Hey guys, did you think I was dead? Sure, I have been inactive for about 2 weeks but that just happens. This time of course as the title suggests, I was on vacation. I went up to Pennsylvania to see family for two weeks. In some ways, it was relaxing but it was also eye-opening.
Now of course it was the 4th of July weekend, so there were plenty of fireworks displays to see. Thanks to COVID Hysteria though, the usual small-town celebrations had been canceled. In previous years they would have lots of food vendors, outdoor music, small games. This year, my family and I just sat in the field on the 3rd and watched the fireworks displays for their town and the neighboring town. It was still quality family time, but not quite the same as previous years.
On the 5th we went to an amusement park in Central PA with my brother and 2 younger sisters. Sounds fun right? But after a 2-hour car ride and a 30 dollar “all-day pass”, we found out the park was overcrowded and half the rides were closed because of, you guessed it, COVID. We got there at 3 but none of us even got a chance to get on a ride until about 5, and the park closed at 8. I had fun when we eventually got on the rides but was it worth 2 hours of driving, 30 dollars for an all-day pass, and the tantrums in between?
And don’t get me started on the weather. I was sweltering hot all weekend, especially on the day we went to the amusement park. Hell forget rides, it was hard even getting a drink at the park. And the heat-related fun wasn’t contained just to the park. For the first few days, I stayed at my brother’s new house, there was no air conditioner in the guest room.
Hands down though the worst part was the cost of everything. Gas of course was back up to 3 dollars thanks to President Dipstick. But so too was the price of clothing, I spent $80 Dollars on a cheap pair of jeans and a few shirts after I sweated through my clothing. That would have cost me half that amount at this time 2 years ago. And I spent 76 dollars on 3 bags of food at my favorite Asian Grocery in Harrisburg. (Yes I dropped a link, it is a real quality store.)
There were some quality moments. I spent my 2nd week out there at my Grandparent’s place outside of Philly. We went boating at a state park. But even though we did all the cooking at home, the cost of groceries was obscene. 20 dollars for a pack of thin cut steaks was crazy, I ended up getting two 15 dollar Beef Roasts which I cut into 9 steaks (and 2 lovely bits which made a good stew), and it cost me $10 Dollars less than 8 pre-cut steaks.
The time with my family was priceless though. I have two lovable sisters, a very kind stepmother, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles who I enjoyed seeing. That made the time and cost worth it. That said though, 2 years ago it would have been half of or even a third of the cost it was this year, and there would have been more to do. So to put it another way, the economic woes and mass hysteria caused by “the dipstick from Delaware who shall not be named” robbed my family of the opportunity to make more memories together. Of course, there was nothing we could do about the heat, nobody is to blame for that. But as far as vacations go, it might be quite a few years before I see another hand-down spectacular one, with or without my family.