Archive

Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Camping 2.0

August 12, 2010 2 comments

I just got back a few days ago after a full week camping (at Point Farms Provincial Park, on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada – great site if you are interested).

camping 2010

It was more fun than this, really!

For me, camping is all about a tent, the odd tarp, and having to scrub the smell of wood smoke off you when you eventually get home. I don’t buy into using trailers, small or otherwise, if you’re not at least somewhat exposed to the elements, why bother? The main appeal is that it’s just you and the family, no TV, internet, or other distractions. A good chair or hammock, and a good book is also recommended – I got through 2000 pages last week, loved it! I read “Order In Chaos” (book 3 of the Templar Trilogy from Jack Whyte), and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (by Stieg Larsson), and highly recommend them both. Cards and board games by lantern, sitting around the camp fire, and days on the beach (well, beach for the women folk in the family, I just burn, so avoid beaches!)

camping 2010 camping 2010

Did I mention the S'Mores? Or the Beautiful Lake Huron sunsets - free with each site!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Les Stroud (Survivorman), or Bear Grylls either, but I do like my camping reasonably authentic. That’s why I read with some consternation recently, that Ontario Provincial Parks are looking to introduce WiFi to the campsites. In fact they are trialling it at The Pinery, near Grand Bend, not far from where I was in fact.

My wife works remotely now, so has her laptop and Blackberry, and she is on both constantly. I’m also on my iPhone ALL THE TIME. This was a week where we could not worry about those devices and really get away, with no temptation to go online, since there was no signal – neither her Blackberry (on Telus) or my iPhone (Rogers) got even a single bar 🙂 I’m a Twitterholic, and a big gamer, but I didn’t miss my Wii, Xbox, or PS3 for the week. The kids are big online addicts too, especially my older daughter, yet I don’t recall seeing her laid in the fetal position, twitching, with withdrawal from Facebook… I don’t think she even mentioned it. If your kids are bored while you are camping, you are doing it wrong!

The Provincial Parks are citing a loss of customers to private camp sites that offer free wireless service, specifically mentioning the KOA ones. Every time I see a KOA site they look like a bed episode of Top gear, with trailers parked in some field somewhere right next to each other – waiting for Richard Hammond to set them on fire! The Provincial Parks on Lake Huron are great, with spacious lots, many of them quite private, and easy access to fantastic beaches. Why do people need wireless?

camping 2010 camping 2010 camping 2010 camping 2010 camping 2010 camping 2010

A few more camping pics

Advertisements

The (Video Game) Worlds Worst Vacation Spots

January 25, 2010 4 comments

With crappy weather dominating this January, the mind starts wandering to getting away from it all – but be careful where you decide to vacation. Hopefully this guide will help you to avoid those spots that will ruin your trip, assuming time and space are no impediment. You won’t find many of these locations on SellOffVacations, but what the hey!

We’ll start with the kids. If you’re in the deep south, be sure to avoid Whispering Oaks Amusement Park. Although the ride lines will be short, there are health risks – above and beyond those generally posed by deep fried food and collateral damage from civil war re-enactments. You might find the odd garden gnome, but don’t assume that means this place is Travelocity recommended!

Pandora might look like a beautiful vacation spot, but there are reports of unrest from the indigenous inhabitants. Reports also suggest that James Cameron is considering buying the whole planet as a second home – and I don’t know anyone who could stand a full week of Cameron talking incessantly about his latest project.

If adventure holidays are more your style, you could be considering a Himalayan odyssey… Don’t. A Mr. Sullivan from Uncharted 2-ers was recently arrested for fraud after bilking several groups of tourists out of monies paid in advance for guided mountain tours. His associates are still at large.

If urban decay is okay with you, you may be considering City 17, Jacinto, or Karachi. Even google maps won’t help you if you book your trip to Karachi with Infinity Ward Travel. The locals won’t be much help either, since all the street signs are in Arabic, and they speak English or Urdu. City 17 is no better, and Jacinto – well, unless you’re into bugs & worms, or want to try out the seismograph app on your iPhone, give it a miss.

With renewed interest in Renaissance Italy of late, package tours to Florence & Venice are very popular. Beware though, pickpockets are rife, and an increased crime rate means you will be lucky not too see the odd dead body. The chances are that someone in your party will also be hurt by falling archers!

The best idea is to just stay at home and play more games!

Suggestions for additional locations are welcome, just leave a comment. Also, any places you WOULD like to go on vacation from the video game world?