And the Winner Is – – –

Road AtlasIt’s Friday which means it’s time for another Friday’s Fave Five list.  Well, if you remember from last Friday, I listed five locations that I was offering up to my husband as possible places to go to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (just a little belatedly).  The ensuing comedy of errors as we tried to come up with a decision has been quite something.  In keeping with the “spirit of Five”, I think I can walk you through the process that brought us to a winner:

1.  First, we decided to go to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Well, that was easy.  I couldn’t believe that my hubby actually agreed without much hesitation.  I did a little Googling and got the number for the Canadian ferry system and made our reservation to catch a ferry from Portland, Maine to Falmouth, Nova Scotia.  Step One completed.  A day went by.  I thought that I’d better sit down with hubby and come up with an itinerary so I could get some lodging reservations in place.  It went like this:  “So, where do we want to stay each night?”

“I don’t know.  What did you have in mind that you want to do?”, he asked.  I stared at him.  He stared back.

“Um, I don’t know.  I guess I just thought that we’d drive around and look at things.  Maybe take pictures,” I said.

“Well, we ought to have a plan. We ought to see the Bay of Fundy,” he offered.

“Great,” I jumped on this suggestion.  “Where do we go to do that?”

“I think it runs up the whole side of Nova Scotia.  Why don’t you just pick a place.  Here in the tour book it says that you can climb out on these rocks and get a great view.”

“I’m NOT climbing over seaweed covered rocks.  I’ll sit on the shore and YOU can do that.  I’ll take your picture,” I countered.  “If we stay at a hotel near that spot, this one sounds nice.”

“Holy Smokes.  That starts at $250!”, he choked.  We both leafed through the tour book.  A LOT of the hotels were in the $150 to $250 price range.  “Those hotels are really expensive.  I don’t remember them costing that much the last time we went.”

“That’s because I purposely picked the cheapest places I could find and you all complained about every one because they were absolutely horrible.”  We  studied each other.  “OK,” I said brightly.  “How about just doing some sightseeing around Maine?”

2.  Maine – I cancelled the ferry reservation and started researching some possible things to do in and around Maine.  Personally, I’m a Great Plains kind of girl.  I get claustrophobic when I’m surrounded by too many trees so the thought of driving around in forests for a week didn’t delight me.  Nor did the thought of walking around shops in towns that catered to the rich and famous (scratch Kennebunkport).  I finally settled on a driving route that would let us see some of the lighthouses of Maine.  I showed it to hubby.

“This will only take about a day or two,” he said.

“Well, we don’t have to do just that.  We can see other things.  We can enjoy the views of the ocean and eat in quaint little restaurants, maybe tour some historic houses….things like that,” I countered.

“But what will we DO the other six days?” he asked.

“Look,” I replied.  “If Maine isn’t exciting you, how about Charleston?”

3.  Charleston and Savannah – I went to the library and checked out some books on the venerable old towns of Charleston and Savannah.  Then I got back on the computer and started to look at hotel packages in those towns.  They weren’t cheap!

“I figure we can drive down to Charleston in one day so what do you want to do when we get there,” hubby asked.  We stared at each other.

“Well, we’ve already seen the plantations so I really don’t want to do those again.  I always enjoy the market in the old part of town.  We haven’t seen Fort Sumter.  And don’t forget that there’s always good eating in Charleston.  Now about this driving down in one day.  You know, I’ve always wanted to take the train somewhere.  Couldn’t we take the train down and maybe make a loop on to Savannah?” I asked hopefully.

We studied the Amtrak schedule on the computer.  Oh, we could catch a train from our area down to Charleston and on to Savannah and even loop back through central SC and back through Washington, DC but the cost seemed to be giving my husband some grief…..that, and the idea of sitting on a train for such a long time.  “Why don’t we get a sleeper compartment,” I suggested.  “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

We computed the cost of train tickets and sleeper compartment.  Oy vey!  “You know, we could drive this a lot cheaper than take a train,” my husband said.   “And maybe we could find a cheaper hotel not right in town. ”

“How about I do a little more research on other possibilities?” I suggested.

4.  Ireland – At 1 am the following morning, I had found a great deal on Aer Lingus that would get us to Dublin, give us a rental car AND 6 nights of lodging around Ireland for a total of around $2200.  I was a desperate woman at breakfast.

