2010 Vacation Possibilities

Dec 10, 2009

As winter sets in, for some reason thoughts of next year’s trips start to really take hold. The Worldcon is in Australia next year, so that’s out, and even if I was going to go to all the trouble and expense of flying to Melbourne, I wouldn’t do it to spend five days in windowless conference rooms. The NASFIC is in Raleigh, which is an area we’ve never really done, so I spent some time several weeks ago surfing around info on the Great Smoky Mountain NP, Gatlinburg (which is quite the resort area, apparently), Asheville, and even over to Hatteras (North Carolina is a very wide state, though). As it turns out NASFIC tends to be kind of lame, without much representation from the pro writers, so it’s a better option to go without factoring in the convention. If anything, the April spring school vacation would be the ideal time for that trip, similar to what we did a few years ago with Shenandoah and Virginia Beach, since its warm enough down there by then to get a jump on spring. Another possibility would be to wait until late in the summer and try to get the rest of the families to commit, since in the aforementioned Gatlinburg area (gateway to Dollywood and a bunch of other touristy things) there’s a lot of vacation rentals to be had and its approximately equi-distant to everyone.

I haven’t pulled the trigger yet but Beth and I are planning to take a belated 20th anniversary trip to Santa Fe at the beginning of April, which makes less likely the prospect of doing a long trip like North Carolina just a couple of weeks later. Santa Fe seems like a good choice for a trip with just the two of us, since most of what there is to do there involves pueblos and art museums and other things the kids could care less about, so they won’t feel gypped. That should get finalized pretty soon.

At the end of the June I’m thinking about heading to Chicago to take part in the first Chicago amateur piano competition. Having helped in running three of the Boston ones now, I find contestants often ask me the question, “So what competitions have YOU been in?” so if for nothing else than to improve my piano street cred I should probably do one, and Chicago would seem to be the least logistically challenging, in that I could bring the family but not have to be in charge of the entertainment. Have another couple of months to decide on that one. If that doesn’t happen it would also be a possibility to invite ourselves out there for the holidays next year, particularly if the Florida Bartletts could do it too.

Speaking of which, we’re due for a trip to Florida to check out Scott and Shelley’s new domain, plus Beth wants to see the new Harry Potter World theme park after it opens next year. This would be a popular choice for the kids (Chloe often complains about how many of our trips are structured around national parks or science fiction conventions. Actually, she often complains period, that’s just one of the various topics). Not too many chances left to meet up with their boys before they get too old to be much fun.

And a beach trip like we did coming back from Illinois this summer would also be something I’d be up for, I know we have beaches around here, too, but a return trip to Virginia Beach or Wildwood or somewhere in between or I suppose even the Cape would be worth doing, although the further south you go the more weekends there are to choose from weather-wise, offset of course by the longer distance traveled. Even Maine is worth considering, haven’t been there since ’04.

The summer tends to go quickly, in that it starts late because the kids don’t get out of school until half way through June (extra snow days can make it go longer) and then they’re back before Labor Day, and in between you have various scout camps and sports camps, etc, etc, before you know it there’s no time left to plan anything. So while it may seem unnecessary to think about leaving the frigid northeast this far in advance, in some cases it’s the only way you’re going to get anywhere. There’s no shortage of places to go around here, of course, but with all the other stuff that’s out there it’s fun to consider the possibilities. And this is just 2010, the year after that the Worldcon is in Reno of all places, I’m already reading up on Yosemite and hotels at Lake Tahoe. Too bad we don’t ski.

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