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Friday, July 15, 2005
It's Friday! Finally!

... This week on the Friday Forum, they’re talking about vacations. Vacations. I love vacations. Especially the ones where I don’t have to do anything or go anywhere, or be responsible for stuff. Those are the best vacations. I even like taking little vacations from reality while I stick my nose in a book – which I plan to do this weekend when amazon delivers my copy of the new Harry Potter book. And I may talk about that book next week, so be prepared to skip a blog if you’ve not read it, not finished it, or really aren’t interested in Harry Potter.

It's a bittersweet Friday though - even with the excitement of the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie, and the season premieres of SG1 and Battlestar Galactice, I have to say goodbye to a good friend and co-worker as he leaves this company after 6 years of service. He realized that he wasn't being true to himself anymore, and wasn't happy with that. That and his boss was a real pain in the rear because it was clear that the trust wasn't there.

Anyway, I wish my dear friend the best in the world on his new adventures.

Imagine that you could drop everything and leave *right now* for your ultimate DREAM vacation destination. Money is no object, and you can go absolutely anywhere your heart desires. What place "beckons" to you? Think about the country [or continent, region, city, etc.] that you would *most* like to visit and what you would have to pack for a two-week stay there.

1) A few words in the country's national language can always be helpful. Give us some examples of a few sentences [or phrases] that you might use while you're there. Are you fluent in the language?

It’s always a good thing to know how to ask where the bathrooms are, and maybe where the local hospital or police station is (in case of emergency). If it’s a really risky place to be, knowing where the nearest embassy for your country of origin would also be helpful. But I think the bathroom one is the most useful. That and “Do you speak english”

2) Would you take any special equipment with you for your vacation? (A diving suit? Mountain climbing gear? Your bicycle? A winter coat? Skis? A surfboard?) What form[s] of transportation would you use to navigate the area and do some sightseeing? Would you visit any sites in particular?

Since I don’t rock climb anymore (it’s been almost 20 years and my knees probably couldn’t take it) I wouldn’t need that gear. I don’t ride bicycles anymore either - I crash them, no matter what I do, and I really don’t want to practice riding more to get better because the crashes just get worse and worse each time. I don’t like dragging equipment with me on vacations. I know it’s more expensive to rent, but honestly, I’d rather have a vacation where I sightsee and play rather than work at something like skiing or climbing – I could do most of those things in a short drive from where I live anyway.

As for transportation, whatever is easiest is what works for me. Feet or car are preferred, naturally, because bicycles and I don’t mix.

As for places that I want to go to? I love historical sites, museums, and places where the air is breathable and clear. But there aren't lots of those in Fiji... and the island I would want to be on would mostly be limited to walking and hiking. And it would be expensive to bring all that equipment halfway around the world.

3) What are the gastronomic specialties in your dream destination? What would you like to eat while you're there? Are there any national dishes that you wouldn't try?

Food, I’ll try food – I’m somewhat adventurous for new flavors and styles of cooking. But no matter how it’s prepared, if you set down brain stuffed entrails or something, I won’t eat it. I’ll beg vegetarianism, I swear. But they don't do that in Fiji as far as I know. Besides, I'd like another crack at that chilied crab. Man, that was yummy. And since I have a greater appreciation for fish these days, I wouldn't be driving the folks nuts in the kitchen for something to eat that doesn't involve fish.

4) What would you bring back as a souvenir? What would a picture-postcard from your destination look like, and what would you write on the back of the postcard?

Souvenirs for me run to mostly pictures. When we went to Fiji we brought back a couple of seashells – I love those. A picture postcard? Most of those are so cheesy, but I think mine would be a nice lush picture involving lots of green, and then there’s the clear blue sky, and the clear blue water. Mmmmm. Water. And it would look warm and inviting, but not stiflingly hot - like it’s been here for the last few days. I tell you, a vacation is sounding more and more inviting, because when you get up to go to work at 5 am and it’s 69 degrees outside, that’s just torture. And it’s going to be at least 100 today. Ugh.

5) Could you imagine moving to your dream vacation destination and living there for a few years [at least]? Why or why not? Do you know anyone who currently lives in this location?

Vacation places are places to visit, not to live. The economy of lots of the great vacation places are dependant on the tourists coming through, and I’d rather not live in an unstable economy like that. You know the old saying “Nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there”? I employ that for every vacation, with the exception of Fiji. I think I could live on the island of Qamea for a few years, assuming that the chef stays the same and I’d still have people picking up after me.

Ah, to be queen.

Anyway, that’s it from me about vacations and questions related to such. I don’t have any specific destinations in mind, even despite the mention of Fiji, so I kept it pretty generic. I’m sitting here in my office, listening to a favorite acapella show streaming in, and it’s so calm outside. There’s *NO* breeze, and there’s a slight haze outside, but not enough to dispel the fact that it’s 65 outside (it was 69 at home when I left, I’m closer to a body of water here at work). I know others have it worse around the country, but when you look at it in relative terms – I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area – this is ridiculous. We’re on the, what, 5th day of a heatwave with no relief in sight apparently. So all weekend is going to be hot too. Ugh.

Well, have a good weekend folks, and I’m going to try to have cooling thoughts. Even as I get wrapped up in the new Harry Potter book.