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The Way I See It

July 14, 2013
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Summertime is usually vacation-time! Mom & Dad get a couple of weeks off, load up the kids in the mini-van and enjoy some much needed time away from all the stresses of life. If you stop to think about it, there are a lot of ways to vacation. For example, some of you hitch up the camper and head to one of the many campgrounds in the area. Sometimes you head far away while other times you may just take the camper a few miles. Just to get away from the rigors of the world. Set up camp, check the place out, gather wood for the evening campfire and grill some delicious steaks. Or hot dogs. And later on, make "s'mores." There is never a camp out without s'mores. Many years ago, Deb, the kids and me did some camping. Tent camping! We visited several "Jellystone" parks in neighboring states, meeting Yogi Bear and of course, "Boo-Boo." No, not Honey Boo Boo! It was a lot of fun. There is something about the campground kind of vacation and all the camaraderie of all the campfires. One time we camped up near the Wisconsin Dells on a weekend that was hosting an "ultra-light plane" weekend. Gliders all over the place!

Another type of vacation is the "going to the same or similar place" each year and doing the same thing year after year. Like going to Canada fishing! Or a golfing vacation. Some people have timeshares and use them for their two weeks each year. Again, it's a time to just get away from it all and relax. I had the privilege of going to Canada with nine other men one year to fish. It was a blast. Make no mistake, I am no fisherman, but out in the boat on a huge lake fishing for Northern Pike and Walleye was a great time. The fishing wasn't great that year but, by golly, we ate fish every day, breakfast, lunch and supper, for seven days. Nothing better than freshly-caught fish up in Canada!!

Then there are some people who pick a spot to go to each year. We did this when our kids were young. One year we went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Deb's brother lived there and we pretty much "mooched" off him for a week or so. We drove straight through-something like 22 hours of driving! I was young then and like I've always stated, "not the brightest lightbulb" in the package. Deb was not happy with my idea either-but we survived. Disney World was a lot of fun and even though we mooched off a relative, it was not at all hard to find numerous ways to spend money!!!

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We visited the Black Hills one summer, culminating with a visit to Mt. Rushmore. This was the highlight of the trip and the one place we were going to see no matter what. Deb and I told our kids about this for days and days. Finally the time arrived. We pulled into Mt. Rushmore park, walked quite a distance to see the four Presidents carved in the mountain. Simultaneously our three daughters yawned and wondered where some carnival rides were. Or food! However, Deb and I thought it was pretty neat.

In 2000, we visited New York. The highlight was to see a couple of Yankee baseball games! But along the way, we also saw most of the sights in New York. We went to the top of the Twin Towers, (it was a year before 9/11) and read where some guy one time walked from one tower to the other on a high wire!! It seemed absolutely impossible because it was so windy that high up. What amazed me a year later when the planes hit the Towers that more people weren't killed. When we were there, people were everywhere. I thought when I heard of the disaster that probably 10,000 people would have died.

Anyway, it's vacation time. Everyone's busy but take a few days here and there and enjoy. Take a trip to Backbone State Park, one of the county parks, or to one of several great places right here in Iowa. Grab the 'ol fishing pole, the golf clubs or a picnic lunch. Call your sweetie-pie and tell her, "I'm gonna take Sheda's advice, (hey, there's a first time for everything), and we're gonna "get outtta Dodge for a couple of days."

Folks, That's The Way I See It. Let me know how you vacation, where you have gone or going. Enquiring minds want to know.

Call me at 319-327-4640 or email me at



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