This Friday afternoon is the start of summer, which should make me very happy: BBQ dinners, ice cream trucks, really stupid TV shows that the networks are too embarrassed to run during the regular season. Summer ... you can’t say it without smiling.
For most of my life, summer meant vacation. I would go to JCC day camp and sing songs and make lanyard key chains and learn dances and sit around a big circle at Shabbat. Then when camp was over, I would visit my family in California and we’d go to Disneyland and to the beach and have a great two weeks before school started.
From the time I turned 16 through when I graduated from college, summer meant a job —everywhere from Sportmart to the Disneyland College Program to an internship at a newspaper, with a vacation right before returning to school, sometimes.
When I graduated from college and moved to California, summer meant a job with more sun during my commute.
Now that I am married, summer means two of us in jobs with more sun during our commutes.
Notice a pattern?
As two adults without children, taking a summer vacation is not only difficult - it is expensive. Hotel prices, airline prices, gas prices - everything is higher in the summer, not to mention the crowds.
However, just because we can’t take a summer vacation, doesn’t mean we can’t take a vacation.
Now, instead of June being our favorite month - it is May and October (the two months in which we’ve been taking our vacations). October is perfect - the days are cool and it is after the insanity of the High Holidays. May is perfect - the days are a little warmer and the kids aren’t out of school yet.
My husband and I are fortunate people who can afford to cruise. We know others are not as lucky and, because of high gas prices, can pretty much only enjoy a “Married With Children” vacation (where Al stays at home on the couch and his family can’t talk to him for a week because he’s on “vacation”):
Bud, you know that I’m just sitting here on the couch and I know that I’m just sitting here on the couch, but you see, the rest of the days of the year, I’m selling shoes. Ladies’ shoes. Fat ladies. Very, very, fat ladies. And what does fat do best? Fat sweats. So after selling fat sweat all year, one needs a little vacation. Besides if I didn’t think that I was having a good time, I might just run amok and destroy everything and everyone I see.
This October, we are cruising in the Caribbean onboard the Disney Magic for our one-year anniversary. Since it is off-season, we found a great price for the cruise and the hotel at Walt Disney World the night before. We were even able to upgrade to first class using less miles as it is considered “off peak.”
Less crowds, less cost ... a possible hurricane, but hey - we live in earthquake country, so who am I to complain?
Everyone else can look forward to a summer vacation -we’re counting down the days till fall. Three months and counting…