T-minus three days: I decide to keep my usual vacation diary. I have a lot to do to get ready for our trek to Lake George. As if I were a new bride planning for her honeymoon, I also need to get shopping for my big trip up north. But since I don't have a theme for this year's vacation, I put it off one more day.
T-minus two days: Various packing duties heaped upon my wife.
T-minus one day: Same as above.
VACATION DAY! Well, vacation day doesn't start until I do seven short hours at the salt mine. Then we leave for the Queen of American lakes, the land of Hawkeye and Uncas. It's been fought over and now it's a great place to get a henna tattoo and an overpriced T-shirt. It's off to Lake George.
On the way up, I was informed that the British royal baby was born. I announced to my wife that the baby would be named Edward or George. Laughed at by my wife, she said, "there is no way that a royal baby would be named Edward or George in this day and age." So much for my wife's take on the royal family. And I win once again.
We take the slow way up because we like to ride through all the farms of northeastern New York state. Plus, I get sick on the Northway. The road passes on and soon we are at the lake looking for seafood.
After checking into our motel, I flag down a rickshaw driven by an exchange student from Brazil named Ernesto. Soon, after some laughs, we had Ernie peddling his short time visa legs off as we were trucked up and down the hills of the strip to a place where the crab cakes flow.
Embarrassed that we were paraded through the streets on the back of a rickshaw as if we were Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt arriving in the Philippines, Dawn pretended to be upset but she was just glad that I had stopped whining about walking into the village.
First full day of vacation: After a breakfast, we head to the T-shirt discount store. There I find more than a store, but a place where I can feel good about myself since they have a husky section of T-shirts ranging from 2X to 8X. I'm only a 2X and realized that I'm being discriminated against in regular stores since they don't cater to the large and the bold. Here in Lake George, a place where I have room to grow, is where I have found a home.
I want to go the Big Apple Circus, but I am told we are not going to any circus. Dawn said it as if she was the evil witch in some after-school special dispelling any sense of a good time among the children of a small Eastern European village.
Like Charlton Heston in "The Greatest Show on Earth," I am circus! I went to clown school and I worked on a three-ring tent show on the West Coast as a young man. And you don't want to go to the circus with me? Well, I've never been so insulted. So we hang out at the pool until dinner. The temps start to drop and with the sun we got during the day, we start to freeze.
Second full day of vacation: We head off for a day of fishing with Ed Lockhart. He is a fishing guide from the area that we have gone fishing with for the past three years. Again, like in the past, we catch fish, but we think of Ed's conspiracies and wonder if the sky is really being seeded with chemicals long after the trip. Thanks, Ed.
Day three came with chilly weather and clouds, which was good planning on our part since it was time to go home. We take the slow way home again and avoid all the highway traffic, the grind of speeding cars from New Jersey and any use of air sick bags. Thanks again, Lake George. We'll be back next year.
Johnnie Carrier is a freelance writer who is owed one trip to the nearest circus.