really been on a vacation.

    I be po.

    I’m not really the vacation type anyway. I bought a home to have a place to be, not just as storage for my things.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Montana. Always wanted to go. Watch out 5150!

    • TREE
    • 8 years ago

    My ideal holiday would be anywhere that has a ratio of beautiful woman that vastly outstrips that of the men. The location means nothing πŸ™‚

    All kidding aside, I really enjoy the outdoors. After spending some time in the territorial army and having traveled to places like Norway and Poland, wherein most of the visit is spent outside, I think I can safely say that the furthest away from civilisation I am, generally, the happier I am. So for me its not so much location as it is weather and general surroundings. Switzerland looks good!

    • tdsevern
    • 8 years ago

    Well, sadly I wont have any vacations this year. But, the good news is that means I have a job. Scored a job modeling (SolidWorks) the worlds largest mining equipment at P&H Mining! Takes a bit of patience working with 50000+ part assemblies.

    Next time I have vacation time though, Ill either be going to Alaska or the Grand Canyon/Death Valley/Yosemite area for some national park touring.

      • thermistor
      • 8 years ago

      SW – a nice way to have a job. Are you working at the Milw, WI plant?

      I’m taking my grade-school age son to the boundary waters for a few days. We’re going to camp, canoe, and fish. Fish tremble when they hear my name!!

        • tdsevern
        • 8 years ago

        Yep, the Orchard Street location in Milwaukee

      • dmjifn
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Scored a job modeling[/quote<] I know what you mean. Now do your little turn on the catwalk.

        • thanatos355
        • 8 years ago

        He’s too sexy for his shirt, too sexy for his shirt, so sexy it hurts. πŸ˜€

        • tdsevern
        • 8 years ago

        +1

      • no51
      • 8 years ago

      P&H sucks and their employees smell funny.

      signed,
      Catercyrus

      • PrecambrianRabbit
      • 8 years ago

      Grand Canyon/Death Valley/Yosemite is a wonderful trip. I loved taking the road through Death Valley, seeing Badwater Basin (the lowest point in the country) and Mt. Whitney (the highest, continental) on the same stretch of road was just amazing. And Yosemite is of course beautiful. I’ll be going there with my wife for our honeymoon – we’re climbing Half Dome (by the cables).

      • zoom314
      • 8 years ago

      You might also include a Ghost Town while Your near Death Valley, Specifically the [url=http://cms.sbcounty.gov/parks/Parks/CalicoGhostTown.aspx<]Calico Ghost Town[/url<], It's a county park near the I15 freeway in San Bernardino County CA, there's panning for gold, mine tours and yep a Ghost town and It's less than the cost of Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm and Its real.

    • Phydoux
    • 8 years ago

    This summer I’m taking my family to a remote cabin in Wyoming. We’re going to spend a week completely unplugged – no Internet, no phone, no electricity except for a little bit that a generator will provide. Basically lights in the evening. Propane for everything else.

    We’ll do stargazing at night (no light pollution at all out in the middle of nowhere) and ride four-wheelers during the day.

    I’m really looking forward to it. I plan to do a lot of relaxing and reading.

      • tdsevern
      • 8 years ago

      That sounds awesome!

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