Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Wonder if I Can Choose

I live in Western Montana, for goodness sake. Going to the dry cleaner’s on the weekend is a gorgeous trip, and those of you who’ve been here know I’m not even exaggerating.

So … hmm … best vacation ever …

I could be a cliché of a girly-girl and say that my honeymoon was my favorite vacation. That trip would make me nerdy on many levels, one of which is the location itself. The Boy and I went to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario for a week and saw at least one play a day the entire time we were there, except for the mini-mini-break we took toward the end to go to a cliché of a honeymoon destination: Niagara Falls (yes, the Canadian side is more beautiful than the American side, and yes, we did the Maid of the Mist tour as made indelible by Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty). We stayed at a B&B in Stratford and it was blissful even though our luggage was lost until the second day. We stayed at a high-rise hotel in Niagara Falls and it was deluxe, son, deluxe. We picnicked on the riverbank and fed the swans and saw mostly fantastic theatre and had wine on our enclosed porch every night and began the tradition we are just now, almost seven years later, trying to break of never cooking a single meal for ourselves. It was everything a honeymoon should be—just us alone in a newlywed cocoon and yet us out exploring and thriving in our favorite world.

I could be a swooning romantic/academic and say my two trips to Stratford-upon-Avon with HC’s “Shakespeare in England” class. I can’t even write about them, really. They’ll always just remain hallowed and perfect times of my life as a young theatre artist, friend, student, inamorata. If I ever had to go Groundhog’s Day on myself, I would be hard-pressed not to choose one of those days.

I could be a party girl and say that my senior celebration trip was my favorite vacation. My best friend of almost 20 years now (holy percent sign!) and her mom took me along to New Orleans to visit a friend and hang out in the Big Easy the summer we graduated from high school. We stayed in an apartment in the Garden District (I remember seeing both Anne Rice’s and Aaron Neville’s homes and was oh-so-impressed with their wrought-iron gates) and I got my first inklings of feeling like a grownup. We went to Bourbon Street and had our first legal drinks: Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s. Whoo, child! J. and I spent many minutes in bed that night commenting on our inability to feel our teeth, which was both hilarious and disconcerting. Big George, the most gracious, funny, and wise man I think I’ve ever met, took us to the places the tourists never see—we got to visit the real N’Awlins and eat like kings and queens and made grand plans to come back every single year forever and ever for Mardi Gras. We rode the trolley and shopped at the very place where Julia Roberts almost got shot in The Pelican Brief and went to Café du Monde (I still regret that I didn’t drink coffee yet then) and generally lived it up and had a ball. Ah, what trouble J. and I could get into now if we went back!

I could be a kid again and talk about how anytime we were going to my Grandma L.’s or my Auntie E. and Uncle B.’s, I would get so excited about the trip that I would go to bed as told and then sneak back up to put my clothes on under my pajamas so I’d be READY to hit the road! Then I’d go back to bed and whisper across the hall to Kat about all the donuts and ginger snaps and fun and games that were about to be ours. We’d always start the trip in the back of the station wagon with a gallon ice-cream bucket full of chocolate-chip cookies and box of crayons between us and we’d color and read and play the license-plate-states game; we’d end the trip with our pillows and stuffed animals and crumbs and melted crayons between the seat and the seat-back needing to go straight to bed (with a donut or ginger snap on the way, of course).

You can’t make me choose! Because now I realize I’ve left out Vegas and Prague and any trip to Glacier NP and Washington, DC, and Orlando and Indianapolis and Chattanooga (sounds silly, but it was our first “road trip date” and the Tennessee Aquarium is AWESOME so stop laughing) and any trip to a wedding and, well, see?


super jane said...

i love your memories! and the more i learn about you and stageXing (whom i've only ever met once), the more i realize that you are two peas in a pod. i don't think you could have chosen a better mate for you!

(plus, i think he's got a pretty cool name. ;) )

glove said...

I feel that. It is hard to pick a favorite trip when there are so many wonderful ones to choose from!

Um, does it make me a bad wife that I never even thought of writing up my honeymoon? And it is one of my favorite trips, I swear! Although these days, your honeymoon also sounds about my speed. Ahhh, theatre - - - B&B - - - Canada. Lovely.