Monday, October 17, 2005

Questionable Vacation Choices

I am starting to realize that in less than a month I’m going to be on vacation. When I think about this I start to get a little excited. I can’t remember the last time I went on vacation. A real, leave my house, take a rolling suitcase, stay in a hotel for a period of over three days vacation. As I’m thinking about it, I think my last vacation must have been when I went to Hawaii two years ago. I went there to run a marathon, and stayed for a week after the big event. (A majority of that time was spent looking for my kneecap, which fell off at mile 13)

As I think about that vacation, and I think about my upcoming vacation, I think that maybe I might be unable to take a normal vacation. One that doesn’t involve possible hospital stays.

In a couple of weeks my vacation will take me to the fine country of Honduras where I will build houses for 10 days with Habitat for Humanity. Do you see how I might want to revisit the definition of “vacation”? I doubt “manual labor” is often included when describing “vacation”.

This weekend I realized that I will be leaving soon and thought that perhaps I should do the normal “getting ready to go on a vacation” things. You know, like going and buying some new clothes and stuff. And then I remembered that I’ll probably be trashing every piece of clothing I take. Which cuts down on the desire to buy anything new for the destruction. My mother reminded me of some of the things I can get in preparation for the trip:

“You should find some old shoes, I bet they are going to get muddy.”
“I probably need a hat too.”
“Like a cap? Yes, you should get one to hold your hair back while you work. Oh, oh, you should buy one of those hats that has a brim all the way around, a straw hat. So you don’t get burned on your neck.”
“That ought to be cute.”
“You can borrow my old suitcase if you want, so you don’t mess up your nice one.”
“I don’t think the suitcase is going to be out in the elements. We’ll actually be staying indoors. I think.”
“And don’t forget to get your shots this week. You don’t want to catch monkey pox while you’re there.”
“That would put a damper on things.”

Then I started laughing. Because who on earth goes on VACATION and has to bring only old clothes, a Hepatitis A and B shot, old shoes and a straw hat? All I can think of is a really grungy version of that Carnival Cruise commercial Kathy Lee Gifford did in the 90’s sometime. She’s dancing all around, “If they could see us now, out on a fun ship cruise, eating fancy food and doing what we choose!” I could finish it (because I can’t remember one insy tinsy bit of American History, but I can sing the entire Kathy Lee commercial from a decade ago), but you get the point. She’s advertising these fun vacations and smiling and looking all pampered and relaxed.

The commercial for my vacation would include me in my straw hat, digging a ditch and covered in a full body mosquito net to avoid malaria. “If they could see me now, diggin’ a big fat hole, wearing a ugly hat and feeling sweaty and sore!”

I might even throw in some dancing, to really sell it.


Jenn said...

Now I'm dying to go to Honduras, you know. It was the jingle that sold me. :)

Cathy said...

this sounds amazing. the lead up to a vacation is often better than the trip itself!!

BOB said...

I admire your choice of vacation, though it doesn't qualify for vacation under whatever that Webster book says is a vacation. I think what you are doing is so selfless and estimable. -Bob

dawn said...

Jenn: Wait till you see the dance routine, you'll book your trip immediately.

Cathy: Well, the trip itself involves manual labor, so yeah, I'm sure the lead up will be better.

Bob: I will find spirit and do all sorts of Oprah-y crap while I'm there, so it's not selfless.