I’ve never gone on a beach vacation where the daily to-do list consists of laying on the beach, drinking beer and margaritas, napping and doing the occasional physical activity like swimming, snorkeling or kayaking.
The closest we’ve come is a disastrous trip to Acapulco almost a decade ago or one of two cruises that included minimal time on the beach either due to weather or time constraints. The cruises were substantially better than Acalpulco which was dirty and noisy and dismal food-wise. On our first cruise, we did a day excursion where I got to swim with sharks. And on our second cruise, we had an afternoon in Cozumel where we had an incredible lunch then snorkeled off the beach while just a little bit drunk. And, of course, there was the overnight trip to Key West a couple of years ago which included spending a day on the water and using the boat as our base, we snorkeled and kayaked.
Hours of perfection, of bliss near blue blue waters but never long enough. Never the lazy week of doing nothing, where all you really need to pack is a swimsuit, a couple of sundresses for dinner, some flip flops and a Kindle and iPod.
I’ve campaigned for trips like this but my constant travel companion has always resisted. Not one for spending hours doing nothing, or for eating resort food, I fear our awful trip to Acapulco has ruined him forever. I’m going to go by myself, I always vow, but I haven’t yet, because it doesn’t seem fair. Not that I won’t someday, because it’s going to happen – with or without him.
Even our couple of trips to Florida, so inexpensive when you factor in the free accommodations, free use of a vehicle, air fare paid for airmiles and cheap golf and cheap booze, have fallen short. The pool’s a 5 minute walk away, the beach a 10 minute drive, and there’s groceries to be bought, meals to be prepared, dishes to wash.
We discussed a tropical destination for our holiday this year, and looked specifically at St. Lucia. His same concerns still exist though and my concerns are a result of his – because I don’t want to spend my week on a beach worried that he’s not having a good time.
So we’ve compromised. A road trip to Halifax in the summer where Taylor will stay a few days then fly home and I’ll drive back with Clara a couple of weeks later, giving me a chance to spend time with family and get in some beach time (especially if we rent a cottage) and hopefully a visit to Mersey River. A lazy drive back with my favorite girl, stopping to see family along the way.
And then, for a destination get-away, a trip for just Taylor and I – we’re off to (wait for it) Vegas again, this time (like many times before) for our anniversary. Predictable in that we always go to Vegas (like many anniversaries before) and yet, it remains a fair compromise. I lay by the pool or shop at Ross Dress for Less, Taylor plays poker or hangs out with me and in the evenings, there’s exquisite meals at exquisite restaurants and cocktails at our favorite cocktail bar (Vespar) at our favorite new hotel to hang out at (The Cosmopolitan).
And using our airmiles and MGM players card, our desire (need) to do an inexpensive trip is achieved when we managed to book a newly renovated room at the MGM for $49 a night. It’s not the West Wing, which I love, but it’s new and it’s renovated and it looks like this:
And it’s $49 a night.
Twist my arm.
It’s a compromise, but a compromise that’s fair and I’m comfortable with and can actually be excited about. Because it’s Vegas. It’s the MGM pool. Vespar bar for thoughtfully mixed cocktails, L’Atelier for those miniature truffle hamburgers and the greatest fries in the world. The Patisserie at Bellagio for crepes and coffee, Lotus of Siam for what’s considered to be best Thai food in North America.
And Ross Dress for Less. How could I forget the two stories of crazy good deals on brand names (it’s like Winners but Ross is on crack and needs to sell the goods for cheap to buy some more).
I’ll get my beach holiday some day, and when I do, it’ll be worth the wait. But for now? Vegas in just over a month from now, and Halifax in the summer? I’m good with that. So good with that.