Tess Vigeland: So yeah... unlimited vacations are great. If you have the money to go somewhere. If you don't? Well, commentator Tim Bedore's been thinking about his summer break.
Tim Bedore: My 13-year-old daughter has been asking where we're going on vacation this summer and we keep telling her we're not sure. Should we even go on a vacation this summer? Is it economically responsible? It's that kind of year.
And why go somewhere that costs money, that you have fly to for hours and hours to get to, when we can go to Chisago Lakes right here in Minnesota? Chisago Lakes is the little town, 50 minutes north of us, where my wife's family has their lake cabin. The lake cabin is what they call it, but I prefer calling it Camp Mildew. I don't say that in front of my in-laws, and I hope they are not listening now, but between the smell of either dead fish, or rotting sub floor, or decomposing chipmunk or God knows what. To me, it's Camp Mildew.
And I'm not saying Camp Mildew isn't nice. It's relaxing to be there, even with its lack of Internet access or air conditioning and potential for Lyme disease and the horse flies. But here's the important thing: My daughter loves being there with her cousins, grandparents. She just loves a family dinner outside on the deck. To her, that's just great.
Why isn't the lake cabin a vacation for me? Maybe because we have equated vacations with something far away that costs money -- you save up for, budget for, sacrifice for 50 weeks to earn that two-week vacation that involves airports, being groped by strangers at security -- that's a vacation. As opposed to the 50-minute drive and $8.28 worth of gas that is Camp Mildew.
But if that is what we do this summer, if my wife and I don't have to plan or pack, travel far, spend, how great is that? If all we have to do is bring a few bottles of wine, a few pounds of bratwurst and their youngest granddaughter up to them, my in-laws will welcome all of us at Camp Mildew. And in many ways, avoiding the stress of a vacation that costs real money seems like a real vacation to me this year.