Whitney White-Ashley

My brother-in-law, who lives and works in Plano, clipped an article out of the Dallas Morning News Sunday edition and sent it to me. Knowing that sometimes people donít think too highly of hometown papers and reporters, he sent along a note saying the article exemplified the high quality standards of world-renowned papers such as the Dallas Morning News.

Iím not sure which section the article came from, but it must have been sports and leisure or something along those lines. The backside of the clip has an article about the six best Hollywood ski flicks. But the article in question gave tips and ideas about how to take quick breaks and a few of the ideas were, well, amusing.

A few examples include:

ē Ride a train from London to Moscow or Beijing. (Well this might just work out. I was planning on taking my weekly trip to London and I suppose Beijing isnít too far out of the way.)

ē Take a bus to a place 100 miles away and walk away. (I enjoy a good hike, but I donít know about doing 100 miles in a weekend.)

ē Stay at a hotel with a pool or fitness room and exercise to your limit every day. (OK, this is starting to sound like boot camp, not a vacation.)

ē Find a farm and arrange to work for free for a week or two or three. (This is my personal favorite. I owe my dad a huge apology because I had no idea that growing up on a farm would one day be considered a vacation. Who knew waking up at 3 a.m. to bottle-feed calves would one day be part of a city slicker vacation package. And all the complaining about snapping peas during my summer vacations from school - I had no idea what a bargain I was getting.)

Once you decide what kind of vacation you wanted to take, the writer offered up some advice about how to make it a success. Again, here are some of my favorites:

ē Set aside enough time to truly refresh. (Between your infinite sets of pool laps and spinning classes, of course.)

ē If you go with someone, choose a compatible person. (I donít know about this one. I find vacations are much more fun if you go with someone you canít stand.)

ē Allow for interaction with people along the way, but be selective. Dangerous-looking people might be dangerous. (Now this one drew laughs from many of my family members. Iím not sure if itís a ďwell duhĒ moment or a blatant stereotyping faux pas. Either way, you heard it first from the Dallas Morning News: dangerous-looking people could be dangerous.)

ē As much as possible, escape technology. (I actually think this one is a good idea whether you are on vacation or not. My family refers to my Blackberry as my umbilical cord. My boss even gave me an afternoon off one day because my battery croaked and I was having fits because I couldnít access anything on my phone. So, I could probably stand a little less technology in my everyday life.)

At least itís nice to know that reporters in Dallas have slow news days, too.