Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Tale of Two Vacations, Part Two

Ah yes, I took two girls’ trips in early October, the first with friends and the second with my youngest sister.  I described the action-packed, more health conscious girls’ trip in my last post. Read on to see how the two trips compare.

The St. Simons Island trip was very different from the one to Hilton Head Island, despite their both involving sunshine and beach towns. It’s not that our annual sisters’ trip is unhealthy; it’s just that eating right and working out are not the focal points. We are more than happy to sit in the sun reading and relaxing. Our excuse for returning year after year is the Art in the Park Festival on St. Simons Island, typically held over Columbus Day Weekend.

Much has changed through the years.  The festival was once large, but began dwindling in size in 2009 when the economic downturn was in full swing. Somehow, it has never recovered and continues to shrink.  We’ve always enjoyed seeing the same vendors year after year, but this trip we saw only one familiar face, the owner of Copper Tree Pottery.  She remembered us, perhaps because we purchased berry bowls, a knitting bowl and few other unique pieces from her last year. Since this festival is where we find most of our Christmas and birthday gifts, we were happy to see her.  And, undaunted by the small number of vendors, we still managed to return home bearing gifts.
Festival shopping is not the only activity, though it’s central to the trip.  We adhere to a few traditions--dinner and a pitcher on Brogen’s deck overlooking the pier the first night and happy hour at the rooftop bar at The Blue Water at least once.  As long as the weather holds, we are all about the views—and, yes, the cocktails.
We don’t indulge quite as much as we did in our younger days, but there’s a reason that staying in the Village of St. Simons where we can walk everywhere is a requirement.  We did actually get up several mornings to walk for 45 minutes, but this vacation did not include hours of working out like the one in Hilton Head.  Nor did it include conversations about healthy eating. We ate seafood and salads but also red meat, French fries and pizza, and we kicked off our evenings with wine in our room before walking to dinner.
Believe it or not, my sister is not much of a shopper. In that regard, it would be easy to question whether we two are actually related.  Yes, she enjoys festival shopping and exploring the gift shops in the village, but she dislikes clothes shopping, so the Hilton Head excursion with my girlfriends would not have been her cup of tea.
Like me, though, she likes to read, so we were in bed early each night reading, and we sunbathed by the pool, books in hand. I took several books to Hilton Head, but after our busy days, I couldn’t stay awake long enough at night to read, and there was no time for sunbathing and reading during the day. All in all, our escape to St. Simons was much more leisurely, with plenty of down time between activities.
What’s my conclusion after taking two very different vacations? Why, I think variety is the spice of life and both types of vacation are essential to my well being. What would you say?