Fantasy Vacation

A while back, the two of us on this blog had planned out a comprehensive European vacation involving Italy, staying at Lake Como with day trips to Milan.  We would come in via Spain (for the art museums) and leave via Vienna (I think this is what we decided; it could have been a couple of cities in Germany, but it was around there).

But now I really, really, REALLY want to go to Wales.  I recently discovered that a friend from college, who is now teaching in Wales, actually lives within driving distance of Hay-on-Wye, which I think would be an excellent honeymoon spot.

I wonder how far in advance you have to book (haha) accommodations for the annual book festival at the beginning of June? Or perhaps I should keep to the off-season to avoid 80,000 other visitors?

If I ever get a sabbatical, ha ha, I want to spend time writing at St. Deiniol’s, a residential library.  Yes.  You live there.  In the library.  DO WANT! Although the library doesn’t specialize in my subject area, it would be a great place to write a lot, and read, reflect, rest, nap, and rejuvenate.

photo from the Guardian by Christopher Thomond

And while I’m over there, oh, I would like to see Cardiff, possibly also Glasgow and Edinburgh. I could just progress northward; these things are all pretty much in a line.

Captain Jack in front of Wales Millenium Centre

John Barrowman is actually a Glaswegian, but has a house near Cardiff

I could fly into Cardiff, hang out, then stay in Hay-on-Wye a little bit, then drive just a few hours to St. Deiniol’s. Stay there a few weeks, maybe. Thence a slightly longer ride to Glasgow, hang out, and fly home from Edinburgh, which I hear is also nice. See, that’s such a good plan! Now all I need is thousands of dollars (though the rates at the library aren’t too bad, and also include dinner & breakfast!) and maybe a month or two of free time.  I’m sure I could find many simply smashing things to do in those places.  Hmmmm…

Do you dream of travel?  Have you been any of these places?  Where would you want to go?

ETA:  #2 says… we did?  I thought my fantasy vacation was just, “An eating tour of Italy.  Oh, and we can stop in Spain and eat there too– I’ve eaten good food in Spain, and I’d like to see the Alhambra again.”  I might have wanted to do the art museums at that time, but I finally did get to see the Prado.  (I LOVE CONFERENCES.  Don’t think I actually get to go to exotic locals for vacation… If only I had a bigger bursary…)  I don’t remember Germany being on the list.  German food is ok, but I’m not sure you have to go to Germany unless you’re really into beer.  Of course, Germany may be preferable to Wisconsin in other ways…  And I wouldn’t mind getting another street waffle in Luxemborg.  I will remember that experience for the rest of my life.  Bliss.

My two main joys in life are eating and reading novels.  Vacation should include both!  Preferably someplace with nice weather.

What do you think is most important in a vacation?

8 Responses to “Fantasy Vacation”

  1. Sandy L Says:

    My husband and I had a rule that we would leave the country at least once per year. We’ve been to Thailand, Africa Twice, Australia, New Zealand, Europe (multiple times for work and pleasure).

    We also both have/had global jobs, so we’ve been to Asia on business. I also lived in the UK for a year.

    I love to travel. It’s definitely an area we splurge. We do more domestic travel now that we have two small kids.

    Our MO has always been to go where the dollar is strong and we could get alot for then money. The second criteria is to visit friends so that you can get the local’s experience. I’d go see your buddy.

  2. Rumpus Says:

    I like visiting friends. It makes traveling more relaxed and fun. Though I have visited most of them in their current locations…so I guess I’ll have to find a way to get them to move to new countries for some variety.

    I am not in favor of resorts or cruises. They feel artificial…I want to get a bit more of a local experience. If I don’t get to hang out in a cafe/restaurant and eavesdrop on locals why did I leave home in the first place? Speaking the language is a definite plus.

  3. Grace Says:


    I’ve never heard of the residential library. But now I want to go. Today!

  4. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Wow, Sandy, that’s amazing. We’ve only been to Europe and North America.

    Rumpus– It’s funny… when we lived in a major city people always wanted to come visit us. Now that we’re living in the middle of nowhere, only parents visit. Well, #1 still gets a lot of visitors in her middle of nowhere… she must be more charismatic. Hey! Come to think of it, last time she visited us, it was in a major city. Last time we visited her, she was living in a different middle of nowhere. How does she do that?

    Grace– Seriously! How awesome is it?

  5. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff Says:

    We love vacations although we usually just go to relax and have at least once experience we can’t get at home.

    I did the international travel thing with my family as we moved around in my high school years (Holland and Argentina), so I’m not actually very interested in long airplane flights anymore.

    Mr. BFS and I have been to Las Vegas three times, have taken 2 Caribbean cruises, and have done countless roadtrips to Louisiana, Austin, and San Antonio.

    Your pictures make me rethink my plane flight travel policy though. :-) I want to stay at that residential library too!

  6. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    BFS– In seat movies are The BEST. On our way back from Germany we watched UP, When Harry Met Sally (I can’t believe I never saw it before… I know, I know), and a bunch of other movies and tv shows that I would have felt guilty about watching had we not been stuck in a plane. They also had really good chocolate. :)

    I’ve noticed that my friends from graduate school that went into industry/government rather than academia do a LOT more traveling than we do, and for fun, not just for business (they make a lot more money too…). Sometimes I’m envious because the stories they tell are so funny, but then when I sit back and think about how the stories were not actually funny at the time they were happening I figure maybe our lack of travel other than to visit family and for conferences isn’t such a bad thing.

  7. Another real vacation for the family (that I won’t be going on) | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] What kind of vacation do I like?  The kind where a conference is paying for most of it, where there’s really amazing and different food to explore, and where there’s history and/or nature and not too much sun.  Sadly I haven’t been going to too many of those recently– all my conferences are either in Boston or Palo Alto/Berkeley these days.  And while those places are lovely, we’ve been so often that I can’t get DH and the kids to tag along with me (plus that whole public school thing puts a crimp in taking the whole family during the school year thing).  So… no vacations for me, and another week to myself next summer. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: