Friday, May 22, 2009

friday five: vacations

Mary Beth at revgals is getting us thinking about vacations!
1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?
In the summer we spent a couple of weeks in Hyannisport, where an elderly cousin had a house. Yes, it was on the water!! There were times when we stayed there while JFK was in office and we would watch Marine One fly in to the Kennedy Compound with the family on board (or at least some members of the family--we couldn't see them disembark). In spite of that excitement Hyannisport was just another place to spend time. We swam, learned to sail, walked down to the general store and post office to pick up mail, newspapers and licorice. There was a place in a nearby town that had homemade ice cream, and going there was always a treat. I have some wonderful memories from those vacations!

On spring vacations we visited Melrose, my family's tree farm in South Carolina. You've already heard about that place and seen some of its photos! Activities when we were kids were a little different than now. We did a lot more climbing around in trees, on huge rocks, had picnics by the creek at a favorite location, swung in the hammock, read books... We lived in Connecticut, so on many of our drives to and from (it's a good two-day drive) we detoured to places of historic significance: Valley Forge, Williamsburg, Monticello, Gettysburg. Those visits made our nation's history come alive for me in ways that might not have happened otherwise. The colonial and revolutionary war period continue to be favorites of mine.
2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever:
Hands down, my best vacation was a two-week trip through Scotland to dance in castles. We were a fairly small group of country dancers (12), but we traveled with our own fiddler and pianist, which meant dancing to live music whenever and wherever! We danced at places like Blair Castle (pictured, in the ballroom) in Perthshire, Culzean Castle in Ayr, and smaller venues less well known. We also danced spontaneously--on the side of the road at Rest and be Thankful (the dance of that name), on the ferry, in an empty chamber at Castle Campbell. It was the most extraordinary trip, and twenty years later I am still in touch with some of my fellow dancers that I met on that trip (four of them came to my wedding three years ago!). There are not enough superlatives to describe it.

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?
I adore Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville. Middle Tennessee has lots of interesting places to go to within a relatively short distance. In fact, when my husband returns from his fishing trip I'm going to suggest we go strawberry picking at a place near a popular lake less than an hour from us.
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!)
Depending on what you like to do, there's lots to do in Nashville (and it's not all about country music!), or the Smokey Mountains are a few hours east. I have fallen in love with the Smokies. The mountain streams are clean and clear; the moutains are covered with rhododenron; there is history; music; shopping; horseback riding; hiking; fishing...

5) What's your DREAM VACATION?
There are a number of places that I'd like to visit: return to Scotland, head to Cantabria on the north coast of Spain, visit Italy, see Machu Picchu in Peru, and get to New Zealand where my friend Clare lives. But since we're talking about dreaming here and reality doesn't have to intrude, my dream vacation would be to spend a week or so anywhere with our kids and grandkids (so far there is one grandchild, with a second on the way). We aren't especially close these days with my step-daughter and her family, and step-son isn't married yet so the next generation from that branch of the tree is yet to come. But in some hopefully not distant day it would be a treat it we could all be together and enjoy being a family together. That is my dream.


Purple said...

I would love to visit Scotland. Good to know there are other options, beside country music, in Nashville ***grins***.

Bad Alice said...

Dancing through Scotland sounds wonderful. I visited there once, and one of the party tried to teach me some sort of dance on the roadway. I guess we had stopped to take in the view. Haven't the foggiest idea what dance it was, though the name The Gay Gordon comes to mind, if such a name exists.

Barbara B. said...

Yes, your Scotland trip sounds AWESOME!

Jayne said...

Beautiful places, all. :c)

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