Economical Vacations-Stay at Home
There’s a great scene in the Jimmy Stewart Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life , in which Donna Reed surprises her new husband with a stay-at-home honeymoon. How? She very creatively plastered travel posters to ‘far away’ places on the walls while tropical music cranked out on their gramophone. Boy, was he surprised, but it was a necessary compromise when their wedding money helped bail out the town’s financial crisis.
George and Mary didn’t whine about the hand that they’d been dealt. When the going got tough, they got tougher. We can do the same-and one of the ways we can do this is to take a ‘stay at home’ vacation. No gas worries, no hotel accommodations to be concerned with, just a willingness to be creative in exploring the places we wish we were at.
Where to find the materials? Try your public library. This is a wonderful first place to find videos or DVD’s of the sightseeing highlights of cities, countries and theme parks. If you want to transform one of your rooms into your vacation place, solicit travel agents to ask for posters of the area you want to visit.
Using this method, I can travel around the country, and the world, visiting the people I have met here on Hubpages. What a wonderful group of interesting people. So, I will begin with my state of residency: North Carolina.
There’s a large group of writers in our state writing about redneck topics, homemade gifts, birds, horses and health. There’s Micky Dee-forever writing and riding his bike, his wit and poetry racing along; Debby Bruck, whose knowledge of homeopathy I can hardly wait to tap into; Dallaswriter, whom I promised to sit and enjoy a cup of tea with; and Somewhere in the USA, perhaps still parked in the Outer Banks, is our lovely hubber, Stephanie Henkel. I might not be able to keep up with Micky, but I think I could get Steph to stop for a moment around the campfire and shoot the breeze.
Moving down to South Carolina I look forward to visiting with DIYweddingplanner. (If you haven’t met her yet, read some of her hubs and comments in the forums. I know where to get my dose of laughter).
“Come on, girl-we are going to put on our red hats and go party! Oh heck, we’ll leave the red hats behind…”
Patti, (DIY) takes me to the renowned ‘Myrtle Beach’ to dance in the surf, soak up some sun and sip wonderfully cool beverages. Shhh, I won’t tell what they are…
“Whew, that Patti sure can party hearty,” I say to myself as I wave goodbye and head to Georgia where I will meet up with Ravenlt04.
Raven is a newbie and has been on Hubpages for a mere six weeks, but I like her style. She wears many hats, (I don’t know if one of them is red), and so do I. I can click with a gal like that.
My visit in Atlanta is stupendous. There is much to see and do, like visiting the Georgia Aquarium. Did you know the majority of this aquarium was built from money donated by Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot? After his 60th birthday visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California he was determined to bring the same sea animal thrills to his state of Georgia.
Raven’s family and I spend an exhausting day touring the exhibits-and with over 500 species, there is a lot to see. Then it’s back to her house before hitting the road again in the early morning. Thank goodness for earplugs. With five sons, the noise level is a challenge!
Continuing to head south into Florida I meet up with Klarawieck, KoffeeKlatch Gals, Pamela99 and MannyRolando for more sunshine and conversation. What better thing then to take a peek at Manny’s beautiful photos while enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee together. Alas, our visit is short as I have to keep traveling. There are so many states to cover.
Georgia Aquarium-You Tube
The Southwest and Pacific Coast
The fun thing about an imaginary trip is the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B. I jump into Texas where I will visit my sandpit buddy, Stevennix2000 before heading over to see Ms. Nellieanna for a chat about life and all of her experiences. Then, a visit with Peggy W at her Houston home is a must. We swap stories about nursing, gardens, and places we’ve travelled. Before heading further west I’ll stop in to see Rose Mary in San Antonio and find out how she organizes all of the hubs during the final days of the Hub mob weekly topics. You may know Rose Mary as rmcrayne.
Phoenix, Arizona, is my next hop to visit with a real life cowboy, Will Starr.
“Will,” I ask him, “Have you been a cowboy all of your life? Was this just natural or did you grow into it?”
Will gives me some of his sage comments about life, our country, and the way things should be run. And, I listen with both ears open.
Heading west to California, the furthest point of my ‘virtual’ trip, I look up tsmog and Mr. Smith checking out their latest projects. Driving toward the desert, later that evening, I meet up with Sagebrush_mama. She promises to take me on a tour of Death Valley-well, at least an edge of it, at the crack of dawn. I still remember those mules hauling the covered wagon across the desert with the Borax soap commercial.
In the wee hours of the morning, before light hits the land, we eat a healthy southwest breakfast and head for the desert sunrise. What a show of color, wild life and flowering cactus against the backdrop of the mountains. But, temperatures are unbearable and we do not stay long.
