|Photo in or around Grand Teton National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In one of my recent calls for Ask Arlee questions, Susan Kane asked:
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
So far I've been able to find something positive about everywhere I've been. I may not always be jumping at the opportunity to go someplace, but if I'm there I try to make the best of it. Stick me in Odessa, Texas or Williston, North Dakota or whatever out of the way place and I'll try to seek out the points of interest that are there. I'm not saying I'd want to live just any old place, but if other people are living there and seem to be relatively content in doing so, then there must be something worthwhile about the place.
A lot of my adaptability comes from my years touring one-nighters with a theatrical company. We played some towns that most people wouldn't think of going to unless they had a specific reason to be there. Since we usually had at least a few off hours in these towns I'd try to find something to do there that might interest me. Sometimes it was just going to the local mall or whatever they had there in the way of shopping. A meal at a local restaurant was almost always part of the schedule since we had to eat. And whenever we could we'd visit the birthplace of some famous person, a fort, a natural attraction, or some other point of interest. There are some fascinating places in the United States as there are throughout the world.
My ideal vacation would not be in just one place, but traveling on a road trip to see many places. For example, I'd like to be able to take two or three week tours that were thematic in nature. A tour of Civil War battlefields would be very interesting I think. Or maybe picking a famous person and visiting the places they'd visited and lived. A journey of this nature would be educational and fun.
National parks are wonderful places where one can just settle in and see the sights. I'm not so much for camping like I used to do and I know my wife would have none of that, but settling in at a lodge in a park like Yellowstone or Glacier would be enjoyable. The National Parks of the United States are some the best places to go for relaxation mixed with awe-inspiring sightseeing.
On the other hand, cities and tourist destinations both have a lot to offer. I've always enjoyed spending time in Toronto, Ontario. Washington, DC and the surrounding area has enough attractions to keep one busy for a few weeks, as do many cities around the world. Then there are the places like Orlando, Florida. I don't like being in crowded places and having to wait in lines, but Disney certainly offers some cool attractions if you're willing to pay the price.
There are so many places to go that it's kind of difficult to pick just one. However one place stands above all others for me--East Tennessee. That's where most of my vacation times have been spent. Staying at my mother's house--the house where I lived while attending high school and college--feels almost as much like home as the house where I live.
Spending time with my mother and brothers and sisters is time that takes me back to days of my youth. I enjoy being with my family. Then there are longtime friends who I rarely get to see anymore. When in Tennessee I usually have some time to catch up with at least a few of those old friends.
Places exotic or somewhat mundane but different for me are all fun, fascinating, and curiosity inducing. I feel excited and adventurous when I'm traveling in places where I am but a passing stranger. But there's no replacing any of these places with home. I feel like I've got two homes. Those are my favorite vacation spots.
Thank you, Susan, for the questions. Anyone else have a question they'd like me to answer in a future Ask Arlee post? Where is your favorite vacation spot? Do you enjoy traveling? What is your favorite mode of travel? If you could settle down in any place in the world where would it be?