Tag: vacations

Friday Five: Vacation

It’s vacation season and I’m on mine. It’s been a nice week of being … well, not disconnected, but at least less connected. So for this week’s fun thread, list your five favorite vacation spots. As always, the rules are fairly broad. It can be a place you’ve been to or a place you would like to go. It can be five affordable vacations or five not-so-affordable. It can be five “you must see this before you die” or five “boy, this is relaxing”. And, as you’ll see below, just sitting around the house counts.

My five?

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons: I went to a wedding in Bozeman and spent a day just driving around the two parks. They are everything that are hyped up to be. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some idiot get mauled by the wildlife.

The Canary Islands: File under “if money were no object”. My way was paid by a conference.

The Great Barrier Reef: The first time we went to visit my wife’s family, we took a detour up to Cairns. It was off-season, so it was much more affordable. We only spent one day on the actual reef. The rest we spent driving around and hanging out on the beach.

St. Thomas: My wife and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon. St. Thomas was our favorite place (although St. Martin is a very close second). It was relaxed and beautiful and we got to snorkel with turtles. Sal 11000 Beta was born nine months later.

Staycation: Last year, I had a lot of unused vacation time and no money to go anywhere. My wife was between jobs and my funding was uncertain. So I just took a week to stay at home. I really enjoyed it. There was no pressure to do tourist stuff. I read a lot, wrote a lot, finished a bunch of home projects and splashed in the pool with Sal 11000 Beta. The staycation is massively underrated.

The place I’m currently stating — the Outer Banks of North Carolina — just missed the cut. It’s affordable and fun and we come here almost every year. But the five above would be my favorite places.

Opulance When We Need Austerity

We have heard all the golfing jokes (god, he still swings like a girl), the complaints about vacations, even the comparisons to Bush vacations and how Bush took more time off, but shouldn’t the reality and needs of the times, not comparisons to predecessors, dictate proper protocol in these matters? Most people that I know prefer our president ample golfing days (less time in front of the podium) and really, what is he going to do when Congress is out of session? But I saw this yesterday, why am I not shocked?

The Obamas’ summer break on Martha’s Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.

But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.

White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.

Branding her ‘disgusting’ and ‘a vacation junkie’, they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.

I checked out that whitehousedossier website, tagged as the only independent and unauthorized WH blog (juicy) and the first blog post was this:

Lawsuit Seeks Costs of Michelle’s South Africa Trip

by Keith Koffler on August 25, 2011, 2:20 pm

The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Air Force seeking to obtain details and costs of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana June 21-27.

The request, announced today, was filed June 28, one day after White House Dossier published an examination of the trip that found it included a significant vacation component and probably cost taxpayers well over $500,000.

I guess that $10 million figure is just an estimate.

I’m trying to be objective here. I understand that moving the president around costs money for stuff he has no real say in, things like SS protection and protective services details from local law enforcement agencies, these add up. Last week we say him tooling around the Midwest in his Canadian made security bus, no big deal, until I saw the 40 vehicle motorcade that escorts that bus around, do they really need 40 other cop cars involved, most of which are from local jurisdictions whose drivers are all on overtime?

The magazine also reported that Mrs Obama, whose fashion choices are widely followed, had been going on ‘wild shopping sprees’, much to the distress of her husband, who, its sources reveal, is ‘absolutely furious’ at his wife’s ‘out-of-control spending’.

Now it’s sounding like a tabloid. Funny, but most times when I see photo’s of her in public, a refined fashion style is like the last thing I’m thinking.

Is this just whiny carping by Obama haters or is genuine outrage needed here? I don’t expect our leaders to “slum it” when visiting abroad, an image of might and capability must be projected, I get that, but the first lady and her crew, which always consists of more then family, gallivanting around the globe slurping vodka smoothies, living large like some oil sheiks, it flies in the face of the economic nightmare too many folks are going through right now. Am I being petty?

Some quality gardening time, growing her own veggies for the WH table, more of that and less stamps on her passport, how about her own life style reflecting the hard times our nation is facing, that, and eating more peas.