VACATIONS: RESTFUL OR RESTLESS

There are several schools of thought on how to spend one’s vaction. Some believe these intervals were meant for complete relaxation. They should be quiet times, they say, dedicated to rest, meditation and cultural pursuits.

There are other opinions including those held by the Drunken-sailors-on-shoreleavers and the Keep-moving-till- you-droppers. Vacations, after all should be periods of freedom when you can do what you please within the bounds of federal and local laws and the accepted rules of decency. If you prefer to vegetate and recharge your batteries, that’s certainly your right. But if you want to risk returning from your holiday with a worn out body and bank balance, that too is your is your option.

This freedom of choice argument would then seem to settle the question and make the subject noncontroversial, but that’s true only if you happen to be a hermit. Most vacations involve more than one person and the chance of mixing incompatible types is very high.

Take the Bumbles, for instance, a loving, devoted couple who agree on most everything for 50 weeks of the year, but diametrically opposed when it comes to planning and pacing a vacation.

“Where are we Henry?” Mrs. Bumble gasps, awakening in the speeding car. “This is Nevada, my Dear,” replies Mr. Bumble (a retired Navy vet) who is hunched over the wheel with his eyes fixed on the horizon.

“But we were going to tour San Francisco . You promised we would as we were breakfasting on EggMcMuffins in the hotel’s parking garage.” Mr. Bumble swerved around a tractor trailer and replied, “We did tour San Francisco, my love, but you dozed off again and missed Fisherman’s Wharf and Telegraph Hill at sunrise.”

Mrs. Bumble nibbled thoughtfully on the remains of her EggMcMuffin. “I don’t remember any of that. It was the same in Los Angeles, just a blur, and I so wanted to tour Beverly Hills.”

“As I’ve explained, my sleeping beauty, we made a quick pass through Beverly Hills and I have a nice video of the run to show you, including my debate with Dr. Phil about his right to privacy complaint. For Pete’s sake, I only pulled into his driveway for two minutes to take some pictures.”

“So this is Nevada, Henry? I hope we’re headed for Las Vegas.”

“Yes and I’m glad we agree on our destination. Are you planning on gambling?”

“No, I read about some very nice Buddhist monasteries there. I’m going to reserve a cell in one of them. You can pick me up on your way back to the airport in a few days.”

There are also cases where the roles are reversed and the wife is the frantic excursionist. If small children and a mother-in-law are involved, the vacation can resemble a two-week rehearsal for a Marx Brothers movie.

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