Writer’s Block: No need to rush on vacation

It is fascinating how people approach vacations differently.

Eric Hagen
Eric Hagen

Some have every minute planned while others just wing it.

With summer coming up in the hopefully near future, taking some time off for a long vacation or a short weekend up north has been on my mind.

I grew up in a family that ordered the AAA travel books and went to the library to check out other books and magazines months in advance of a long vacation.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are seeing our kitchen table covered with literature of every state we were driving through.

We never flew. We always took the family van, so we wanted to see as much as possible to break up our long journeys across the country.

Over the last few years I have had the good fortune to travel to Florida, Seattle and Vancouver, and Winnipeg with my friend and fellow reporter Seth.

He definitely had different travel habits than I had grown accustomed to.

We have a general idea of what we want to do, but we did not always plan out what we were going to do every day.

When we went to Vancouver and Winnipeg, we essentially walked or drove around and stopped if something looked interesting.

In Florida, we spent about two days on the beach. My family probably never spent more than two hours on a beach when we were by the ocean.

I admit that this drove me nuts at first because I always felt like I was missing something that I would never get the chance to see again.

But then I would remember how exhausted my family was when we got back from our vacations because we never had a lot of time to unwind.

The many hours in the van certainly did not help either.

Vacations should be a time to relax, not stress out that you are not going to see everything.

Sometimes the best memories come when you slow down and soak in the atmosphere of your destination.

My best memory of my trip to Florida was not getting up early in the morning to go to Cape Canaveral or the Magic Kingdom.

It was sitting on the beach reading, tossing a football in the surf and taking frequent naps.

The hostel we stayed at in Seattle was right across the street from Pike’s Market, so I would walk down there every morning before it got busy to watch the merchants stock fruit and seafood, try a pastry and grab a cup of coffee for the first Starbucks when there were only a few people in line.

On the trip to Winnipeg, we decided to skip the interstate and take the two-lane highways through the more scenic parts of Minnesota.

Instead of traveling on I-94 and I-29, we drove through a countryside dotted with lakes and made stops at Mille Lacs Lake, Leech Lake, Red Lake and Lake of the Woods.

We camped out at Lake of the Woods. The sky was so dark that you could see the Milky Way and flashes of lightning from a distant thunderstorm and the constant rumble of the waves hitting the shore was quite a visual treat.

This summer I am going to New England for a week with my mother to visit a friend in Providence, R.I., before he moves as well as see Boston.

My mother thinks I am a “world traveler” because I have been on so many vacations lately, but I think she is starting to realize that the photos and memories I share are not nearly as planned out as our family vacations were.

Since there are so many things to see in Boston, my mother has written pages of notes to highlight every possible attraction we could see.

It looks as though we will be able to see most of what we want to in Boston on foot because it is such a condensed city. Most of the major attractions are along The Freedom Trail.

I’m looking forward to my mother and I being able to enjoy another memorable vacation.

Have a great summer! It will be here and gone before you know it.