Rate your vacation!

Just got back from my annual week in Cape May (the Jersey shore), and though it was a good vacation, it wasn’t a great one.

Weather – it rained four of the six full days I was there, so I only got in one full beach day, plus the half days of my arrival and departure. Yesterday it was sunny, but only in the low 70s – not beach weather for a reptile like myself. Score: 2

Company – this is the same group I’ve vacationed with every year since '96, so we know going into it that we’re all pretty congenial (though one of the women gets on my nerves). We were all stuck together in the house quite a bit more than usual – see above – so… 7.5

Entertainment – an okay stack of books, mostly mysteries and other light reading. (BTW – why can I read Dean Koontz but not Stephen King?). Didn’t read anything that knocked me out (as compared to, say, last year, when I read both Middlesex and The Crimson Petal and the White whilst on vacation). I should have given more thought to the non-library books I took along (I was so not in the mood to read anything with footnotes), and I definitely should have given a lot more thought to the CDs I took. Score: 6.5

Activities – only played miniature golf once (my choice). They had a Baby Parade yesterday that was pretty freakin’ surreal. My ankle was bothering me so I didn’t walk as much as usual. Did go out and did one-on-one time with my sister, which was fun. Score: 5

Unintrusiveness of real life – only one phone call from work, but it was from the most irritating of my underlings, and it was a computer problem that I couldn’t diagnose over the phone, so he had to do something a backwards funky way – which he could have done without calling me if he weren’t a total idiot. (IOW, once we defaulted to funky backwards way, I had to talk him through that as well.) Let’s put it this way – there have been many years when there have been zero phone calls from work. Score: 1

Mental and spiritual renewal – slept a lot, including daily naps. The last six months or so, I’ve had a lot going on – work stuff, as always, but also a broken ankle, financial preoccupations, and some fairly intense soap opera stuff in my personal life – so just vegging was important. I did find myself thinking about some of the above, but managed to change mental channels, usually. Saw a really pretty rainbow one night right before a beautiful sunset. Score: 9.

Average score: 5.1666… Blah. I don’t really expect a 10, but I was hoping for something a little better than solidly average.

So – how was your vacation? If you don’t care for my scoring categories, feel free to make up your own…

We just got back from our first trip to Cozumel.

Weather. Fantastic. I expected it to be unbearably hot. Instead, it was upper 80’s and humid. We were in the water most of the time so it didn’t really matter what the temperature was. 8.5

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving. The best there is. The water is absolutely amazing. The water is as clear as most pools. The temperature of the water was perfect. You could walk right into it and not be bothered. 10

Food. Average at best. It was an all-inclusive resort and the food was buffet-style and made to appeal to the masses. Unfortunately, the masses don’t have very good taste. 5

Ability to relax. Hanging out by the beach. Hanging out by the pool. Hanging out in the water drinking another margarita. 10

Average 8.375. I’m ready to go back.

Just got back from my Annual Week in a Random Big City That’s New To Me. This year, Baltimore!

Unique stuff to see and do: 9
Congenial companionship to see and do it with: 10 :wink:
Food: Very good, but pricey: 8
Cool bars/clubs and places like that: 8
View of the Blue Moon on July 31st from Fells Point: 10
Water taxi transportation: 9 (Now THAT’s different!)

Overall rating: 9

Baltimore, she’s a fine lady. Randy Newman’s song didn’t do her justice.

We went to the CLAN conference at St Andrews. My little girl had never been to the beach before.

Weather – Without fail, hot and sunny. I mean, I don’t suppose it would have been considered “hot” by inhabitants of certain US states, but then I’m not really after that sort of “hot” anyway, because I like breathing and going outside and that sort of thing. Instead, this was nice. In fact for the east coast of Scotland, it was positively miraculous. 8/10.

Company – my wife, 10/10 - very nice to be around indeed; my little girl, 15/10 - just the best person to talk to ever; a certain female relative in the process of giving up cigarettes - 6/10, but at least we were there for her; a certain friend of the family - 3/10, but at least he was out most of the time, and we discharged our “be nice to x” duty for a while.

Entertainment – no tv, no nothing. Activities instead. Copy of “The Complete Paratime” for spare moments. Score: 8/10! (it’s a very good book!)

Activities – Beach, playpark, lovely old town with many charity shops. All with small child who’d seen none of it before. Utterly spellbound by, like… a duck. Thus her activities were easily found, and our activity was watching her. By which we remain spellbound. Score: 10/10

Unintrusiveness of real life – No phone, no tv, no newspapers, no internet. Possibly a radio in a nearby building. Bliss. (kept up-to-date with news by glimpses of the covers of magazines in local supermarket - various non-celebrities have been getting into scrapes and we don’t care). Score: 8/10

Mental and spiritual renewal – we were at a Christian conference much of each day, and by the end of the week were newly challenged and excited. As usual. Score: 9/10

Average score: never did know how to work out averages. And anyway, some of my scoring was scientifically impossible.

Overall: saving for next year.

Rented a houseboat for a week. Just the family (and occasional visits from friends/relatives in the area).

