Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dream Vacations

Vacations can be many different things.
Everyone has their own idea about their dream vacation.

My dream vacation is really pretty simple in the big scheme of things.  I want to be with Donald, of course - and we both want Harley with us.
And we want someplace nice we can get to without flying.

After having worked in the airline industry in the late '60s, and the 70s, I remember when flying was fun.  It is so not fun these days that I really don't care if I never fly again.

And we want lots of down time with nothing planned.  The planned events we do do are definitely going to be things we're doing because we want to do them and not because we're expected to do them.  We've become a bit selfish with our time, realizing it's one of the most treasured things we have. 

I have always thought Robert Orben had it right when he said "A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in."  Not too many of us are going to actually spend the day doing absolutely nothing - but knowing we have that option is lovely, I think.

Some people seem (in my humble opinion) to underestimate the value of vacations.  I agree that a stay-at-home vacation is great, but . . .  there are too many opportunities to forget you're supposed to be on vacation and get side-tracked into doing the things that you might really need to just get away from for a little while.  We're sooooo guilty of doing that.

Donald and I love vacations.  And they've become more important to us in just the past year.

We both love the water and usually plan beach trips.  Since we live in a gorgeous spot in the mountains - our mountain get away is taken care of most of the year, so those beach trips are at the top of our list.

Going "home" to Cambridge is my idea of the perfect vacation.  And Donald, being Donald, is the perfect good guy husband about this.  Fact of the matter is, since Cambridge is a lovely little town on the water, and since some of our best friends are there, he loves these trips home too.

This year marked my 45th high school reunion in Cambridge, which was not to be missed (including a pre-party party).  There was also a Wilkinson family get-together; also not to be missed.  And we had some other things we were celebrating - our 25th wedding anniversary, my retirement and - the biggie - the fact that Donald is still with us a year after his heart attack.

So special plans were called for, and I felt the need for some special pampering; and not just for me.  Donald and Harley too!  So, honestly, only one spot popped into mind - a place we've been wanting to go for awhile, but which is financially beyond what we usually are able to do.  The Chesapeake Bay Hyatt.  It could not have been lovelier.  AND - they welcomed Harley with open arms (when we got to our room there was a doggie bed, along with china doggie bowls).   And - the best part - with some careful planning, it didn't break the bank.  We were even able to get two nights for free, and free breakfast every morning.  (AAA can be your best friend when planning a vacation.  Along with those hotel memberships; they really do add up and can be a huge help).

All in all, I have never stayed anywhere this accommodating.  Granted, it is, a Hyatt, but, as a lot of us have learned, an expensive name doesn't always guarantee a pleasant experience.  This trip though, I can honestly say  -  every single day was, indeed, another pleasant experience.

So this was our home away from home for a week.

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, sculptures and fountains.


Surrounded by nature walks all along the hotel grounds on which we were able to enjoy some of the natural beauty of the Eastern Shore.

(can you spot the heron?)

The staff was profession and friendly, without fail.  Our room was perfect.  We were on the ground floor (perfect for walking Harley), in the doggie wing (yes - really, we were).  We had a corner room with glass sliding doors on two walls with a water view from both sides.  And if anyone ever says to you again that all hotel food is expensive, but inferior, don't believe everything you hear.  Being fans of good food, we have always come home from a trip talking about how well (or not) we ate.  This trip - we ate well.  Too well, actually (as I sit here munching on a container of fresh lump crab meat we brought home with us from my favorite seafood house - Kool Ice, in business since 1972).

We had a wonderful breakfast every morning.  

Doesn't this look like a nice breakfast for a growing girl??  And grow I did!

And most evenings we finished our days with a late evening dessert from The Regency Room. 

Just what this growing girl needed.  Back to the gym tomorrow!!

 We fell in love with The Regency Room and the staff.  It was always available for a snack, or a cup of coffee; all gratis.  Even juice, soda, or bottled water.  Just like having our own private kitchen (only much better stocked than our own private kitchen at home).  Even truffles!  Those white chocolate truffles with lemon cream centers were quite addictive.  

We caught a couple of pretty spectacular sunsets sitting on this balcony -

The fact that we had our buddies close by was the icing on the cake.   They came for visits and we were able to relax with a drink by the pool, or at any of the comfy spots inside the hotel with coffee and/or ice cream.

Final Tally?

THE nicest, most fun, most relaxing vacation ever.  (Do I say that every year?  I think I do.  And as it should be).

Your turn - let's hear about your dream vacation - either one you've taken, or one you're still dreaming about.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wilkinson Family Get-Together

We're back home in Boone after THE most perfect vacation ever.

One of the highlights was getting together with some of my Wilkinson cousins and some of their family members in Aberdeen, MD.

I'm not even going to try to figure out how long it might have been since I've seen everyone, 'cause I know it's been shamefully long.  Hopefully, we're gonna do better!

This was so much fun.  And I don't think anyone in this family has changed one bit since we used to have big family reunions when we were all kids and our parents were the ones throwing the get-togethers.   It was fun spending time remembering good times past, enjoying good times present, and planning good times future.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cambridge High School Class of '66 - 45th Reunion

Many thanks to all the organizers of THE best reunion ever -
Art Wheatley, Cathy Yoor Tyler, Carole Anne Cusick Brohawn, Brenda Willey Mills,  (who did I forget??)

Huge thanks to Ginger & Dan Brannock for opening their home to us once again.

To the Class of '66 - I love being a part of this class - you are the best, and I love you all.

Enjoy these memories of our 45th reunion - see you all at the next one!