Abbreviated Vacation | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Abbreviated Vacation | Mark’s Remarks

By on August 29, 2018 at 10:15 am

We had big dreams in the early spring of a vacation on the beach.  Our plan was to drive to Virginia Beach, visiting the homes of the presidents along the way. The girls wanted the beach and the guys wanted the history, so we thought it was a pretty good plan.

But as plans sometimes go, this one fizzled. We had unexpected expenses early in the summer, followed by the need to purchase a car. Two kids in the house are now college-aged.  You know, we became financially embarrassed pretty fast.  It’s a hard pill to swallow but that’s how life works at times.

 We canceled our reservation, and by the grace of God, we were able to get a full refund, which I’m told never happens. We set about planning an alternative getaway: something shorter, smaller and less expensive. Still a vacation of sorts, if you will.

Our youngest had not experienced some of the things her older siblings have, being a good eight years younger than our older daughter. So, when we broke the news there would be no beach vacation, we softened the blow a bit by offering the option of visiting Holiday World.

Now, I really like Holiday World.  It’s a clean place to go, and it isn’t run by a bunch of teenagers who seem poised to punish the world because they have to work. You’ll see some conscientious older folks walking around, sweeping up and making sure things are going well. The teenagers I saw were well-dressed, congenial and looked responsible. I think that’s because they had older folks around to keep them in line. 

After visiting Holiday World, I looked at our own local amusement park with a snooty scowl. Dirty, unkempt.  But I digress.

So off we went to the place I once knew as Santa Claus Land.  If you’ve never visited that area of the Midwest, you should.  You don’t even have to go to the amusement park. There are plenty of things to see.

Abraham Lincoln lived in the area for a time, and we visited his boyhood home, toured the museum and enjoyed looking around the beautiful park named after him. All just a few miles down the road from the roller coasters and Water Park.  

The Lincoln Park area boasts a lake and has a neat little beach near a tidy little camp ground area. I think we will go back.  We also, of course, visited all the Santa Claus sites and read about the history of the area.  The old church, the old post office where kiddos from way back started sending their wish lists. The candy castle, which has some interesting history behind it as well. Sure, we had a blast at the amusement park but were also happy with the other places we visited.

We actually ended up with an abbreviated version of our original vacation. As I lounged by the wave pool at the water park, I realized we were experiencing the lapping of waves and a simulated ocean. The lake and beach at Lincoln Park provided sand between our toes. And heck, we took in plenty of history and still visited the home of a president.

All at a discount price with satisfied customers.

So, there you go. See how things work out sometimes?

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.