The Value of Vacation

ImageWe (we being my kiddo & I) escaped to Florida on vacation over the summer. It began as a mother/daughter trip, then we invited my uncle & cousin along, then my parents. My cousin wasn’t able to go, but the rest of us embarked upon our journey in late May. It was a good trip, with the highlights being, in no particular order, seeing Harry Potter’s Wizarding World (more on that in a moment), experiencing Blue Man Group, petting a penguin, and meeting an astronaut. We left on a Monday, came home on Friday. The perfect amount of time – we were all still happy, all still having a good time, but were just starting to miss home (admission of guilt: I really missed my little dogs . . . missed my hubby, too, but REALLY missed my dogs!).

Looking back over the week, I realize it was money well spent. Airline tickets, rental car, hotel, food (Joe’s Crab Shack is my new favorite place to eat), admission tickets (seriously, there is a LOT of money going thru the gates at Universal Studios) and souvenirs add up to a LOT of money. But the memories are priceless. The experiences were amazing. And that is the value of vacation: experiences. We need varied experiences to enrich our lives. They don’t have to be once-in-a-lifetime trip-around-the-world experiences – they just have to be different from your normal routine. Even if you can’t afford a “real” vacation this summer, treat yourself with new, exciting experiences.

Need some ideas?

Watch a movie you wouldn’t normally choose.

Read a book you wouldn’t normally read.

Eat at a new restaurant.

Drive a different route to work.

Spend a Sunday doing NO work – I mean NONE. Sit on your deck and read, or watch all those episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation that are taking up all the space on your DVR (surely I am not the only one . . .).

Feel free to add some ideas of your own below.

(P.S. Harry Potter rant follows. Getting into Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure was expensive. And I hate rides. They make me sick. My kiddo has a medical condition and can’t ride roller coasters. If you don’t ride rides, Islands of Adventure is a giant waste of time and money. If you’re like me and go purely for Harry Potter, yeah, it’s cool to see Hogsmead. Going through the castle is interesting. But they could’ve done SO much more with that place. Maybe a couple of stores actually set up to look like the real stores instead of like dollar stores. A flying broomstick would’ve been a fun touch. Perhaps a rail station to take you from one end to the other. A store where you could buy pens and scrolls. I looked all over for connections to the books – maybe an autographed book. Nothing. Waited in line over an hour to get a wand at Ollivanders, only to find out that the 2 minute show only let’s ONE person get a wand. Everyone else gets to stand shoulder to shoulder to butt with the gazillion other people who want a cheap wand that doesn’t even begin to warrant the spending of $39. Thought a goblet might be a nice souvenir, but was sorely disappointed in the cheap plastic one with LED lights blinking in the base. OK, rant over. Proceed.)