Weather – (1). Rained 5 of 5 days. Constant clouds, dreary.

Company – (7.5). Kids, (1 teenager) stuck inside boat for far too long (see weather, above).

Entertainment – (5). Watched some tv (dvds, no broadcast television). Read some. Skiied between rain showers (our skiboat was rafted to the big boat). (see weather, above)

Activities – (5). (see weather, above)

Unintrusiveness of real life – (10). No paper, no broadcast tv. Work did not know how to reach us (we always ensure this).

Mental and spiritual renewal – (3). Too much time dealing with bored squabbling kids (see weather, above)

Average? (4.5). It basically sucked (see weather, above)

In case it’s not obvious, Pullin HATES rain. Passionately. Insanely. Illogically. Pathologically. Left-my-hi-dollar-job-in-Seattle-to-work-for-less-than-half-that-in-Texas hates rain. So what happens on my vacation? It rains the entire week.

I swear, next year we’re spending vacation in the desert somewhere.

Just returned a few weeks ago from a road trip across Mexico. Flew into Cancun, then drove to Acapulco, stopping at variouse places along the way.

Weather – Hot…damn hot…and sticky. I forget every time we go, just how hot and humid it gets there. It always takes me 3 days or so to adjust before I’m up to really being active. Because of that, the first few days we didn’t do as much as I had hoped. But sunny every day, only rained a few times, and that was at night. Although when we arrived at San Cristobol de Las Casas, it got frickin’ cold at night. Score: 9 again, it’s just hotter than you can imagine, and it takes a bit to adjust. So the first few days we didn’t do as much as I would have liked.
Company – Like others, my wife. Who I love being with. Although this type of vacation was more something I enjoyed than she did, she managed to put on a good face most of the time. Part of it I’m sure was the fact that she’s newly pregnant, and didn’t feel that great most of the time. And the windy twisty roads didn’t help that. All in all I enjoyed spending so much time with her, both in the car, and while we were walking around exploring. Score: 10 I love spending time with my wife, and this was a great chance for us to be together, before we start our family.

Entertainment – I took along a two books, and did get through them. But most of our entertainment was in visiting the places we were. We saw several Mayan ruin sites (Calakmul, Becan, Palenque, Xpujil), visited several towns that had interesting communities (San Cristobo, Oaxaca), spent some time at the beach (Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Escondito), viewed some great natural sites (Agua Azul, more mountains than I could count with twisty windy roads, Hierve el Agua, El Tule tree), got to visit several local craftsmen in thier villages and watch them work (Arrazolla home of Manuel Jiménez the man that created the colorful animal figures found there we went to his house and were able to meet him, nice man, Coyotepec were the black pottery is made). At night, we would read up on our next destination, play cards, read the books we brought, maybe watch some tv, or more often collapse after a long day. Score: 9 would have been a 10, except the one city we didn’t really like.

Activities – See above for most activities. Although a lot of our time was spent in the car, driving between the places we visited. While I didn’t realize how much time it would take, I didn’t really mind the driving. I find driving to be relaxing sometimes. Score: 8 only because of the damn twisty ass roads that seemed to go on forever.

Unintrusiveness of real life – Didn’t have a clue as to what went on in the real world. Even though some of the hotels had BBC, we didn’t watch. We had no idea of what the current news was until we got home. Score: 9

Mental and spiritual renewal – For me it was great. I’m a fairly adventerouse person, and love going and seeing new things. I’m perfectly content to spend hours climbing all over forgoten ruins in the jungle, just to sit at the top, and look out at the jungle around me. My wife however, probably would have liked a bit more time at the beach, or lounging by the pool, having the cabanna boy bring us drinks. Score: **9 ** for me 7 for her.

Overall, I had a great time, although I wouldn’t trace that exact route again. I would go back to individual places, and spend more time exploring.

I got back a few weeks ago from a camping/visiting trip to various places in Colorado.

Weather – We didn’t have a lot of luck with the weather on this trip. It rained most days and fluctuated between freezing (at night) and pretty darn hot (during the day), though we did have some nice, coolish temperatures at times. Plus the humidity was lower than I’m used to from living in Mississippi. One day we drove through a hailstorm and there was a big, burly guy on a motorcycle hanging out on the side of the highway, which I thought was pretty funny, so I’m giving an extra point. 6

Company – I was with my dad, an older brother and a younger brother. For the most part we got along, but we strained each others’ nerves too often anyway. Partway through the trip we stayed at my dad’s sister’s house in Fort Collins; my dad’s side of the family is a fun bunch. 7

Entertainment – I read three and a half books (*If on a winter’s night a traveler, The Things They Carried, All Quiet On the Western Front, *and I finished American Gods), all of which were good except AG, which I was disappointed by. We played the same CDs over and over (and adopted Gangsta’s Paradise as our official song) and played some amusing verbal games. 7

Activities – Lots of sightseeing. My dad showed us his old haunts (he grew up in Colorado) and we saw some neat places, like the Great Sand Dunes. The usual camp activities - fishing, hiking, et cetera - took place as well. Once we got to my aunt’s house, we basically took it easy…we played games, went to a water park one day, and rode behind a powerboat in one of those raft-thingers. Fun. 8

Unintrusiveness of real life – While we were camping, I really didn’t know what was going on back home or anywhere else in the world. While staying in an actual house, I checked stuff online, but that was pretty much it. 8

Mental and spiritual renewal – I hadn’t done much work or anything for the entire summer, so this trip was more or less a continuation of lazing around. It was nice just being away from home for a while, though. 6

Breckenridge – one of the coolest towns I’ve ever been in. If I had a couple million bucks I’d almost like to live there. 9

Average: 7.3. It was fun, but I can wait a few years to do it again.