As I say goodbye to Sagebrush I move on up to the Bay area to hang out with Chatkath and DzyMsLizzy. We have much to talk about, since they live in my old stomping grounds. We decide to ride the trolley in San Francisco, grab some lunch in China Town and end our visit driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.Oregon:
After Kath, Lizzy and I part ways, I continue my trip up to Oregon to meet with Violet Sun. Marie was one of my first followers and she is a beautiful soul that I have been waiting to meet. Besides, now that her partner Phil is also a Hubber here, (Soul Dreams), it is nice to sit and chat together while taking in the gorgeous view of the Oregon countryside. Before I leave, Marie shows me her deck of inspirational cards that she has created-beautiful pictures that touch the soul along with words of wisdom and encouragement.
Midwest and Tennessee
Bump! I find myself in Missouri, where I visit my dear friend Monica Robinson. I don’t see much of Monica any more, which makes our visit that much sweeter. While there I look up Sholland10 and she shows me the highlights of the city where she lives.
My next stop is southern Illinois where I pick up my sister, Danette Watt, who will finish the trip with me. She has been a freelance writer for longer than I have been on Hubpages, and has a real talent for getting her points across concisely, and with an interesting angle. She shows me her latest hub work about one of her favorite topics: the community garden, and then we get on our way heading east across the state to drop in on Ruby, (Always Exploring) . Ruby and I share the same profession of nursing and as the three of us exchange shop talk she shows us her latest poetry. Ruby writes some lovely poems and Danette and I are excited that we were the first to see the next gem she will post on Hubpages.
Before we know it our visit is over and we continue on our journey. Not wanting to miss visiting Vocalcoach, Danette and I swing down to Nashville, TN and find Audrey in-you guessed it, her music studio giving a voice lesson to a special client. Besides having a talent for writing, Audrey has a talent for touching the lives of those around her with her sweet kindness. Danette, Audrey and I sit for a spell to take in a cup of tea and enjoy the classical music playing in the background. It is a blessed, peaceful moment before my sister and I hit the road north.
At the blink of an eye we are through Ohio, (hello katiem2 and CJ Andrews), and into Michigan. In Michigan we hold a minihubcamp for Hubbers: cardelean, Fossil Lady, and Treasuresofheaven. In our meeting we discuss SEO, keywords, ad sense, contests and challenges. We pledge to continue to support each by reading hubs and leaving comments.
Danette and I hit the trail again, this time with Cara (cardelean) in tow. We didn't realize she was with us until we were almost at the Ohio Turnpike and stopped for gas. By this time Cara was banging her hand on the inside of the trunk asking for air. She was a true stowaway, but we were happy to have her company. Our destination was to travel to New Jersey and meet up with Hubber: the clean life, at his newly renovated beach house. Ahh, the smell of the salty air; the sounds of the ocean…
Relax at home and save vacation money
Mark, (the clean life), was unaware that we invited Hubbers from New York, Pennsylvania, New England, and as far as Maine, to join us at his beach house for a luau, or that he is hosting a pig pickin’ party. The guests we invited are mtsi1098, Bkcreative, Jlbowden, Shogan, Radioguy, AnnieRoseVA, Seafarer Mama, and of course, Fetty.
“We’ll share the information we discussed at our Michigan hubcamp,” I tell the others.
Danette opens charts and graphs. As we lick greasy BBQ sauce off of our fingers, we listen to everyone’s input and add their goals to the charts. At the end of the dinner we stroll down to the beach and walk along the water’s edge gathering driftwood for a beach bonfire. As the sun sets below the ocean’s horizon everyone shares some hub stories.
“One more stop on our trip towards home,” I tell Danette and Cara, brushing the beach sand off my clothes the following morning, “we’ll meet Gail, (Happyboomernurse), and Erin LeFrey for breakfast at the shore.”
Hugs and goodbyes are said to our gracious host Mark, and all of the other beach bum guests we shared the evening with, before everyone takes off in opposite directions.
Delaware and Home Sweet Home
Cara, Danette and I hit the road again and it doesn’t take long before we are sitting in a lovely Oceanside restaurant enjoying a lovely brunch with ‘the ladies’, Erin and Gail. Catching up with the latest Hubpages happenings, we tell them all about our trip throughout the Midwest, and I add in details of my earlier travels.
Three hours later, we are finally saying goodbye, ready to finish our road trip. We use our magic button to instantly transport us back to North Carolina, bypassing the long drive through Washington DC traffic.
Home sweet home. It was a very enjoyable vacation meeting many of the people I bump into on Hubpages-and I didn’t have to spend a dime!
My apologies to anyone I failed to mention during my continental U.S.A. tour. And, to my friends across the water-I haven’t forgotten you. That trip will have to wait for another day.