What's the best part of your vacation?

This is for your vacations in general, not a specific and unique one.

Is it packing? Unpacking? The sunsets? Ice cream? First run down the snowy mountain?

For me, I usually spend the afternoon at the beach, then head out to dinner. In between those, I shower and then get dressed. It’s the time between the shower and getting dressed that I love so much. I’m clean and naked, the bed is freshly made, and I can lie down and truly relax.

What’s yours?

Settling in. Unpacking. It’s all ahead of you, ordering takeout, icing down the favorite bottle you brought from home, and watching Jeopardy! at 7 and the Wheel at 7:30, as opposed to versa vice. And if you’re anywhere near Baltimore, really good anchovies on your pizza delivered by a pizza boy with a hot-as-hell accent.

Sex, a nap, then sex again.

Realizing that at my age I no longer have to pretend I enjoy travel and can just stay home.

Passing by Fat Bob’s Ice Cream in Warren, NH, on our way to a cabin by a lake in the White Mountains. That signals our arrival once again to an area that is our “other home” for one week a year.

When we were up there in July, we had ice cream at Fat Bob’s four times during the week. . .

I suppose the actual moment I enjoy best is the moment when the outbound flight takes off. I’ve done all the security crap, now I’m on my way.

And soon, I’ll be in a place where everything is strange and I can’t speak the language and it’s all gonna be great.

Really, any moment when I’m “in the zone.”

Lately I’ve been making my life more balanced by incorporating the good bits of vacation and non vacation into each other. I make sure to get more relaxation at home and do things that take effort or challenge me or make me grow on vacation.

I’ve learned to always take an extra day off when I get home to recover from the extra exercise, unpack, and upload all my photos

Once I reach “escape velocity” and mentally leave all the BS from work behind, I’m in heaven. It usually takes a day or so, and lasts until about 6PM the evening before I have to go back to the grind.

For me, it’s the anticipation. It’s the period of the week or two before I’ve packed, when I’m constantly thinking about all the things I’m going to do, when I’m looking at all the brochures and YouTube videos about my destination, when my wife and I are planning and changing plans so often that we make each other crazy, when I’m talking to friends, colleagues, and family about it, when I’m salivating over the menus of the various gastronomic delights I’m going to experience, some for the very first time.

Experiencing the vacation itself is never, and I mean never, quite as exciting as the period between committing to the vacation and embarking on it.

This. Exactly.

Oh, and seeing something through new eyes, in a new light, etc. Best experience of any journey for me!

Setting out. Hitting the road. Once we’re all packed, once we start, once we go back and get what we’ve forgotten, once we have passed outside the radius of our everyday lives.

Once I hit the open road.

That moment, that beautiful, brief time of total freedom… We’re on our way…

For me, that’s the high point.

Dinner and sight seeing.

I pretty much go along with whatever the kids and my wife want to do when we’re on vacation but I get to plan dinner. I’ll spend weeks figuring out where I want to eat. Sometimes it’s a little dump I’ve heard has unbelievable Vietnamese/Pakistani/German/whatever food, and sometimes it’s a high end place I’ve been hearing good things about.

It may rain the whole time, we may not catch any fish, we may have to stay inside at the pool all day, but by GOD if you go on vacation with me you’re gonna eat good!

Oh, and there’s usually one or two local thing I want to see.

Peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream in lieu of syrup.

I’m a step past that. I don’t really feel my vacation has begun until I’ve arrived at my destination.

The two things I always research before a vacation: restaurants and bookstores.

I agree.

There are only three things I dislike about a vacation:

  1. Going there.

  2. Being there.

  3. Returning from there.

Beyond that, a vacation is great.

Ever since my very first trip to Walt Disney World, way back in the 1970’s, Space Mountain has always been my very first attraction. I’ve even continued this tradition into adulthood- when Mrs. Homie and I go (far too infrequently :frowning: ), our first attraction is always Space Mountain.

It makes me feel “officially” that I have arrived.

The moment when I sit in an airplane seat or in the bar on board a passenger ferry looking out towards a World that is steadily moving away from something towards something else with a G&T in my hand.

That first cold plunge into the ocean. Ah, that is the life. I look at all those people on the beach and realize that I am, indeed, in the minority. Once, in Myrtle Beach, I was one of a group of maybe 20 people jumping and crashing into the waves and realized that everyone else was less than half my age, mostly much less.

Despite what I said in my OP, I really didn’t do that on my most recent vacation. But the pancakes… Oh, the pancakes!

I went to the Black Dog Cafe almost every morning, as soon as they opened their doors. Cup of coffee, orange juice, pancakes and bacon. But the best part was feeling the ocean breeze through the open windows, looking out at all the boats, and realizing that I had yet another full day of whatever I wanted. But it was the little things that made it special. The dark stained wood of the tables, the sugar packets in the little things, the friendly people, the cast iron sculpture of a BLT…