Saturday, May 23, 2009

The lovely Mary Beth invites RevGals & pals to take time to wistfully think about VACATIONS!

1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?
My mother's health was so poor that we didn't often venture far from home. I remember 4 or 5 holidays in all my childhood...We usually stayed in a pleasant "country house hotel" - once in Scotland, once in Connemara, once in Wales, once in the New Forest. We must have managed a few more escapes, but I've lost track of them. My childhood home was on the Sussex coast, so summers when we didn't go away were spent on the beach. I loved it so much, even the "bracing" chill of the English Channel.

2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever:
Oh heavens...How to choose? Was it Venice with Hattie Gandhi, who is so similar to her mother that it was like being on holiday with myself? Or maybe it was a trip with her to Cornwall? It might have been a week in a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, when the children were tiny and honorary mother Eirene joined us..but I expect it was one of the timeless weeks on the narrowboat, when destination is unimportant beside the joy of life at 4 mph on the waterways of England.

3) What do you do for a one-day or afternoon there a place nearby that you escape to on a Saturday afternoon/other day off?
The boat now lives just half an hour away, so though I have yet to benefit from it (I broke my arm at precisely the wrong moment, and Polyphony has been having major repair work recently) the plan is to bolt north to Tewkesbury when the diary looks helpfull blank.

4) What's your best recommendation for a full-on vacation near you...what would you suggest to someone coming to your area? (Near - may be defined any way you wish!)
Gloucestershire is the county of the Cotswolds, and there's many a gentle holiday to be spent exploring the villages, enjoying some of the ancient churches, and investigating the numerous gastro pubs that have sprung up in the past couple of decades. You could head north to Stratford, to indulge in a little Shakespeare, or south to Bath in time for the festival...East is Oxford, and west the literary joys of Hay on Wye. Really, there's enough to enjoy within 60 miles to make me feel really rather guilty that I don't make better use of my days off.

5) What's your DREAM VACATION?
Italy, I think...Time to return to Venice, Florence and Assissi then continue south to Rome ....and finally to see Pompeii, Herculaneum and the mosaics at Sorrento. Perhaps after all that culture a bit of beach combing somewhere along the Amalfi coast.
But there's also the longing to explore India by train with all my children. That's a dream and a half, though I doubt if it would feel like a restul/restorative holiday.

Bonus: Any particularly awful (edited to add: or hilarious) vacation stories that you just have to tell? ("We'll laugh about this later..." maybe that time is now!
When Hattie Gandhi was 18 months old, we booked a holiday cottage in Cornwall. It was September, often a golden month.
Not this year.
It rained each and every day.
The cottage was both chill and damp.
Hattie Gandhi cut no less than 7 teeth in teh space of 2 weeks, while I, newly pregnant with one of my lost babes, was sick morning, noon and night for the whole fortnight.
It took a good many years for me to consider Cornwall in a different light. That holiday was the nadir of all holidays.


mompriest said...

Oh I can only imagine that is has taken awhile to see lightly into that vacation of rain, wind, crying baby, and morning sickness....sigh...if I ever make it to England we'll arrange a meet up so you can spend some time off showing me the sights - which sound delightful!

Song in my Heart said...

A narrowboat sounds a lovely way to spend a holiday. The geek in me wonders if it is decked out with solar panels, and the forager in me wonders if you can get to those blackberries that are always, annoyingly, on the opposite bank to the one the towpath is on...

I don't think I could live in one though. I've considered it, but there's not really anywhere to put a piano and all the books in the ones I've seen. Though a floating studio could be interesting!

Chorus said... does sound like there are many wonderful vacation possibilities close to you. And a narrowboat...Delightful!

Diane said...

I haven't been posting much due to arm soreness, but wanted to come over and see your vacation recommendations, as husband and I MAY come to London this summer... (still checking...)