Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Travel Studies Seminar: Class Presentations

"Most travel is best in the anticipation,
or the remembering;
the reality has more to do with lost luggage."
—Regina Nadelson

In our travels we've visited several faraway emergency rooms. We once had ants in our bed, and another time I had a miscarriage. Dee left his wallet in a food-court; our hip-hop taxi driver and his girlfriend (Foxy) joined our family (uninvited) for a visit to the San Francisco Zoo; we had food poisoning in Amsterdam and spent a cozy night huddled together over an unappealing and ancient toilet . . . these are the realities of travel. They make for good stories, but sometimes other people's stories are better.

Our first class presentation today is from Emilie at Mickelmonkeys about her disastrous honeymoon.

Art by Ronald Anderson

"Unfortunately, we were plagued with several hiccups right from the start. On the day before we flew out to my parents house, we sat down on the grass waiting for a bus and we were bitten by little bugs. Chiggers, mites, who knows? But we were both itchy and miserable and covered in red welts the day before we got married." Click here for the whole funny story.

On Deck

Don't suggest a Caribbean cruise to Alana! She wrote:

"My ideal vacation is simply any vacation not afloat at sea, imprisoned with slobivius americanus. I'm talking to you, Cruise Ship.

"Cruise ships are a virtual petri dish of communicable disease afloat at sea. At sea! Do you know what happens at sea? . . . Hurricanes, walls of water that swallow ships whole, sinking. Sinking! I said sinking! If I managed to return home it could be with hoof and mouth, meningitis, staphylococcus, and most certainly an exacerbated case of claustrophobia. Where do they store the buffet food? How is human waste treated, stored or expelled? Have you asked yourself these questions?

"Possibly, I could make good use of the gambling available while in international waters. Or the 24-hour-bar. And if you watch Primetime Crime, you know you can throw just about anybody overboard and get away with it. (Increase husband's policy—check.) This is as far as my exploding optimism can throw me.

"I don't like to suffer and/or die when I'm on vacation. I go away so I can come back."

Suffering was a big part of our early family vacations. Five days with four sick kids in one crowded California hotel room (two queens, a roll-a-way and a crib,) pouring rain, and a missed flight was pretty miserable. Another good story, but dismal as it happened. Other trips were better.

CMN, you had a comment:

"Here's my tip and it's worked like a charm every time . . .

"Have four basic Vacation Rules:
1 - Stay with the Parent/Adult
2 - Don't Spend a lot of Money
3 - No whining or complaining (Set a key phrase for a child to use instead -- "I need a break" is my favorite. Whenever a child uses the key phrase, be prepared to stop, listen, and outline for them a plan to remedy -- "okay, we're going to finish this activity which will take five minutes and then we're going to go sit under that tree and enjoy a rest." Also agree what the penalties will be for breaking this one...)
4 - Have fun!

"Discussing the rules several times before we leave helps each child get them in mind and plan to follow them. Then once we're traveling, all it takes is a simple reminder -- 'Rule #1!' -- and the kids react.

"Having easy and basic rules is priceless. Especially when the kids remind you of them too . . . 'Rule #2!'"

You guys have the best ideas. And I love your comments on my ideas.

Oma's suitcase

I admit it. I have an obsessive, compulsive disorder when it comes to packing. I wrote,
"I pack kits so I can unpack and pack quickly: Nightstand kit: little flashlight, tissues, lotion, chapstick. Secretary kit: Check register, calculator, pen, envelope for receipts. Recharge kit: camera and phone chargers, extra batteries, memory card. Toiletries, Make-up, the usual."

I got a comment from Wrath of Khandrea that cracked me up:
"i cannot even wrap my mind around this.

and yet . . .

i'm a teeny bit turned on by it all."

Thanks for putting up with my eccentricities! And thanks for all your contributions to our travel studies seminar.

"I haven't been everywhere,
but it's on my list."
—Susan Sonntag

Homework: Do any or all or be inspired.

~Turn on the Travel Channel and take a trip for free. (I'd suggest Rick Steves or Samantha Brown.)

