Saturday, July 10, 2010

More great trips you've never heard of

Weight Loss Festival
Slough, Berkshire, England

In a supplement called "Encore: A Guide to Retirement Planning and Living," the Wall Street Journal reports on unusual vacations -- is it still a vacation if you're retired? -- for aging novelty seekers. That is, novelty seekers who are aging, not seekers of aging novelties. The article is titled "Ten Great Trips You've Probably Never Heard Of." They got that right.

For example, "Deeper Africa, a travel company in Boulder, Colo., offers a five-day trip, Legends of Lamu, that takes visitors beyond the beaches and into the island's celebrated Swahili culture. One of Kenya's oldest living towns, Lamu's Old Town is the 'best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa,' says UNESCO, which has designated the town a World Heritage site." ($2,499 per person, based on double occupancy.)

How tiresomely conventional -- the rich, globalist liberal's Eiffel Tower and Blarney Stone. However, my research has brought to light great trips that even the Journal piece's writer, Anne Tergesen, has never heard of. Probably.

Cat Comedy Days. Cheshire, Connecticut. Participants enjoy champagne and oysters, then are escorted in an elegant former hearse to animal shelters throughout the region. During these visits they are encouraged to entertain stray cats, with a special mystery prize awarded to any participant who can, in the proverbial phrase, "make a cat laugh."

Folk Song Festival. Square Top Mountain, Tennessee. This traditional festival, little known to outsiders, takes place annually in a remote location at the end of a 50-mile dirt road. Certified Folks compete in singing "Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall." Tour guests are encouraged to participate. The winner's prize is ... okay, I know you can guess.

Jungle Entomology Tour. Hastings-on-Amazon, Brazil. Join us as we discover the thrilling world of exotic insects far beyond civilization. View these remarkable creatures before Global Warming does them in. No telling who will show up, but if we're lucky, we will spot a Stilt-Legged Weevil; a Manaus Seersucker; a Yellow-headed Siren Beetle, which imitates the sound of a police beetle, pulls its prey over, and devours it; a Topographical Butterfly, whose protective coloration includes wings that simulate a map of Cleveland; and a Deadly Boring Beetle, with a power drill in its abdomen.

Up and Down Tour. Mount Ulalume, Nepal. Your faculty lounge colleagues have done Mount Everest, of course, but can they beat this? Along with your tour group, you will climb to the summit of 19,344-foot Mount Ulalume, and then -- are you ready for this? -- descend a 19,344-foot shaft to sea level. For those who make it back up again and down to the luxurious Waki Lodge, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Weight Loss Festival. Slough, England. Watch obese contestants as they compete to lose the most weight in three days, accompanied by a world champion Elvis impersonator singing "Return to Slender." Last year's weight loss winner was Ethelred Floss, 46, who began the festival tipping his cab driver -- pardon, tipping the scales -- at 288 pounds. At the conclusion of the event, judges were unable to locate him until one had the good sense to bring a magnifying glass, whereupon Floss was awarded a miniature trophy cup using a pair of tweezers.

If you have exhausted the possibilities of conventional unconventional holidays, there is simply no reason to stay home and watch American Idol!

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Hi Rick,

I've made my blog private, so if you would like to see it, I'd be happy to add you.

Oh yeah, the cat vacation was my favorite!