Just returned yesterday from a short but pretty great vacation.
Weather: Not the greatest, but it could have been worse. Most days I could wear shorts and a T-shirt, except Friday. Friday night we had a big thunderstorm roll through, and ended up missing one of the outdoor concerts we’d planned to attend. 6
Company: My husband and another couple. Overall, pretty good. The other couple grated on my nerves a minimal number of times. 9
Entertainment: We specifically went on vacation for an outdoor music festival. One of the Thursday night concerts was terrible, Friday we ended up not going (see: Weather), and Saturday was awesome. I brought The Da Vinci Code to read, which I am loving. 8
Activities: Mostly fishing. We fished most of the day on Thursday and Friday. Caught enough to have fresh fish for dinner Friday night, and bring some home with us (we ate like kings overall). We also spent some time Thursday afternoon swimming, tubing, and skiing. We also drank a lot, if that counts. :smiley: 9
Unintrusiveness of real life: Fine until Friday, when our friends checked their voice mail to find out a friend back home who they had (for reasons unbeknownst to me) left their house and car keys with was driving their car all over, and using their house as he wished. After some brief drama, it got settled. My husband and I didn’t check our voicemails until the drive home yesterday afternoon. I only turned on the TV twice: once while making lunch so I could catch my favorite soap, and the other time to check the weather during the storm Friday night. We listened to the radio during the storm, too. 8
Mental and spiritual renewal: I couldn’t have been more ready to get away from work for a few days. I’m feeling much better, despite the fact that I brought a cold home with me. 8
Overall score: 8

Just got back from a week in Costa Rica.

Weather: Hot, but not as humid as Houston. Started to cool off markedly around 3:00 every day, after which it was quite pleasant. Only one significant rainfall, in spite of it being the rainy season, and I found it refreshing. 7

Company: My wife and kids, and a couple we met there. 10

Entertainment: Good floor show every night, mediocre disco, karaoke (I got drunk enough to do it once). 7

Activities: Went on one trip, to see the rain forest via a boat. It wasn’t so great. We should have done the wires through the forest canopy. But mostly, I slept till 12:00, sat on the beach, and hung out at the bar. It was great. I would have prefered a bigger beach, and bigger waves. They could be had, but you had to go to the bother, and we didn’t want to. Played some pool; found out that people in foreign countries have weird rules for 8-ball. 7

Unintrusiveness of real life: There was none. No one called. We never turned on the TV or read a paper. 10

Mental and spiritual renewal: It took me about 3 days to completely unwind. If I would have had 3 more days, it would have been a 10. As it is, 9

Overall: A great, do-nothing-but-relax vacation. 8.3

I’ll be taking Friday off so’s I can have a long weekend.

Suckosity knows no number.

After almost a year working in Wyoming I got to go home for 2 weeks to see my family and friends in the UK:

Weather: It rained until 2 days before I had to fly back. 5

Company: I got to see my friends and family who I hadn’t seen in 12 months 10

Activities: Saw my horses, did some walking, did some shopping, ate out a lot, read some books, lazed around etc etc etc 10

Unintrusivness of real life: Not a single phone call from work…bliss 10

Overall: I really really needed this vacation as I have had a very busy year and a very stressful recent promotion process. I got to do nothing and be looked after by my mam and dad. I came back relaxed, invigorated and ready to go10

Went to the beach in May with my husband and in-laws

Weather – Very pleasant. Sunny but not too hot. In fact, it could have been warmer. Score: 7

Company – I adore my husband, and I really like his sister and her husband. My father-in-law, OTOH, is the epitome of the smug, self-righteous liberal (and I say this as a lefty myself) and his girlfriend is, simply, an idiot. I like them, but in small doses. Four days of them is just too much, especially with F-i-L instigating lots of political conversations. Score: 5

Entertainment – Read lots of mystery novels. Played lots of cards and Boggle. Very nice and low-key. Watched one episode of “Buffy,” but other than that, avoided TV, movies and computer. Score: 7

Activities – See above, plus beach combing and sailing. Much lazing in the hammock. Score: 8

Unintrusiveness of real life – Except for my father-in-law’s insistence on political diatribes and watching the news every morning (who watches the news on vacation?), we successfully avoided real life. Score: 7

Mental and spiritual renewal – It was great to get away from work, and I had a very relaxing time, but I wish I’d gone somewhere with just my husband. By the end of the week, we were both thoroughly sick of family and ready to be home. Score: 5

Average score: 6.5