Its that time of the year, when the majority of us take our annual vacations. I am not exactly sure why I include myself in that group---what with being retired, everyday pretty much anything I care to do with it---who needs a vacation then right? Guess one needs to define what a Vacation is.
Well according to Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary: 1. a respite, or a time of respite from something. 2. (a) a scheduled period during which activity (such as a court or a school) is suspended. (b) a period of exemption from work granted to an employee for rest and relaxation. 3. a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation---4. an act or an instance of vacating.-------I think that pretty much defines "vacation" don't you agree? (I for one am not about to get into a argument with Webster over word definitions, smart as I am, am not that smart).
Like most people, my earliest vacations that I remember would fall under the category of the No 2 (a) definition----a scheduled period , in my case, of school being suspended.-----which when finally over (sigh)---was traditionally signaled by getting the dreaded essay in school titled , "What did you do on your summer vacation?" (seems I recall there was a minimum of 200 words required??) Course later as I grew into adulthood and got plugged into the ever popular 40 hour weekly grind, definition No. 2 (b) became the norm. Now however, I no longer work for a living, and so for me the applicable definition would be No. 3. which is kinda cool, as I don't have the threat of that 200+ essay to write when I get home (but kinda suspect I have already exceeded that in this blog---oh well THIS is a labor of Love---(hee, hee, hee!).
Now younger people literally live for their vacations, save up, plan, beg, borrow and steal to go here or there, Hawaii, Florida, or north to Montreal, Juneau, or go to Europe, Asia, South Seas, the Caribbean, Mexico , it seems during the summer the whole country is in motion. However it is a fact, there is a large segment that pretty much stays damn close to home, home being wherever it might be. I am speaking of myself and my fellow Seniors, who like me, aren't filthy rich, who kind of have to keep one eye on the old monthly outgo, and world cruises and international flights are well just pipe dreams.
However before ya break into tears of sympathy, its not all that grim. We have our Lil travel and adventures and 90-95 percent of the time we are back safe at home, our slippers on and all relaxed by the time the sunsets in the west. I would wager to bet that in a 25 mile radius from my house I have literally hundreds of interesting and exciting places to make day trips to. Places that don't charge an arm and a leg to visit. The other day, last Monday to be exact, I took the free tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (you have heard and seen on the news about the Mars Rover---well that was designed and built at JPL, the tour explains how, you see the laboratory, the museum of all the previous robots they have built and sent into space, the control center where they maintain 24/7 communications with all the robots out there, including Voyager which is over 10 billion miles out and still going (takes a radio signal 14 hours just to reach the robot, and another 14 hours to return). JPL was 22 1/2 miles from my house--about a 30 minute drive (if ya don't get lost that is). I am as the crow flies about 8 miles outside of Hollywood, 15-18 miles to and number of beaches (its fun to walk the promenade, enjoy the sea air, and watch people not to mention check out the cute Lil fillies sunning in the sand--Hey I'm 71, not dead!!), The Getty Art Museum, Olivera street, Chinatown, The LaBrea Tarpits, , and I am maybe about 7 miles from Universal City (but for that ya need that arm and leg). I took the free tour of Lawry's Seasoning Plant last year, and did ya know there is a most delightful show given to the public at Forrest Lawn Cemetery. Three miles from my house there is an impressive Japanese Garden, tours are about $5, but you have to make reservations and they are not open on Sundays.-----anyway don't feel sorry for us Seniors----most of us saw Hawaii back when it was something to see and not the Disneyland West that it is now. but have to confess I am still saving up for that Alaska Inland Passage Cruise----.