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Ideal Day

April 25, 2003

Random Acts of Journaling poses the question: What would a perfect day for you entail? Disregard constraints of money and travel time and take us from morning to night. Breakfast in Paris and dinner in Rio?

On my perfect day, I wake up to soft sunlight filtering through trees and the fabric of the tent walls. It’s early, but I feel well rested. Mr. Karen and I are camped in a secluded wooded, the only people out this late in the season even though the weather is still fine and sunny, with just enough nip in the air to keep the bugs away. The hot showers and flush toilets are a short stroll away, and since there are no other campers, I have the bathhouse to myself as I get ready for the day. I return to the campsite and relax with a diet Coke and the view of a pond through the trees until Mr. Karen is ready to go to breakfast. (Because it’s a perfect day, we don’t have to strike camp before we leave; the tent elves will take care of that). It’s a relaxed and peaceful way to start the day. There’s no temptation to listen to NPR or turn on the computer and get immersed in the regular workday world; there’s just birdsong and an eccentric old guy out walking his dog who stops to chat for a few minutes, long enough to be entertaining but not so long as to make me wonder if he’s ever going to leave.

We drive a short distance to town to have breakfast at a diner. Not a Denny’s or a Waffle House, but a place with some local color, where the dessert menu is written on a chalkboard by the same person who baked the pies. I’m tempted by the potato pancakes served with sour cream and the corned beef hash cooked until it’s more crunchy than not, but decide to have a chorizo and cheddar cheese omelet. (Yes, we are also disregarding constraints of cholesterol and calories today). Then it’s off to ski. We’re magically transported to the base of the mountain– which mountain I’m not sure; somewhere with long blue cruisers and friendly trees– where we put on our boots steps from the lift. Porters are waiting with our skis and poles. It’s a powder day, but the slopes are not crowded and we float across the runs and through the trees unimpeded.

After a morning doing run after run down the mountain, never having to wait for the lift, we stop for lunch. Amazingly, Buddy’s is serving on the mountain, so I can get my favorite pizza in all the world, the pizza that makes me do a happy dance. The toppings really aren’t important, because it’s the crust, cooked to perfection against the sides of the pan, that’s the key, but I might as well have feta cheese along with the mozzarella and pepperoni put on top so it gets slightly charred. There are oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert, perfectly balanced between crunchy and chewy.

In the afternoon, we face some tough choices. We could go to a Disney park, but which one? Since travel time and money are inconsequential, Tokyo seems like the logical choice, but with two parks there I’ve never seen, the frustration of having only a few hours might be too much to bear. It might be better to go to Disneyland Paris and see what’s changed. I could just ignore the fact that there’s a whole new park next door to it now. Or maybe we should go to non-Disneyland Paris and see some of the things we couldn’t fit in when we were there in ’96, like Montmarte or the Musée d’Orsay. Would it be too ridiculous to beam to New Zealand or Australia to get a little taste of those places? I could buy exotic fabrics at non-import prices if we did that. I’d like to spend some time in the water, too, swimming with the fishes. There’s snorkeling in Australia, right? That sounds good. We’ll snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef for a few hours, pick up some travel brochures to help us plan a return visit, and then I’ll find a quilt shop to stock up on locally-produced fabric designs.

We’ll zip over to Walt Disney World and have dinner at Spoodles, where they will have reverted to their former, better, free hitipi ways. I’ll fill up on bread and hitipi and pick at my entrée until it’s time to go to Artist Point for dessert. We’ll have berry shortcake, Mr. Karen’s favorite, and I’ll have some ice wine. Then we’ll head off for an evening of something amazing. Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, perhaps? We’ve never been to Vegas, and I know an evening’s not enough to see it properly, and we’d have a hard time choosing which Cirque production to see, but I think wrapping up the day somewhere that’s just over the top is the way to go. After the show, we’ll retire to a room with a view of the glitz and spend whatever hours are left of the perfect day alone together. Fatigue will not be an issue.


Of course, there’s not one perfect day. The activities above combine some the best parts of vacations we’ve taken (and some we have yet to take). Vacation days can be perfect, but so can a day spent at home alone, playing with fabric and working out a new quilt design. I wouldn’t want to do either every day, but I enjoy both. It’s a pretty good world where I have the opportunities to have both kinds of days.

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