1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?
We almost always went to the beach, specifically the Outer Banks in North Carolina. When we lived in Hawaii (for two years; my dad worked for a government contractor) we visited Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. Once we went to Florida and spent 10 days on the beach and then two days at Disney World. Every other time was a different location in the Outer Banks. We would rent a beach house and do virtually nothing for a week.
2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever:
We rented a house on Ocracoke Island, NC. It's very remote-only accessible by ferry. My dad rented a boat and went fishing every morning. I rented a bike and roamed the island. My brother played Nintendo. My mom and I checked out about 50 library books and we read them all. My dad read books when he wasn't fishing. We went to the beach each day. Extremely relaxing. I think I need to make Harry take me back there.
3) What do you do for a one-day or afternoon getaway...is there a place nearby that you escape to on a Saturday afternoon/other day off?
I personally love the beach (can you tell?) and I'm blessed enough to live about 30 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean or Chesapeake Bay. I occasionally make a solo trip to an outlet mall about 30 minutes from my hospital, and as a family we enjoy going to a very nice theme park about an hour from my house.
4) What's your best recommendation for a full-on vacation near you...what would you suggest to someone coming to your area? (Near - may be defined any way you wish!)
I live near a resort area, but I'd actually recommend Chincoteague Island, which is maybe four hours and a bridge/tunnel trip away. It's so relaxing, has a beautiful beach, and is much less congested than the big resort area that's so close to me. Plus, it's where my husband and I honeymooned, so it has sentimental appeal.
5) What's your DREAM VACATION?
I really want to go back to Hawaii. We lived there for two years (on Oahu, the main island) and left when I was 10. I'd like to fly into Honolulu and spent a few days on Oahu at the beginning and end of our vacation, recovering from jet lag and then seeing my old haunts. Then, I'd like to spend maybe two or three weeks island-hopping (Maui, Big Island, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai), with at least several days spent on Kauai, my favorite island. Of course, there are the beaches, but there's so much more to see and experience; rain forests, fern grottoes, the "grand canyon of the Pacific", waterfalls, volcanoes, etc. If I was really dreaming big, I'd include a week in Australia/New Zealand and go to Hawaii afterward. OK, I might as well admit it; if I won the lottery and money wasn't an option, I'd take a year off and travel the world. Since I don't even play the lottery, that's not likely to happen.