When my sister and I were kids, our family always went on a summer vacation, even when you had to use gas rationing stamps to buy fuel. I remember wonderful camping trips to Yosemite back in the days when you could camp alongside the Merced River, watch the firefall, and go to the garbage dump and watch the bears eat.
During later years, we camped at Bass Lake, also right on the lake edge (something that's not allowed today) and took two boats, one to water ski behind, and an outboard that we kids could use to go exploring.
As a married adult, my husband and I did have lots of family vacations, always camping trips, and one great adventure where we tent camped with a VW bus clear across the U.S. and back, but that's another story.
For the 23 years we owned, ran and lived in a care home for 6 developmentally disabled women, we always went on a vacation with them, places like Disneyland and Universal Studios. When they went off to camp, we took a few days to ourselves to vacation, sometimes Las Vegas and also several short cruises to Mexico.
Lately, all of our vacations have been to wherever a mystery conference was happening and we've really seen a lot of the U.S. that way, many places we'd have never gone to if the destination didn't include a Bouchercon or Left Coast Crime.
In a week we're heading off on a real vacation though I must confess I'll be having two book events while we're gone. We'll be "camping" with our son and daughter-in-law in their motor home in Sedona AZ. We were there briefly a few years ago and vowed we'd come back. We're going to stay in the same campground we stayed in before, beautiful spot with a stream, swimming pool and lots of trees. But nothing compares to the beauty of Sedona with it's red rocks and contrasting green growth. We're planning on doing a lot of sight-seeing including a Jeep tour.
One afternoon, I'm giving a talk at the Sedona Library about online promotion, and the Saturday we're there I'll be at Kris and Joe Neri's Well Read Coyote bookstore talking about working with small publishers.
I always manage to do something "writerly" while I'm doing something fun like this.