Nov 3 2011

impressions of a vacation.

We’ve done it.
Booked our vacation for 2011.
It only took us the entire year to decide…
And of course, it will be at the very end of the year.
I haven’t had a real non-work related trip for some time now, so as you can imagine, I’m fairly stoked. We decided to go to Banff over New Years. The original thing that drew us to Banff was the Banff Springs Hotel, but after looking at their prices (minimum $400 a night, up to $1400! Phew!) we decided that we’d go the cheaper route at a different hotel (and then loiter in the Banff Springs Hotel lobby when we could)
I’ve never been on a wintery vacation such as this. We have a cabin up north by 100 Mile House that for years and years I tried to convince my family to spend Christmas up there, but to no avail. In my mind, wintery vacations are lovely and perfect and cozy and all those things you think of when you imagine the perfect winter.
I seem to have this problem, however, of setting myself up for failure with vacations. I imagine everything happening just as it should. No traffic on the way. The hotel rocks. The weather is perfect. Everything is reasonably priced. The food is amazing. In a sense, I’ve already experienced the vacation in my mind before I’ve even arrived at the location. When any one of those things don’t happen…well…
Perhaps, however, I should take a different approach to vacationing.

Perhaps I should imagine everything going wrong. Arriving late at night, barely finding the hotel (and when we do, there’s no parking). The bed will be too small, and it will be uncomfortable (hmm…so far, this sounds like our San Francisco experience). The weather will be unseasonably awful, and when we try to escape from the weather–everything will be closed. We will prepare to spend way too much on food. And it could taste really bad. We will have not packed things we need.
And so in this case if I imagine all these things as true, I can prepare for the worst. I’ll think – “Hmm, spending time stuck in the hotel room playing board games isn’t so bad.” Then if anything in the aforementioned list fails to happen I’ll be exceedingly happy.
Yay for vacations!

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Mar 23 2009

Road trippin’ (Let’s go get lost, somewhere in the UK)

This week Dave & I, and Taryn and Matt (two other people from the Kings Lodge) headed out on a little tour of the South coast of England. It was meant to be a road trip….

….but as soon as we got to Swanage and saw the flat that was being lent to us, well, we stayed put.We did get to do a little bit of road-trippin’, although minimal.
Sunday evening we arrived in Reading, where Matt lives. We stayed the night at his house, and then left early the next morning.
Our first stop was Stonehenge, where we did a little audio guided tour of the famous monument. I’d like to say more about it–I really would–but to be honest, it’s exactly what it looks like. Not that it’s not cool. I was stoked out of my brains to see Stonehenge. But anything I could tell you now about Stonehenge would be something you already know anyway. So lets move on to our next stop.
After Stonehenge, it was a quick jaunt to Salisbury to see the cathedral. It was probably my favorite cathedral of England so far. The grounds are amazing and huge. It was a beautiful and warm day (in England!) so we just hung out, laying on the grass on the grounds eating lunch (and Dave smoked his new pipe). *Interesting Fact* Salisbury Cathedral houses one of the first copies of the Magna Carta. It was very cool to see.
Next stop was Corfe Castle. This was close to where we were staying in Swanage (about a 20 minute drive). Corfe was built in the 1100′s, and was an important fortress in it’s early history. Later it became a popular “hunting lodge” for kings. It later went under siege during the English civil war in the 1600′s, where it has been in ruins since. We really enjoyed seeing this castle. With the castle in ruins, it’s more like visiting a park, with the most amazingly elaborate grounds. We spent a good portion of the day there just relaxing on the grass.
*side note* Later in the day I found a friendly cat, which made the day pretty much perfect.
The rest of the week was spent in Swanage (which has a serious lack of Swans–strange) It’s right on the Jurassic coast of England. There are loads of chalk cliffs around, and we did some walks along them, which was quite beautiful, but a little scary at times! A couple times I wanted to get some closer shots of the rock, but couldn’t bring myself to get that close to the edge. Eek.
The week closed with Sunday roast back in Reading with Matt’s family, and then bidding farewell to our friends at The Kings Lodge!
On to our next journey soon!

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