Me and my extended sons are huge Kentucky basketball fans, and we’ve often met my brother to go to SEC tournaments in Nashville and to final fours in locations like Dallas and New Orleans. What a blast that was! Maybe those trips were the best vacations ever.
We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Branson, Missouri, to spend time with our best friends in their vacation home, great swimming, kayaking, and boating on the lake, not to mention the great shows like Beatles cover bands and Brady Bunch has-beens. It’s hard to say that that was not the best vacation ever.
Maybe it was when a group of our church folks decided to go on an Alaskan cruise: whale watching, glacier viewing, salmon eating, train riding, dog sledding, and all of fun things we could pack into a week (we still miss you, Kevin). We left there feeling it was the best vacation ever!
I actually won a cruise to the British Isles – visits to Ireland, the Edinburgh castle, Paris’ Eiffel Tower and the Louvre (I see you, Mona!), and to Liverpool where we got to stand in the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney; that’s heaven for a Beatles fan. That has to be the best vacation, right?
We had the pleasure of meeting great friends in Denver, and fell in love with the mountains (yes, I could retire there), visited several 14K footers, checked out Garden of the Gods, Breckinridge ski area, Vail, the Hot Springs, and even toured the Coors factory (there was beer on tap in the employee cafeteria!). It would be hard not to call it the best vacation ever.
How about a trip to LA, to celebrate my twin sons’ high school graduation: an Angels and Dodgers baseball game, tour of Hollywood, Disneyland, a Price is Right taping, and even a trip to Pinks hot dogs (where unfortunately I told my family what natural casings meant). Another best vacation? Or to the other side of the country in NYC, Statue of Liberty, Yankees and Mets games, the Phantom, and then across to Cooperstown, and on across to Niagara Falls. How could those not be the best vacations ever?
It could possibly be a trip to Vegas with my wife, where we saw Seinfeld (again!), Copperfield, ate a lot of great food, and took a day tour over to the amazing Grand Canyon (I think I saw Chevy Chase). And, we still had the shirts on our backs. That’s gotta be close to the greatest ever too!
Maybe it’s been a couple of trips to Anna Maria Island to spend time with my folks, or to the Caribbean with family and friends and for my daughter’s high school graduation, on cruise ships to enjoy Key West, Stingray City, mini golfing in Cozumel, and ziplining in St. Maarten. More great vacations.
It could be Disney World: our family visited often when we were younger. My parents took me for the first time way back in 1972, I enjoyed all of the great attractions, but for me, just watching other kids and their families’ smiles and enjoyment made me enjoy even more. After not visiting for 12 years, my extended family will return there next year now that I have a 3YO granddaughter, and I can’t wait to see it again through her eyes. Is that the greatest vacation spot?
Finally, Hilton Head has become one of our favorite go-to spots in recent years. The beautiful beach, biking around the serene island, minigolfing with the extended fam, checking out Salty Dog, the light tower, side trips to Savanna (and breaking out of Escape Savanna , thank you very much! #escapesav ), and mooching off my brother and his family who now have a beautiful home and pool there. HH has to be the best vacation spot, surely.
I guess that’s enough reminiscing. As I begin trending toward retirement and heading to the twilight part of my career, and try to think of the best vacation of those above, I realize what the answer is. I liked them all! Or, more appropriately, at least for me, vacations are not just about where you go, but more about who you go with. I have been blessed to spend all of my vacations with great family (and now great extended family), and with the best of friends, and that is what vacationing is all about. How could they not all be special when I’m tagging along with these folks?
So, where do I want to vacation in the future? I have some ideas, but as long as my gang is with me, any location will be great.
See you there!