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WHATEVER I WANT TO DO AND ALL DAY TO DO IT, TOO
What's your idea of the perfect vacation? I waffle between not wanting to do anything at all but sleep in, lay on the sofa and read, and read some more, to making travel plans and go-go-going every day, getting something out of every minute. This week, the first of a 4-week vacation, has been a nice mix of the two, which suits my waffling heart to a T. I had plans every day but not the whole day and some of them fell through or were changed and all of them involved nice things.

It's only 2 days until the Swedish midsommar celebrations and Anders is preparing 3 kinds of herring to take with us to the party at Mats & Annelott's. My brother & Simone arrive tomorrow, and the house is clean and I feel calm and prepared for next week's trip up north to the coast.

I've had lunch with friends and a massage and a dinner with Geena, during all of which I got things that I needed: closure, advice, confirmation, relaxation and laughter. My children have been well-behaved in public, helpful at home and Martin even told me that the computer discipline-time-division that we instituted a couple of weeks ago was a good idea and was working well.

Today while we were sitting in the balcony having fika with my in-laws in Malmö, we looked out over a sea of green trees and wheeling seagulls and were horrified to watch 3 teenage boys come traipsing across the park, strewing garbage about them. They chucked a coke can into a flower garden, flung the plastic lids from 2 pringle cans across the playground, emptied the crumbs onto the path and then dropped and stomped the cans themselves before turning and strolling away. HONESTLY. My kids raced downstairs a few minutes later, completely burning with righteous indignation, picked up the garbage and put it in the public garbage containers that were 6 feet away from where the boys had been standing.

The sun has been shining all day and it started warming up (finally! finally? please say finally) after lunch, and I acquiesced to Karin's request to please please please take them to the pool. I don't really like going to the pool because 1) I don't do bathing suits and 2) if I sit and read in the sun (even in the shade), my vision is blurry for the rest of the day, but I DO like going to the pool because hey! It's the POOL. It's blue and shiny and there is an ineffable sound of joy in the splashing and shrieking and carrying on. So we swung by home and picked up bathing stuff and a camping chair for me and went to the pool. I started Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (HAR!) and after awhile, gave up on reading and just sat in the sun with the heat pounding down on my shoulders. It was almost like getting a bonus massage.

So this has been a week at home, and next week is a week away, then we have another week at home and another week away. If that doesn't sound like a recipe for lizardek's perfect vacation, I don't know what does.

If anyone has tips for things to do around Smögen in Sweden (1.5 hours north of Gothenburg) or around Vaals in the Netherlands, I'd be glad to hear them. We have some things already planned, but more ideas would be very welcome!

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Comments
(Anonymous)
From Megsie

It is so funny that you are reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...I just heard about it on MPR this morning. Your vacation sounds divine. (Closure, advice, confirmation, relaxation, and laughter?? That is THE PERFECT LUNCH!)

My perfect vacation is to go to a nice (fill in the blank). Go out to eat, but also have kitchen access. Have things to do, but only if you want. Have good books, my writer's notebook, and my knitting handy...if I feel like it. And have good friends available, but not demanding anything. OH! And! Daily massage. And! A MAID! (and possibly a babysitter to take over when I AM DONE with them.) You did say PERFECT right? NOT realistic. HA! :)

Re: From Megsie

a maid sure would be nice ANY time of year! :)

Things do around Vaals? Well, there's Maastricht of course. ;-) Or you can visit the marl caves or the coal mine in Valkenburg (the town of Valkenburg itself is very touristy though). And the American War Cemetery in Margraten is very beautiful.

Here's a site with lots of tourist information about the area.

ooh! thanks! I had been told about the caves, and they're on the list :)

The caves are wonderful. When I was in secondary school, we used to have our Christmas service in one of the caves in Valkenburg, in a chapel that was built there during WWII.

My kinda vacation involves more doing nothing but having the kids happy. When the kids are happy, I am happy. When the kids are grumpy, I'm ugly.

I'm mad at those teens too. Good on your kids for cleaning up.

Have fun!

(Anonymous)

Sounds like a super vacation start! Looking forward to hearing about P&P and Zombies. And good for the kids and their cleaning up efforts, they are great sports I think.

julia@kolo

Ohh, my kind of vacation? Hmmm.
Well, it varies with mood and season I guess.
I often imagine traveling to a warm place during the colder months. I would go with a friend and some good books. We would have fun things to do in the locale, and we would have lolling time as well. There would be nature stuff and city stuff, free time and busy time.

I would also like to go to our hot springs resort and soak, hike, be fed good food, and have massage. That would be refreshing.

A mini vacation at the coast would also be a good one.

Most of my vacations these days are travels to my grown chicklets, and those are good. My friend Jill wants me to save up to go to Ireland with her.
My sister and I recently had a wonderful "stay-cation" in her city of Portland, Oregon. We did day trips to the coast and the mountain, we hiked, we shopped. It was fun.

Your vacation time sounds like a perfect balance of doing and relaxing. Have a great one Liz.

(Anonymous)

Ah yes, the pool. I too don't do bathing suits anymore, but you know, there's just something about the tinny music coming out over the speakers (and remembering all those AM radio songs from summers of my youth), yes, the splashing, shrieking, smell of chlorine, all that. I think of going occasionally just to sit there (as I have no kids), but you know, then I'd look like a crazy lady who maybe is a pedophile. Oh well.

(Anonymous)

I always forget to sign!

Heather

Sounds like wavebreaker has covered the question on stuff to do around Vaals already - was gonne suggest some similar stuff, though I only know that part of the country only from tourist experience myself.

Have a great time. If you are ever in the vicinity of Amsterdam, lemme know, then I'll try and come up with some interesting places to visit around there for you=)

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