I get five weeks of vacation with my job, meaning that until I am done work, I have plans for approximately 47 weeks of the year, and have control of the rest. My idea of a great vacation includes a lot of sitting around, reading and perhaps having a few drinks. These are activities that I am normally not able to do for any length of time the rest of the year, and I look forward to them. Growing up, I really didn’t do much in the way of summer vacation because I grew up on a farm and summer meant a lot of work that was fairly time sensitive – if the weather was nice, there were things to do like harvesting hay and building fences, and if the weather was bad there really wasn’t a lot to do inside or outside and those were nice, relaxing days during which the public library got a lot of use.
This year, my wife’s family would like to do “stuff” on their family vacation (of which now, I have been told I am a part of). So far, this “stuff” includes going to Marineland in Niagara Falls as well as several other attractions in the area. For anyone who has never been to Niagara Falls, Ontario I guess the main thing you need to know is that it’s basically a money pit – especially in the summer – almost a perfect tourist trap.
My wife is very excited to go to Marineland, while I am not really at all interested in going. It’s not really my idea of a good time to go hang out where a few thousand people are milling around. I’m not terribly interested in spending the $100 to get into the park for the day to wait in lines for rides and be annoyed by other people. My wife says that it will be fun because my nephews will really enjoy themselves and it will be something fun to do as a family. My response to this is that there is probably something more interesting for them to do (as 6 and 4 years old) that would not require the money and time that will have to paid out to have this family day together.
Last year, we as a family rented a cottage on a nice quiet lake, which had a lot of up-front costs but for a week of vacation together was reasonable as a majority of meals were cooked at the cottage. There was more opportunity for visiting and hanging out than will probably be experienced with this year’s more “touristy”-based vacation which from what I can see will require a lot more driving around and general headaches.
Who knows, maybe it will be a really good time. I know there are better places I can spend money and probably receive more enjoyment from, but as it has been explained to me, this is a family vacation and my idea of fun is not the same as other peoples.
How about you, what is your ideal family vacation? Have you had any good or bad experiences in the past? Any tips for someone who will be stuck in a tourist trap?