Tag Archives: vacation

#s105-116: How Not To Vacation Old, Part See Ya Later

This is my last post until after Labor Day because I’m going on vacation. Well, I’m not going on vacation. In the second of eight straight years of paying college tuition, I can’t afford a vacation.

But HNTAO is going on vacation. By itself. On a cruise. Except it’s pretending it’s going to Vegas.

When it comes back in September, hopefully not ten pounds heavier and in need of detox, we’ll have some extremely exciting news for you. No, I can’t tell you now. Plus, lots of fresh and vital ways not to act old.

Meanwhile, here are some tips to get you through the rest of your summer vacation. If you think you’re going to miss your quasi-daily HNTAO over the next few weeks, you can always read them one at a time, or come back every day to read all the ways ntao you haven’t gotten to yet:

1. Do not stay at one of those inns that smell like air freshener and offer an assortment of herbal teas and have little signs posted everywhere that say things like, Thank you for removing your makeup before putting your head on the pillow!

2. If you stay at a chain motel instead of one of those inns, don’t say you have a nice room. They’re all nice. And all not-nice.

3. Don’t rent a house and car exactly like the house and car you have at home.

4. Don’t spend more time putting on sunscreen than you spend in the sun.

5. Forget shopping. You already brought too much stuff in your giant suitcase.

6. Don’t be the first one in the restaurant at breakfast. Not to mention dinner.

7. No guided tours. In fact, no tourism. You’re a traveler. No, you’re practically a native! If you see a tourist or a tour, act appropriately scornful.

8. Although you want to feel and act like a native, don’t go anywhere you’ve been before. Not vacationing old is all about novelty and adventure.

9. Don’t be afraid to go somewhere you’ve never been before. They will definitely have bathrooms there plus some kind of food that doesn’t upset your stomach.

10. Don’t overworry about the weather. Vacation like the young do. If it rains, have sex. If it’s too cold to go to the beach, have sex. Even if it’s nice outside, have sex.

11. If you’re traveling alone and end up having sex with a stranger, don’t imagine that you’re ever going to see him or her again. But don’t feel guilty about it either. If you’re traveling with your spouse and end up having sex with a stranger, you should of course feel guilty. But way not to act old, dude or dudette! You and John Edwards should totally get together.

12. When you’re back home, don’t claim that now you need another vacation. That’s not just old, it’s obnoxious!

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#s94-100: How Not To Vacation Old, Part 2

Okay, in the last installment, we got you carefully and finally out of the house. Whee! But you still have to make it to your vacation destination without acting old. Let’s go:

1. If you’re flying, do not get to the airport three and a half hours ahead of time. Yes, it takes a while to get through security these days: maybe 17 minutes. Then you’ve still got a whole three hours and 22 minutes to kill, and there are only so many Auntie Anne’s pretzels a person can eat.

2. Do not dress up for the flight. Assuming you’re neither the pilot nor a flight attendant, there is no need to wear a tie, skirt, hat with a shiny visor, shoes more formal than flipflops, or a bra. If you feel sloppy, you can always add epaulets with gold stars to your pajamas.

3. Don’t make friends with the person sitting next to you. Unless it’s ScarJo.

4. If you’re driving, no maps. Definitely no AAA Trip-tiks. GPS and Mapquest should get you there.

5. Do not complain, each and every time you fill up, about how expensive gas has gotten, as if you’re surprised that the price didn’t drop to $1 a gallon in the time it took you to drive 200 miles.

6. No scenic routes. Scenic routes, with their cows and their small towns, their speed traps and their no-passing zones, are old — and they’re often not even that scenic anymore.

7. If you get lost and have to pull into a gas station to ask for directions, don’t keep nodding as if you totally understand and then turn the wrong way right out of the parking lot. Not that you’ve ever done that, honey.

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#73: Cancel the Trip to Provence

Peter Mayle’s A Year In Provence hit the bestseller list in 1991, whereupon every American who could afford it rented a villa in the south of France. If you figure that most of those people were at least 30 when they developed their passion for Provence, they’re now nearly 50. And like them, Provence is peut etre un peu past its prime.

That’s right: If you want not to act old, you’ve got to give up your fields of lavender, your striped hammocks, your country markets selling homemade olives and artisanal wine. No more brightly-printed table linens, buckets of sunflowers, espadrilles or straw hats. The ancient mas with cornflower-blue shutters, vine-hung pergola, and swimming pool must be traded in for someplace more au courant, youthful.

Like where, you may ask? Not, God forbid, Tuscany. That’s just Provence with pasta. The Cotswolds and Cornwall, Umbria and the Dordogne are similarly played: the Mojitos, the Burberries of vacation destinations.

How about Berlin? Berlin is young, hip, happening. (I see you there, making a face, envisioning a grim gray city patrolled by scary guards in great coats. But that’s an old image. Now Berlin is all emerging artists and musicians and cool lofts, or so I’ve heard. I have no desire to actually go there.)

Vietnam could work, or really anywhere that only old people remember as a war-torn wasteland. Croatia. Syria. Libya. Iraq. Whooops, maybe not yet: We’ll leave our children to bask in Basra.

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