What’s your ideal vacation?


For so many NYC visitors, Broadway!


By Caitlin Kelly

I know, I know — it might be any vacation at all!

Americans are pathetically deprived, certainly compared to European nations — French workers enjoying five paid weeks off — and even those who have earned paid time off are often too broke, too tired or scared to even use it.

One of the things I enjoy most about freelance work is taking as much time off, as often, as we can afford.

I have eclectic taste when it comes to taking a break. In Santa Fe, I’ll be seeing (!) my first rodeo and can’t wait — and will return, decades later, to the legendary spa Ten Thousand Waves. I love a mix of rustic and elegant, day hikes or horseback riding or canoeing or golf (outdoor activity) with dressing nicely for dinner and enjoying a good meal.

Since we live in a suburb and drive wayyyyyy too much, my preferred holidays put me or us down in one spot (hotel, usually) for at least 3 or 4 days, maybe longer, and we walk, take cabs or use public transit.


Some of my favorites:


A cross-country train trip in 2003 from Chicago to Seattle and all the way back to New York again. I think everyone should make this trip once to truly see the countryside and appreciate its incredible beauty and diversity. I loved this experience.




— A week in the small coastal Croatian town of Rovinj, in July 2017, which I discovered thanks to the recommendation of a travel blogger in Berlin and this blog post.  I don’t normally trust all blogging advice on travel, but had read enough of Dorothée’s work to know she and I have similar tastes. Rovinj is called Little Venice and its old town is spectacular, with its silken marble cobblestones and plunge pools at the edge of the Adriatic.




— A tiny northern Thai town, Mae Hong Son, although I loved every moment of my 21 days in Thailand. Gorgeous landscapes, safe alone as a woman traveler, delicious food.


Jose went to the local barber, ex-boxer Patrick Quinn. His haircut was 5 euros.


I loved seeing these gorgeous shawls in Dublin — so much better to take a photograph than buy and regret…



— Ireland. Just such a welcoming place, bursting with beauty and history and kind people. I’ve been five times so far and loved all of it.


France. Big place! And still so much of it to see. I’ve visited and loved: Paris, (lived there for a year), Normandy, Brittany, the Cote D’Azur (the south of France, multiple visits), Perpignan, the Loire Valley, the Camargue (pink flamingos! cowboys!) and (the best), Corsica. I wept as the tiny commuter plane left Bastia for Nice; my week there, traveling alone by mo-ped, remains one of my happiest memories ever.



Cafe life!


Tanzania and Kenya, safari. Only possible thanks to an inheritance in my mid-20s, as these tend to be pricey, plus airfare. But every second was unforgettable. Truly worth every penny.


— Los Angeles. Yes, really. I had so much fun! I rode horseback at sunset through Griffith Park and then danced to live blues at Harvelle’s, a fantastic club in business since 1931. I loved discovering different neighborhoods and took a great architectural tour in the back of a vintage black Cadillac.

Some of the many places I still want to visit:

— Japan, Morocco, Greece, Bosnia, Botswana/South Africa/Namibia, Patagonia, coastal Brazil, an Amazon river cruise, a 2-3 week drive through California.

–re-visit Italy, Croatia, England, France.


What are some of your best vacation memories?

What’s your ideal vacation?

20 thoughts on “What’s your ideal vacation?

  1. Funnily enough, I’m on vacation now. I’ve been spending a few days in Cleveland with my dad and stepmom, which has been nice. Among other things, I’ve visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the first time and Lake View Cemetery, where such distinguished people such as Eliot Ness, John Rockefeller, and President James Garfield (the last one in the grandest mausoleum of any American president). I got to talk to Garfield and Rockefeller with my divining rods (the latter I got on video). And tomorrow I’m going to Mansfield to do an overnight ghost hunt at the Ohio State Reformatory.
    Along with my trip to Massachusetts two years ago (including Salem and the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast), those are some awesome vacations.
    I guess what you need to make a good Rami Ungar vacation is to make sure something horror or paranormal related is in the itinerary. More than one, if possible.

  2. I’ve done a lot of great travelling, mainly to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. My favourites are Ireland, France, UK, Norway and Italy. Can’t get enough. My two favourites are probably Ireland and Norway. 🙂

  3. Em, I want to go back to Montreal, spend a week, and head out east…explore some Viking ruins, bike the Cape, absorb the hops of a logical brew, see my country,

      1. But a lovely one. My family used to go on long family trips, down to North Carolina to visit relatives, through Pennsylvania, Maryland, through Richmond, Virginia, and on past Raleigh, my sister and I fighting like cats and dogs the whole way. : ) But I do still love long drives.

  4. wonderful memories here, Caitlin. one of my dream trips is to take a cross-country rail trip, too and just enjoy every minute. my ideal trip – a week or 10 days centered in one place, and traveling around from there. could be domestic or foreign, I just love the adventure of exploring and embracing all that a local culture has to offer.

  5. My memories of my recent March trip to Venice remain fresh in my memory, and will for some time. It was an amazing experience on so many levels. That said, I have had the occasion to enjoy different kinds of trips more locally: An April daytrip that I took to Niagara Falls with the guy I’m seeing was perfect, some days I spent last summer in Montréal were superb, and so on. Even seeing different parts of Toronto count for me: Long Branch and Scarborough can be quite cool!

    1. Venice!!!! It is such an amazing city — so glad you got to see it. It’s true that any grip with good company can be enjoyable…my fave Toronto getaway, always, is/are the Islands. We got married in the little wooden church on Centre Island in Sept. 2011, traveling there and back by water taxi.

    1. Me too! They’re woolen shawls and soooooo beautiful! Ireland is such a seductive place…both “foreign” and welcoming. I find it hard to get to all the new places when there are so many I want to go back to.

  6. carolyn

    I just spent a lovely weekend in Philadelphia, just over the bridge from where we live. It’s one of my favorite getaways! This weekend, Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest residential street in America) had its annual fete, so some of the homes were open so you could see the insides. It was a wonderful opportunity to see these homes that I’ve loved since I was a child. We walked around the city, visited historical sites (my other favorite is Carpenter’s Hall), stopped for ice cream, had dinner at a little place we hadn’t seen before but loved the ambiance and food, then brunch at a bar that our son recommended. It was a lovely break from real life! We were in San Diego/Anaheim/Coronado Island at the beginning of May which was another wonderful trip…good food, good friends and Disneyland! Our usual vacation is Disney World and visiting our youngest in Orlando, so it’s nice to go someplace different!

    1. This sounds great.

      I sometimes make the 3 hr one way trek to the Museum of Art, which is one of my favorites. I have never been to Disney World or Disneyland. I know people love them.

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