Today I happen to be working -- we are in the middle of Home Consolidation Garage Sale Day One -- but here's a picture of me several vacays ago outside Margaritaville in Orlando; an appropriate photo, I thought, for this week's RevGalBlogPals Friday Five:
1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?
We never, ever went on a vacation when I was growing up. We didn't even have stay-cations. We made hay during my dad's weeks off; not exactly festive, although my mom did make remarkable meals when the neighborhood teenagers or my great-uncles came to help out.
2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever:
That's hard to say because we have enjoyed them all in their own way. Fellow Traveler's and my first "away" vacation, in the Upper Peninsula, was a lot of fun -- we still had getting-to-know-you jitters on this milestone event, but we still had a splendid time; even though we wound up waking up in the middle of the night to take Cody the Maltese on constitutionals throughout uptown St. Ignace. Romance, thy name is peeing dog in the moonlight. (And seriously, for persons interested in the UP, we highly recommend the Hessel/Les Cheneaux Islands area -- it's a beautiful place, and their vintage wooden boat show at the beginning of August is great fun -- and Taquamenon Falls; if you ignore the annoying, touristy tourists (which we, of course, are not) you will see some awesome nature.)
3) What do you do for a one-day or afternoon getaway...is there a place nearby that you escape to on a Saturday afternoon/other day off?
It depends on the season and how much time we have. If we can't get away for an entire day, we enjoy our county recreational area, formerly a private hunting club -- a sadly underused property that has a nice picnic area, hiking trails and a river with a scenic deck. In the fall we like to look for apples either at local orchards or growing wild along fence lines. We also like driving around our local Amish neighborhoods. Our day trips have ranged as far as Cadillac and Benzie County to the north and Ann Arbor to the south.
4) What's your best recommendation for a full-on vacation near you...what would you suggest to someone coming to your area? (Near - may be defined any way you wish!)
Okay. Then I'm going to define "near" as "between Midland and Mackinaw City, and invite all Michigan-curious readers to a quality vacation in the Benzie-Leelanau County area of the state -- in and around the "little finger" of our state mitten. Foodies will enjoy following the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail, fine dining in some lovely local restaurants (we enjoy Trattoria Funistrada on Glen Lake, and right down the road is La Becasse, another well-regarded establishment) and finding local produce stands and artisan foodcrafters of various kinds. Kayakers, boaters, bikers and hikers can enjoy three seasons of adventure, while skiers and snowshoers also have plenty of options in the area. If arts and crafts are your thing, the Leelanau and surrounds are home to many creative folks specializing in everything from fine art to soapmaking. History buffs can enjoy places like the ghost town of Glen Haven and the Port Oneida Historical District, a series of 19th century farmsteads being preserved and restored by the National Park Service and local volunteers. Lighthouse lovers can find places to visit all along the shoreline. Our favorite place to stay when we're up north is the Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast between Empire and Traverse City, which has lodged and fed us admirably (one of the innkeepers is a professional chef with French credentials) for an affordable rate, and which provides a handy Mission Central for sightseeing in all directions.
5) What's your DREAM VACATION?
I haven't been on it yet, but I have been promised good times in Vermont and in the Maritime Provinces, especially Prince Edward Island. We were headed there this fall, but the arrival of G-baby in November has us headed to the Big Apple instead.
Hope you all have a great, relaxing/refreshing Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile...the customer always comes first so...gotta go!