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Vacation Thoughts: Staying Close to Home

We are a company that sells luggage. We are all about encouraging people to pack up and take that extended vacation to a far away land, and we get a great deal of satisfaction out of helping people find the exact luggage they need for their big trip. For the sake of luggage sales, long distance vacations are great. The alternative to the long distance vacation, however, is, you guessed it, a short distance vacation. I have just returned from one such vacation.

Here in Minnesota (not actually pronounced Minnisooooda), a very popular vacation is a trip to one of our estimated 15,000 lakes, and yes, they really should change the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” slogan to be more accurate. What can I say, it was a conservative guess at the time, but it’s catchy. Anyway, a weekend trip, or in my case, a week long vacation to such a destination is commonly and affectionately referred to as a trip “Up North.” My trip up north was to a lodge with my extended family; parents, sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces, and nephews. We were all in one big cabin. There were about twenty of us. I never got a final count. It’s a vacation that we do every other year, because frankly, that’s how long it takes us to recover after one is finished. While I was there, I was taking some mental notes about this vacation, and as luck would have it, I now have an outlet for those thoughts.

Not having to deal with the hassles of an airport is nice. Sure, in the time it took us to drive to our destination, we could have flown to, say, Dallas. But, there were no worries of lost luggage, and it showed up in the same condition as when we left. There were no delays in our departure, due to weather or mechanical problems, and the only stop along the way was a restroom break for a nine year old who I told not to drink so much orange juice before we left. Plus, we didn’t have to worry about keeping all the liquids in our Eagle Creek Travel Accessories Pack-It Travel Bottle Set. My wife was able to bring her 96 oz bottle of whatever hair care product it is she uses, and even put it in our suitcase! I had to take fewer clothes because of it, but I’m not bitter.

When you spend a week with your grown up siblings, you learn things you don’t want to know. I’m going to leave it at that.

It was insanely hot and humid most of the week. That meant that the two real options were being in the water or being in the air conditioned cabin. For the most part, the kids chose the water, and the adults chose the cabin, with the exception of the adult who drew the short straw and had to watch the kids in the water. We are a card playing family, and being stuck in the cabin, we played a whole lot of cards. What I learned from this is that luck runs in streaks, and what goes around, comes around. A dominating performance by my brother-in-law and me early in the week, followed by relentless trash talking and taunting, led to a humbling end of the week. There is such a thing as too much card playing.

My Mom loves the Briggs & Riley Baseline 24” Expandable Upright that I got her for Christmas last year, and used it on this trip. Remember, we do sell luggage here. Seriously, she loves it. There is no doubt that I won the “Christmas gift for Mom” competition, and am officially the good son (not that there was ever any doubt). In fact, this gift of luggage for my Mom prompted my older sister, who takes her kids on an annual trip to Disney World, to browse our site and pick out the Heys USA Velocity 3 Pc. Set. Her logic is that her younger brother, who works at a company that sells luggage (in case you didn’t know), could get her this set at a discounted cost. The fatal flaw in that logic is that her younger brother tends to hold a grudge. It’s a character flaw that I’ve learned to accept. I remember all those times growing up when she could have been nicer to me or just plain nice to me. The bottom line: If YOU want to buy that set of luggage, you will be paying less than my sister.

I should have exercised more before going on vacation.

I should have exercised some before going on vacation.

There are moments on vacations that you wish could last forever. That moment for me was sitting on the dock with my six year old son one evening, fishing. The humidity was down, the temperature was nice, the sun was setting, and the lake was like glass. Watching the intensity on his face as he watched his bobber, his eyes light up when the fish nibbled and the ripples surrounded his bobber, and then finally the excitement when that bobber went under water and he reeled in a 3” perch. He was so proud. I was even more proud.

A 3” perch, which is in the same family as the walleye, is not a good souvenir, and will not stay alive in a 5”x 5” plastic bag filled with water, in a suitcase, during a three hour drive home. My son found this out without his parents knowing. He also found out that perch have a needle like dorsal fin, which can puncture a plastic bag.

Back to reality.