~Visit Barnes and Noble. Browse the travel section, and take a few books to the cafe. Order a bagel and a hot chocolate, and daydream.

~Have you ever been sick on a trip? Write a paragraph about it. Prompt: "I thought I was going to die. I was in______"

*If you do any part of this assignment on your blog, please link it back to TravelinOma and provide proper attribution. Leave a comment here (with a link to your homework if you want to share it) and/or a link to your blog (so we can get to know you.) School Days has open enrollment so join anytime. No make-up work required! If you're new, click here for an orientation.


kenju said...

I thought I was going to die in Barbados! My daughter and I sat for almost 2 hours in a tide pool, talking to a woman from Australia, who taught English in Japan. I had sun block everywhere but my legs, and had no idea that I could burn through the clear and sparkling water. After another hour on the beach, we walked back to the hotel and my legs were so burned that I had to walk "spraddled out" to keep them from touching. Going to dinner that night was hell and it took 3 days to recover!

I have told you before that the next time I am going on a trip, I want you to pack for me!!

Katie H said...

Yay, I did one!

Deborah said...

It's really wonderful to read your posts and I love the pictures you use! I haven't done the assignments but you are getting me thinking!:) And that's good! Who knows maybe someday I'll be able to say I sat down and did one! Our family loves to travel and we have done some pretty amazing trips!

The Grandmother Here said...

To Kenju: Barbados is a magical place. I got my sunburn there up the front of my legs, sitting under an unbrella but with the sun reflecting up from the sand.

Alana said...

Wow! Being quoted here makes me feel famous, thanks!
I am in love with that meticulous packing. I aspire to be able to do that someday!

I cheated a bit again today by posting something I had already written but the prompt fit too perfectly. It wasn't a recreational trip. I was at my brother's memorial service and got violently ill the night before. Strangely enough, this post also involves public speaking and fainting, just like yesterday's assignment. Ha!

To the Mercy Killers

Alana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soul-Fusion said...

I thought I was going to die on my flight home from Peru. Actually, on the boat ride, 4 flights and a cab ride home - the last 2 flights being the most painful. I picked up some sort of parasite in the jungle that kicked in in full force during my 2-legged flight back to NYC. I can usually look back and laugh at these experiences but I'm not quite there yet. Maybe I need a full year's distance before I am comfortable with it.

Also, I have to add that I love the first quote by Regina Nadelson - only I would say that is how you turn one vacation into three: anticipate, experience and reminisce.

Kristie Lynne said...

Travel is almost my number one passion. I am in love with Samantha Brown! I've seen every Passport to Europe ever. I'm also getting into Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain. Going to B and N and looking at travel books is also one of my favorite passtimes. Good call!

Diane Linford said...

I love everyone's participation in class. You have some clever students!

wk 10 day2

the wrath of khandrea said...

i am fairly convinced that an inordinate amount of time has to pass after the hellcation in order to find humor in it. at least, that's how it works for me.

i'll get back to you when i figure out exactly how long "inordinate" is.

audrey said...

Well, I have to say that I had a hard time thinking of what to write today. Thus, I wrote something else and am off to the TV to watch a show about pyramids and then one on National Parks. I got cheated out of my trip to the pyramids years ago thanks to some politcal uprisings, but I hope to go back one day. Additionally, I have a great love for National Parks but haven't been to as many of them as I would like to. I hope to feel inspired by these shows.

crissy said...

Homeworkdone. Go me.

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Miranda said...

Hi Oma. Just wanted to let you know I was back...in the event that you noticed I was gone. Am settling in to catch up on some homework.

diane said...

I was in your city when it all came tumbling down...me down the stairs. It was't pretty.


Here is the rest of the story. So glad that is behind me. It has changed my whole life in good and bad ways.

dalene said...

finally this is done. i wrote about being injured on a trip (hope that counts) and being drivien through the amsterdam airport by a crazy woman who thought she was on the autobahn.

if i end up posting it on my blog, i'll come back and leave a link.

you are giving me the travel bug now and i don't know quite what to do. no trips planned for ages! i'll just have to pretend.