Lazy, hazy, crazy vacation daydreams

Friday, May 27, 2005

Back in the day, Memorial Day meant the first day of swimming at the city pool, family picnics or even just a day to sleep in as late as possible.

Those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" always seem to find us fantasizing about what we're going to do this year for our big "Get-Away-From-It-All-After-Working-Your-Tail-Off-To-Get-Ready Week."

Some years the family would head off to St. Louis or Kansas City and take in the sights, including a day at the big amusement parks. Some years it meant "smaller," as in cheaper, destinations like sites in picturesque south-central and southeast Missouri.

A poll this week stated that only half of all Americans are planning a vacation trip for the summer of 2005, although nearly eight of every 10 said they would if time and money were not hindrances.

The favorite "dream" destinations, in reverse order, mentioned in the poll were Florida, the Caribbean, Alaska, Italy, Europe in general and Hawaii.

I'm a fan of vacations. I believe they're necessary. My paternal grandfather despised vacations -- and the people who took them -- and I saw how that affected a lot of other areas of his worldview.

I'd just like for people maybe to be a little more realistic in their "getaway" dreaming. I remember as much or more from vacations as a kid to less expensive destinations as I do from the years where we spent a lot more money.

Happiness, at least for some of us who will admit it, lies along the back roads -- not the interstates.