Starting the Conversation: Planning Vacation Memories?


By Marianne Reid Anderson

 Spring has sprung, so are you starting to plan your summer vacation? Are you going anywhere for spring break? Or is “Back Yard, USA” your destination this year?

My husband and I are getting a new roof for our home so it looks like Back Yard, USA for us this summer. But, honestly, I can’t think of a better place than Pittsburgh and our tri-state area to spend the summer. Kennywood and Idlewild are, of course, an annual must, and then there is always so much to do like the Regatta and the Arts Festival and I’m really looking to the amazing PyroFest at Hartwood Acres on May 24th. Then there’s the Carnegie Science Center, the Aviary, the fantastic lineup of shows and performances through the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust including the incredible EQT International Pittsburgh’s Children’s Festival and this is all just the tip of the iceberg of things to do and see. I hope I never take for granted all the wonderful treasures we have right here in Pittsburgh. In the immortal words of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.”

Meanwhile, many have Spring Break this month. I would like to applaud the many college students in the area that are choosing to go on an “Alternative Spring Break” made possible through their college or religious affiliation. During an “Alternative Spring Break”, students participate in many noble trips to help the less fortunate around the world rather than go on a typical Spring Break vacation. In the United States, many students volunteer to help build homes through Habitat for Humanity® and other students take trips to places like Sao Paulo, Brazil; Guatemala; Haiti; and Calcutta, India; among others, to help out at orphanages and hospitals, giving the regular staff a helping hand, or perhaps a better roof, or give children lessons in hygiene, boiling water and much more.

Do you have any experiences from an Alternative Spring Break that you would like to share? Or perhaps you have some recommendations for me and our readers of your favorite vacation memory? Be sure and let me know on my blog I have also shared what is now a rather humorous vacation memory on my blog about a recent trip to Dublin that has simply become known as “The Incident.” Let me know what you think, recommend or any vacation memory you would like to share as well. Wherever your plans may take you, may your travels be happy and safe!

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