Is the best part of a holiday before you even leave? I don’t mean to put a damper on the actual going-away bit, but how great is taking three minutes out from your painful work day to daydream about that glorious upcoming vacation? Imagining the moment you step out of the office on your last day, forgetting all about the stack of to-dos scribbled on post-it-notes that have piled up on your desk. Knowing that soon you’ll be saying a sweet “Later y’all” to your jealous coworkers and the tedious dramas of the everyday grind. I like to help along that little fantasy with a visual aid. Behold:
Seventeen work days and counting, people. That’s when I’m saying a fond farewell to the wet and windy Melbourne winter and heading to the gorgeous paradise you see in the above pic — Key West. Yeah, I’ve been there seven times before but this time I’m bringing a posse of hot ladies with me. Look out KW, four Aussies, a Kazakh and a Kiwi will soon be descending on your fair shores, ready for cocktails, cuban food and all the goodness that the Conch Republic has to offer.
But the fun doesn’t end at Mile Zero. As a sort of sequel to our 2010 Euro Trip Extraordinaire, Sandra and I are also embarking on a three-week road trip around the southern US states. Four years older, absolutely none the wiser, we have no idea what’s in store for us but it should be pretty hilarious. We’ve got a rough itinerary, with plenty of room for spur-of-the-moment changes, which is a sensible way to do it, don’t you think? I mean, if the ruggedly handsome ranch hand/bartender we’ve recently befriended in a Tennessee back-country bar has an amazing insider tip on where we should detour to, who are we to ignore him? Yep, we’re leaving a lot to chance. But there are a few things I’m fairly sure will occur on this wee adventure, including the following:
- We’re going to get s w e a t y. We’ve chosen the peak of summer to head right down to the dirty, steamy south. I remember visiting Savannah, Georgia in May, and having to divide daily sightseeing duties into two parts, to allow for the requisite midday shower and change. So yeah, August? Moist. Thank Christ for American cars with jacked-up AC.
- We’re going to see Elvis. Or, more accurately, many Elvises. Elvii? Our three-day stop in Memphis just happens to coincide with Elvis Week. I kid you not. A time when, apparently, thousands of die-hard Elvis fans including Elvis impersonators hit the city for an assortment of festivities. I don’t have any particular interest in Elvis, but dudes in bad wigs and tight white jumpsuits en masse is something I really, really need to see.
- We will wait in long, long, long queues. But at least we’ll get to live out our witch/wizard fantasies. That’s right, our first stop after Key West is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and no, I feel no shame in admitting I am super stoked about it. I’m definitely buying a wand, and drinking a butterbeer, and riding the Hogwarts Express. And I will squash any irritating small child that gets in the way of any of those goals.
- We will suffer many bad hangovers in New Orleans. I mean, it’s inevitable, right? We’re only there for four days, but I’m pretty sure that’s more than enough time to try our first Hurricanes, drink far too many Hurricanes, and then regret ever touching a Hurricane. Let the good times roll.
- We will get lost while driving. I should admit at this point that while we are taking a road trip, only one of us will actually be driving. And that will be Sandra. Due to my inability to operate any vehicles whatsoever, I will take on the very important responsibility of being the designated map reader. It’s an unfortunate situation — that the person with zero sense of direction will be in charge of directing us everywhere, but that’s why we’re smart and have added on GPS to our car hire. I am perfectly happy to be backup map-reader to a computer. Between the machine and me, I’m hoping to get lost only an average of four to five times.