Brief getaways are poor excuses for vacations

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a vacation. I mean a real vacation, not three or four days somewhere, but a real weeklong, good-luck-finding-me vacation away from everything.

From my work and side projects to my wife’s work and spending time with the grandkids, a full week at St. Somewhere Off-the-Grid Can’t Nobody Find You Here All-Inclusive But Don’t Drink the Water Resort by the Sea just hasn’t proven feasible.

To make up for that over the past few years, we’ve had a series of mini-vacations, often bundled around holidays like Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. I need to start packaging my getaways around more substantial holidays like National Potato Week, National Poetry Month or Year of the Dragon (2024, by the way).

We’ve gone on a good many three-night getaways in the past few years — usually to Georgia’s Golden Isles or Florida’s Gulf Coast — but while we mostly enjoyed our time there, we came back exhausted … and needing another vacation. All the packing, the driving, the late check-in time and the early checkout time just don’t leave enough chill-out and decompression time in the middle.

A vacation should leave you refreshed and ready to charge back into action. However, the first thing I think when I get home from these mini-vacations is, “Dang, I could use a day off tomorrow.”

Perhaps if I owned a private jet, a private helicopter or a private yacht, getting away for just a few days would indeed be refreshing. But all I own is a private Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. And, I know they say God doesn’t make mistakes, but I’m telling you he put the ocean waaaaay too far from my house. Would it hurt to put a fifth ocean somewhere in Middle Georgia??

As the wise Yoda once told Luke Skywalker in that lesser-known “Star Wars” flick “Return of the Jedi from Three Nights of Ewok Hunting on Endor,” you need an extended getaway if you want to relax. “Vacay or vacay not,” he wisely told Luke. “There is no mini-vacay.”

“But, Master Yoda, I had to get home to feed R2D2,” Luke whined.

“Stutter, did I?”

I’m going to try to convince my wife to turn the next mini-vacation into a mini-staycation at home instead. She generally is receptive to the concept of staycations in theory — sitting around the house, relaxing and doing nothing. However, she’s not very good at it. I fear that a mini-staycation might involve some little home-improvement project like putting up a shelf, adding shiplap to the bedroom wall or constructing a third floor — you know, little odds and ends like that. Heck, I’d still probably be less tired than I was after our most recent three-night getaway to Mexico Beach, Florida (video and gallery below).

The next time we get away, I hope it will be a full week and, hopefully, on a cruise ship, where a full week feels like a month and a half. I just wish they wouldn’t put all those ports at least four hours away from my Perry, Georgia, home. But until God adds a fifth ocean near me or Viking starts doing river cruises on the Flint and Ocmulgee, I guess I’ll just have to deal with those long drives — and coming home in need of another vacation.

Video review & photo gallery from Mexico Beach:

What do you think about this?