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Ann Ipock:Preplan your vacation using The Weather Channel

  • Friday, July 12, 2013

  • Updated Monday, September 23, 2013 11:16 am

We've had three vacations since early 2012 and all three of them have resulted in unprecedented bad luck and/or bad weather. Hub-Russ said for our next vacation, we're staying home. Negatory. I don't think it's much better around here. As a matter of act, we're all about to drown in eastern N.C. Talk about rain. It's been so rainy that I couldn't even fertilize my veggies in pots. And get this: my tomato plants are the tallest they've ever been, almost gangly, but with only a few blooms and no tomatoes yet.

Our first strange vacation was in May of 2012. We were invited to Destin, Florida where our friends have a beautiful villa. We love the Gulf coast, having visited Pensacola – a mere hour away – and we were told to expect the same beautiful clear-blue-turquoise water and powdery white beaches. Not true on this trip. Instead, we found washed-up ugly, green-brown algae/seaweed each day. Seriously. You had to walk like a drunk person to even maneuver your way around it. After two days of this, the city sent in trucks to remove it, but it just came back the next day. The weather, however, was fine. In fact, it made me think of this funny postcard: “The weather is here. Wish you were beautiful.”

Then came October and once again we went with these same fabulous friends to Banner Elk. I wrote about this excursion, but to sum it up in three words: Super Storm Sandy. Being a coastal Carolina girl, I have never, ever seen so much snow. Or been so cold. Or frozen numb. Our car stalled and we didn't think we'd make it up the mountain, but somehow, we did. It's a good thing we brought winter weather gear because we needed it all – sometimes all at once, as in 'layering.' Even still, Russell bought a pair of Hi-Tec all-weather boots at Mass General Store and they sure came in handy.

More recently, for our much-anticipated Fourth of July week of vacation – again we went to Destin. But we didn't get fireworks or a cookout or even homemade ice-cream. Instead, we got rain. Tons of rain. Torrents of rain. Bands of rain. With the exception of the first two days, it rained the entire time we were there. I posted on Facebook, “What's a girl to do on vacation during a storm? Shop.” And shop we did. But guess what: The outlet mall got flooded. Yes, it was flooded with customers but I mean the dang parking lot got flooded, as well. True story.

Poor Russell only got to play golf one day, but he also shopped (of course, without me). He went to the golf shops, the sporting goods stores and he did a little putting. But being the laid-back kinda guy he is, I don't think he minded being homebound as much as I would have. One entire day in the house and I'm having a hissy fit to get out and mill around. Instead, he read mysteries, he caught up on his sleep and he watched The Golf Channel.

I promise I'm not complaining though. I got some super buys on clothes and shoes, and even bought Katie's birthday presents at such rock-bottom prices that I got her several.
We ate fabulous seafood and drank fabulous wine. And the final night there we went to the extremely popular and well-loved, Louie Louie, and celebrated our friends' wedding anniversary.

So, yes, vacations are a great thing, but ours have always involved being outdoors and I don't want that to change. One solution, according to Russell: check The Weather Channel before we leave and not after we've arrived.

Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” amipock@ec.rr.com www.annipock.com

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