Vacation destination requires negotiation

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The time of year when my wife and I plan our vacation has come again. In nearly 20 years of marriage, we have never agreed on a vacation.

To be honest, we don’t agree on much of anything, so why should vacation be any different?

I usually pick a destination that is unusual and unique and my wife picks something a bit more traditional. Our younger daughter chimes in occasionally with a snort or a shake of her head, letting us know of her opinion.

I don’t think she really cares where we go, as long as it has free wi-fi.

My wife’s plan this year was for us to individually compile a list of five destinations and we would convene and discuss. She, in her mind, could not think of a way this could fail.

I smiled knowingly. There was no way we were going to come to a decision, mutual or otherwise. It was quite apparent that the week I get for vacation this year should be spent planning the week of vacation I would take next year.

We had already discarded the obvious. Disney World was off the table. I have nothing against Mickey Mouse and his friends, but we took our honeymoon in Disney World in a very hot August and unless oppressive humidity was a draw, Florida in the summer was out.

I suggested Myrtle Beach since we had not been there in a number of years. We had spent our 10th anniversary in Myrtle Beach and even though my wife suffered from no fewer than four assorted maladies on the trip, we had a pretty good time.

If you ask me, pink eye and the shingles makes a vacation that much more interesting.

My wife suggested Branson, Missouri. I told her we were too young to go to Branson, Branson was for old fogies and retirees.

She ran down a list of concerts of artists I had always liked.

“That sounds great!” I said

They were all performing in Branson. I guess I was an old fogy, because I certainly am not retired.

I suggested Las Vegas. My wife asked my why. I looked at her dumbly, like I had to explain Vegas to her. I showed her a couple of websites that showcased the live entertainment.

She asked where the clothing was.

OK, Vegas was a no-go.

We live in close proximity to the beach, so she suggested the mountains. She said we could drive for hours and never leave North Carolina.

Well, what was the fun in that? When I’m on vacation, I want to leave the state and get as far away as home as possible.

She countered with the documented fact that we could leave home, drive for almost 10 hours and still be in North Carolina. It feels like another state, but it isn’t. For a 10-hour drive, I want to be almost in New York, not stuck in the state where I live.

I suggested Tennessee, if we were driving that far. She asked where our destination would be. I said I didn’t know, just somewhere in Tennessee.

She reminded me the last time we did something like that, we ended up in some small town in Pennsylvania with nothing but a Wal-Mart and a Waffle House. If we were just going to wind up at Wal-Mart and Waffle House, we might as well save a couple of bucks and just stay home.

Our daughter suggested Europe. The only time my wife and I have agreed on a vacation is when we both shouted NO at our daughter. The expense of going to Europe was too great and my wife is a picky eater and I can imagine finding chicken tenders and fries in the middle of Switzerland would not be an easy task.

I don’t know what the airline regulations are about carting around a big jar of Skippy in carry-on luggage, but I think they might not allow it.

As it stands, our vacation this year will be a short one and we will be visiting friends and family in Baltimore. An old friend has gotten his old band back together for a reunion show and we bought tickets.

We will get to see friends and family and have a good time. We don’t have to pay for a hotel, either.

We are staying with my mother. Her house is clean, it’s free, and we have a key. She also has Skippy.

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.