Katherine Longshore 3 Tuesday, June 12, 2012
My helpful computer dictionary defines the word vacation as: an extended period of recreation, esp. one spent away from home or in traveling.

The word that bothers me is "recreation".  What about a vacation where you do nothing at all?  Right now, my life is full.  My kids are off school for the summer holidays, and I'm ferrying them to rock climbing and swimming and canoeing.  Post-book launch, my house is a mess, and I'm still trying to find my kitchen floor beneath the layer of grime.  The refrigerator is slowly starting to look less like a poor college student lives here (expired mayo, anyone?  A three-year-old jar of pickled jalapenos?) and I'm actually cooking meals every night.  Plus struggling to start Book 3, continuing to promote GILT, letting Book 2 compost while my editor works her magic, etc. etc. etc.

If I were to go on vacation this week, I hate to say it, but I wouldn't recreate.  The term recreation conjures images of mountain climbing, wind surfing, boogie boarding, slacklining, backcountry camping... I went to Humboldt State University.  Those are the kinds of things Recreation Majors did.  And yes, they sound wonderful and I'd love to try them all, but this week?  It just sounds exhausting.

The idea of a "perfect" vacation is always morphing, so I'll just tell you what sounds perfect this week.  And because we all have active imaginations, I'm going to create a perfect vacation that may be impossible in the real world, but I'm sure you can envision what I mean.

The perfect vacation happens somewhere beautiful.  The beach.  The mountains.  Beside a river.  Overlooking a vineyard in fall.  There is a place to lie in the sun beside water.  There is quiet.  There is plenty of time to read.  More than enough time to read.

There are no interruptions.

There is history to explore if so desired -- interesting history.  The Tower of London.  Versailles.  Macchu Picchu.  Uluru.  The Smithsonian.  It's easily accessible, doesn't require much (or any) driving and caters good food.

There is no cooking in this vacation.  At least not by me.  And no dishes to wash.

There is a perfect spot to write.  A desk with a gorgeous outlook, plenty of sunlight, with a comfortable chair and cappuccinos delivered (always accompanied by biscotti).  All my research materials are with me, but I do not have to carry them.

Again, there are no interruptions.

My family is happy.  They can go slacklining or boogie boarding or backcountry camping, and they are happy if I decide not to go with them.  But they tell me their adventures over dinner.

And sometimes, if I feel like it, I join them.


It sounds perfect to me! Can you imagine? An office with picture windows OVERLOOKING MACCHU PICCHU?! And when I hit a rough spot I can go for a meandering walk among the ruins!

Except, one thing: the biscotti has absolutely NO calories. In fact, one loses any extra weight while consuming biscotti.

If I don't bother you, can I come too?


In my dream vacation, there is room for everyone. And no-calorie biscotti taste BETTER than the real thing.

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