Se since we recently returned from a family vacation, and we have so few of them, it is essential that I over analyze my experience and take from it every potential teachable moment that I can. One thing which I can get in the "know thyself" realm is 'what do I actually want from a vacation.' This is not to say that I was disappointed by my recent adventure overseas, but if I can be so bold as to imagine the perfect setup, I think I should. This way, I know on future trips when I am being let down.
OK, so my perfect vacation. And please, no one take offense.
1. No kids. I love my kids but a vacation means I stop having to worry about anyone other than myself. Does this mean 'no wife'? I'm not sure. A vacation with her is fun and we share so much but the truth is, we also have different interests and priorities (all in a healthy way) so there is much to be said for a vacation on which I am truly alone.
Different people enjoy different types of experiences. Some like being alone and some hate it. I think that when you see my itinerary, it will become obvious that being alone and doing nothing for long stretches doesn't faze me but it might not be something others enjoy.
2. Location -- this is a tough one. I hate air travel and sea travel, and if I have to drive somewhere then the trip is not relaxing. I also don't want to deal with natural disasters when I'm there. I want warm sunny days (79 to 87 degrees, please, low humidity and a light breeze) and cool but comfy nights (no lower than 65 and clear, almost no breeze). I think that, maybe, Florida via train is an option. Just not during hurricane season.
3. I want access to scads of kosher food. I want a Jewish community that can feed me and then leave me the heck alone. Kosher room service is a plus.
4. Accommodations -- a hotel. A fancy, schmancy hotel. I'm talking wifi, phone in the bathroom, welcome basket, free robe fancy. I want a suite with big screen TV's, a couple o' bathrooms maybe with a whirlpool or the like. While the idea of a villa is attractive, I would prefer being in a nice building with a central lobby where I can sit with a paper and a cuppa and watch people. People I don't know and don't have to talk to. I want there to be an outdoor pool I can sit next to and a heated indoor pool (heavy on the chlorine...none of those salt water pools) I can swim in (not so much swimming laps as jumping in and diving down to pick up toys from the bottom).
5. I need a car. And valet parking. I don't know why, or if I'll use it, but I need a car.
6. During the day I want the option of walking or driving (under 15 minutes travel time) to some sort of attractions -- museums, stadiums, concert venues, monuments, scenic sites, parks and like that but I don't want to stand on long lines in the sun, watching loads of children drip ice cream on my feet. Some days, I just want to stay on the balcony of my room (add "balcony" to item 4, please) and some days I want to go into the pool for 5 or 6 hours. Make sure there is a book store nearby. Real books. Not a religious book store, and not one that sells three books, 45 tourist souvenirs and soda. I want the option to do something or nothing.
My goal, clearly, is to read, eat, swim, walk, watch TV/films (make sure there is a movie theater in or near, and a bowling alley while you are at it) and generally soak in the experience. Very little talking or interacting. Close but far, quaint but modern, big but small.
and if you can make it free, that's be just skippy.
edit, a little while later -- i'd like to have a bunch of friends on the same vacation, all interested in being left alone. that way we can have a poker game in the evenings or a steak eating contest during the day and then go back to ignoring everything.