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by riley harrison

A vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia.

Author Unknown


Kathy and I just returned from a two week vacation (experience might be a better description than vacation). It was a grueling adventure but necessary and enlightening. For us, learning comes first and rest/ relaxation comes in dead last. We flew out to Hartford Connecticut and then drove 2,000 miles around New England’s  winding, hilly roads with one excursion into Canada (Compo Bello – the site of Franklin Roosevelt’s modest summer cottage which has only 32 rooms. I concluded that I needed to learn more about Eleanor and Franklin and found two good books in the library: Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship, based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Private Papers by Joseph P. Lash and No Ordinary time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Much of the learning on this trip was unanticipated. I was pleasantly exposed to some new technology:

 We rented a Toyota Prius (hybrid gas-electric car) and averaged 48 mpg on the trip. The savings on the fuel bill made me a believer but when I got home and began driving my 10 year old Camry I felt like a was driving a souped-up dragster. It took some adjustment to get used to the Camry’s faster acceleration.

 I never leave home without my laptop but I begun experimenting with Kathy’s iPad. The fast boot-up speed and reliability really impressed me. The laptop seems to handle the data entry function better than the iPad and I prefer the laptop’s large size monitor screen  for reading documents, blogs etc. I’ll probably buy an iPad to supplement but not replace my laptop.

I had never used a GPS system (provides info about the car’s position and the best travel routes to a given destination by linking itself to a built-in digital map) but I suspect they will be part of all future travel plans. I was impressed.

 The most memorable experience for me was visiting the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester N.H. I love history and this provided me a fascinating peek into 19th century  industrial society. It whetted my appetite for more info; they were selling a wonderful history (Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory-City) by Tamara K. Hareven for $29.99. I thought that was a little pricey and found a used copy (in good condition) on the internet for $.01 plus $3.99 shipping.

It feels so good to be home. Travel impresses upon me the lesson that life is short and must be lived to the max. That being said I made two purchases on Amazon today:

WL V911 4 CH Single Rotor Helicopter (Version 2). Drones fascinate me and this is kind of a hobbyist’s “starter model” for those who know they don’t a darn thing about how to fly one of these contraptions. It only costs $45.00 and apparently is very durable so you don’t completely wreck it when you fly it into the ground or a tree.

Creative Whack Pack By Roger Von Oech. An illustrated deck of 64 creative thinking strategies that will whack you out of habitual thought patterns and enable you to look at your life and actions in a fresh way. I think anything that will increase your creativity at a reasonable price has to be a wise investment.




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