“What do you think about this?” I asked, shoving the printout under his nose.  “We could go to Ireland and I’m sure we could come up with all sorts of things to do and see there.”  He looked it over carefully and finally looked up at me and said, “Let’s do it.”

When the local AAA office opened, I was right there with printout in hand.  But the travel agent wasn’t very impressed with look of the package.

“You know, you’d have to find your own lodging each night.  Normally, people make these reservations weeks in advance and the airline can send you a packet with all the Bed and Breakfasts included in this plan so that you can look them over and choose which ones you want to stay at ahead of time.  But you would be leaving in less than a week and there wouldn’t be time for that packet to get to you.  Plus most of Europe has August off for vacation so it is extremely busy over there right now with lots of people traveling.  You’d be competing with a lot of other tourists.”

The thought of us wandering around Ireland on our own frankly scared me.  I used to be a lot more adventurous but that was when I was only schlepping a backpack around, was 50 pounds lighter, and had two good knees.  Now I was more apt to want to travel with things well-planned out in advance.  Frankly, packaged tours sound pretty appealing to me now.

“How about going on a cruise?” she suggested.  We have one to Bermuda and they have lovely beaches.  There are also lots of fun side tours you can do on the island.  You can snorkel and walk on the bottom of the ocean with weighted helmets on.”  I looked at her, horrified.

“Well, first of all, neither one of us are really water people.  I have absolutely NO desire to snorkel or walk on the bottom of any body of water.  Secondly, my husband has had skin cancer so he’s not into soaking up the sun anywhere.  And third, I CAN’T go on a cruise.  My son belongs to a group that protests cruises so we really can’t go on a cruise.”

“Well, I have a nice one you could go on that leaves from Vancouver,” she offered.

“No, you don’t understand,” I said.  “He lives in Vancouver.  He’s been filmed and shown on TV protesting cruise ships.  How would it look if his mom and dad were seen boarding a cruise ship?  We just can’t do that.”

I called my husband at work and told him the situation.  “We’re back to square one, Honey.”

5.  And so, the winner is…….Minnesota. Yup, that’s right.  When all else fails, just like salmon, you can count on me to head back to the old spawning grounds.  Hubby can do his genealogical research around the state on my side of the family for a change.  He’ll be quite content.  I can see some relatives I haven’t seen in a while.  I can also get a lot of knitting done while he does his research.  That actually makes me quite content.  And best of all, I can get back to the prairie.  Gosh, I love those wide open rolling hills.  The only downside to all of this is that we are flying out there.  I’d much prefer driving but that would cut into our time in the state quite a bit.  So we have our plane tickets and we’ve actually got a plan.  And next year……we’re NOT leaving vacation plans to the last minute.

Friday_fave_five_Tamara smallIf you’d like to read about what others are writing for their Friday Fave Five’s, visit Susanne’s site at Living to Tell the Story.

  • Ellen

    Oh girl you had me going there. I was touring each and every spot until you hit Minnesota :0) Sorry…Just goes to show you a vacation is a great vacation if you enjoy the place and are comfortable traveling there. Have fun in Minnesota. I do love how hubby was willing to go along anywhere…

  • I laughed all the way through this post! Hilarious!

    Please let me know if your husband runs into any of my ancestors back there! (Actually my step grandfather was born in Minnie so-o-ta. Yep. He was Swedish.)

    Enjoy your trip! Do report on your knitting!

  • Your vacation planning sounds so very, very familiar to me because it’s the same scenario that happens around my house! I always come up with these brilliant things to do and places to go, then hubby comes up with a reason why they aren’t nearly as brilliant as I think they are. Bah — sometimes husbands should just plain be illegal, LOL!

  • Vacations can be so complicated. We usually end up going somewhere because we got a spectacular deal or it was tagged on to a business meeting somewhere. We don’t do cruises either. I don’t know why your son protests them, but just the thought of being trapped on a ship with a bunch of people that are trying to have fun mortifies me. Crowds, booze and craziness often end badly.

  • You guys are too funny. Making vacation plans stresses me right out. The Ireland one was sounding nice but I wouldn’t want to end up there with no hotels booked either. My dream vacation there is the one where you go different places every 3 days or so and stay in different castles. Glad you finally got it all worked out and that you’ll be happy doing what your doing even if it has been done before. :v)

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