Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Holiday vacations over the years

Wick's World


So, this is what a typical life of retirement looks like: If you are fortunate, you have all your children grown and out of what has now become "your" house. There is no more mooching off Mom and Dad. When they were still living at home, emptying the refrigerator referred to eating most of the food, not actually lending a hand to clean it.

Once little Jimmy, Johnny and Joey become independent and live on their own, retirement for Mom and Dad follows. Many humans tend to fill their empty nest with a pair of foo-foos like ours, Mamie and Sweet Pea. Let’s do a comparison between the dogs and the kids. Having grown kids in the house means dirty clothes and towels tossed around the house. Having two dogs in the house means doggie toys scattered from one end of the living room to the other. On this item, the kids would win. After hollering at them long enough, a kid will gather up his mess into one bundle and toss it in the laundry room for you, the retired guy, to wash dry, fold and hang up for the next go around. A dog, especially a young puppy, will drag every toy back out of its box and again scatter them around the living room where they belong (at least to the puppy).

As a family growing up together, we traveled a lot. Whether the kids were 2 or 12, we all either flew or drove south every winter. In the summers we would drive out to my native South Dakota for a vacation in the Badlands, (our kids' favorite) and then on to the Black Hills. One year we drove to New Orleans and hopped on a plane to Merida, Mexico, an old Colonial city of a million located in the Yucatan. In those days, neighboring Cancun was a fishing village of less than a hundred people and no resorts.

This year for the holidays we are once again driving to New Orleans, only we will be spending it together as a family in an old six-bedroom Victorian mansion a mere 15 minutes walk from the French Quarter. Our Minnesota homes won’t be lonely at all as we have Santa staying in one and the world’s best tenant renting the other.

Ironically, some 30 years later, we find ourselves once again driving off to vacationland rather than flying and it is for the same reason ­— it’s much cheaper. With gas headed toward two bucks a gallon, our Toyota hybrid will cost us approximately $150 in fuel for the round trip. Add another $300 for room and board and the entire journey should come to less than $500. Two round-trip airline tickets to New Orleans are in the $700-$800 range, which is not that much more expensive than driving and saves about four days in a car. However, here is where the problem lies. In the growing up years, only a baby would get a free ride in the sky and they had to sit in your lap. Everyone else, including children, paid full price. Today, a dog that fits under your seat can fly with you, but they are certainly not free. Prices vary for each airline, but plan on paying $200-$300 round trip per dog to fly with Mommy and Daddy.

That means the cost of flying has now skyrocketed to $1,100-$1,400, which more than doubles the cost of driving. Another alternative is kenneling your loving dogs, which for the foo-foos are tantamount to spending two weeks in a foreign jail. The price for this is about the same as buying them airline tickets. Thus, we will be driving to New Orleans.

One of my life’s favorite moments is being in a vehicle with my spouse, traveling across this great wonderland called America. Depending on how well I behave, I think my wife enjoys the traveling also. I know the dogs do. For them, it doesn’t get any better than riding in the car, even if it’s just down to the corner grocery.

What do the dogs do the entire trip, be it long or short? They sit and stare at Mom and/or Dad. They don’t look out the window at the scenery. They don’t play with their toys. They don’t even read the newspaper or do crossword puzzles. They just sit and stare at Mom and Dad.

Happy holidays!


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019