Friday, July 1, 2011

Virtual Vacation

Sitting on facebook watching friends and colleagues posting themselves in various vacation destinations all over the world brought on a longing for a vacation of my own. Ticking off the reasons I couldn't make any long distance vacation plans was rather simple. I've taken a pretty steep pay cut this year (education cuts is always the first place politicians slash), and planning any vacation around my extreme temperature sensitivity and POTS symptoms is next to impossible. Being in a tight financial crunch and dealing with my POTS symptoms has become pretty blaze. I've pretty much given up on doing much of anything out of my comfort zone.

So I decided I would go on a virtual vacation instead. I could then share my virtual experiences with my blogging friends who might be in the same boat as I'm in. Who better to take a virtual vacation than myself! By the time I'm finished my creative brain will have such great stories made up that by the end of my virtual trip I'll really believe I've been to all the places I've written about! Why not, I could plan my dream vacation without spending a cent and no worries about POTS getting in the way. The more I thought about it the more excited I became. I could even learn how to use my photo shop and cut and paste myself in pictures of my favorite destinations. So I began doing a little homework: Has this ever been done before? Where would I go? If I could do or see anything what would it be? As I began researching I became more excited that I may be able to pull off a virtual vacation.

I started a list of my dream destinations;
*Cruise down the Nile with a tour of the pyramids and a camel ride.
*Go to France and tour castles, the Eiffel Tower and fashion houses.
*Visit Italy and check out the museums, tour Pompeii and Take a Gondola ride in Naples.
I began checking prices and tour itinerary and found out my trip down the Nile was out of the running due to civil unrest in Egypt, bummer that was my ultimate dream vacation. Though I haven't given up on the camel ride yet! So off I'm off to check France vacation sites. Many of the pictures of the castles in France were fuzzy and limited. If I'm taking a virtual vacation anywhere I need detailed pictures of my virtual destinations. I mean really, how am I suppose to visualize my handsome tour guide Jon-luc showing me the sites of France when I can barely make out the picture! Good-by France, maybe the next trip. Well the last on my list is Italy. I've always wanted to visit the ruins of Pompeii since my sixth grade teacher showed us slides of the ruins created by Mt. Vesuvius. With every click of the mouse I was getting more and more excited about taking a trip to Italy. I found a tour that included my most desired destinations. The itinerary as follows: Day 1 travel to hotel and tour group get together. Day 2 tours the Piazza Venezia, Colosseum and Arch of Constantine. Day 3 is a tour of the seaside town of Sorrento including a tour of a buffalo milk mozzarella factory (I mean what's a trip to Italy without a buffalo cheese tour) and followed by a Greek temples tour. Day 4 is a boat trip to the Mediterranean Island of Capri (I can visualize me feeding the fish on that boat trip). Then day 5 is the most important tour of all, Pompeii. Day 6 takes you to Naples with a gondola ride.This trip sounds perfect and check this out, each dinner includes wine from a local winery!

Now that I have my virtual destination planned it's time to check out great photo sites, flights, hotels and I already know the tour I want is only $2100 per person and $2,600 with my 5 star hotel upgrade. I am not staying in and ugly hotel with no Italian ambiance on this virtual vacation. I found a site that allows you to print virtual airplane tickets and my virtual vacation is planned.

My children get home from their various activities and I share my brilliant vacation idea with them, I'm expecting a huge amount of enthusiasm on my creative thinking skills, but my daughter replies with "Wow, your special mommy" and my son raises his eyebrow and gives me the "I think my mom is losing it" look. The only one to share any sign of enthusiasm was my son's girlfriend and I can't help but think she may just be being polite to her possible future mother-in-law. Love you Bee!

Now I'm beginning to question the sanity of my virtual vacation. As I begin to ponder the realities of my "special" vacation I realize most of the fun is in the planning. How much fun could I possibly have photo chopping myself into pictures of places I've never been to. Where's the fun in writing about places and people I haven't seen, though I do have a pretty big imagination and a romance novel could be in the making. This doesn't sound like fun at all. Now what?

I really was excited about my trip. As I morn over a great idea gone wrong, a new idea springs into life. Why can't I have a California version of my dream vacation? There's no reason why I can't! Where do I start? How about the gondola ride? Naples is just around the corner and they have daily gondola rides and you can bring your own drinks and snacks! Architecture, what's in California that I haven't seen yet? I have always wanted to see Frank Loyd Wright's Hollyhock house in Hollywood, wow I'm getting excited! I also put the Tim Burton exhibition at the L.A. museum of art on my "to do" list. I think I'll add a trip to Rodeo drive to shop at some designer boutiques. And what is a California Italian vacation without a little Italian cuisine, The spaghetti factory or the Stinking Rose have great atmospheres and really good food. I think my itinerary is pretty full and I can take it at my own pace. Hmmm.... I think I'll add a a touch of Hawaii and make a visit to Duke's for a slice of hula pie and a walk on the beach to top things off. Sounds like an amazing vacation to me!

Who says you have to spend lots of money and travel to distant lands to have a great vacation.


Proverbs 25:25
Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land.

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