Honestly, is there anything more fun than planning a trip? Well, of course, maybe the actual going on the trip…but even like some events, the anticipation can’t be beat. That’s such an odd phenomenon, that thinking about something, imagining what it will be like or what will happen, can sometimes be more exciting than actually being present in the event. Maybe because once you are in it, you know the end is somewhat near, but when you are just planning, the great experience still stretches for miles.
I don’t know about you, but when I just start to look into travel destinations, my spirits start to soar. I get giddy. This can be for a little weekend getaway or a longer, more involved trip-doesn’t matter to me, a trip’s a trip. And any OCDs that I may secretly harbor also rise to the surface and I start researching like a madwoman, checking it all twice, three times, four go’s around. Used to be, back in the day, you had Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet and a handful of recommendations from friends with which to plan any trip. Now, due to the internet, you can scour for hours and hours and virtually know the color of the sheets you will be laying your travel-weary head upon before you even step foot in the state or country, the info is so detailed and fabulous. It’s just so fun (which, yes I know is a completely juvenile word, but really, it suits the giddiness).
It also amuses me to read some of the overly-detailed recommendations of some travelers on sites like TripAdvisor. com. I will say that this site is a great one and I use it all the time when we travel – it’s never steered me wrong to date and baby, don’t start now. Between cross-referencing the hotel photos with the “traveler’s photos” and all the descriptive words in between, not much is left to the imagination of the soon-to-be traveler. Do we really need an amateur photo of the slightly dinged baseboard in your room? I’m not sure that’s going to be the straw that broke this traveling camel’s back, but hey.
Once you read a few of the “reviews” though, you can start to pick out the high-maintenance travelers pretty quickly. And how annoying are those folks? Maybe these “writers” are gunning for reviewer jobs somewhere in the universe and are trying their hand, thinking they are sniffing out all the horrible unknowns about resorts, restaurants and service? Or maybe it’s sport to them? One review I read last night had the woman complaining that her “breakfast potatoes” were not fully crisped at her resort breakfast and when she attempted to send them back to the kitchen they gave her a hard time about it. You could hear her sighs and humphs and eye-rolls through the internet. I do hope her vacation wasn’t marred too horribly from her underdone breakfast potatoes. Oy.
Fine, I will admit, and recently did to a friend, that when I travel, I do enjoy a certain standard of travel. Seeing as I travel relatively infrequently, when I do…I like it to be good. But let it also be said that I don’t get high-maintenance in the bad-traveler sense (at least, I don’t think I do). I will happily take my breakfast potatoes slightly under-crisped because, well, I’m a cool cat that way. I will however, admit to once, at a rental-car counter, using the words “You will give me the best car that you have in this entire airport and make this mistake of yours right”. Under-crisped potatoes I can handle, bad rent-a-cars I cannot. See, we all have our bar. Let the record show that I scored a luxury SUV with free gas for our week on that little getaway.
Seeing as I might be headed somewhere of a southern nature in the not-so-distant future and I also did promise you that I would do more recipes this week, I’m going to end this post with a recipe for Banana Bread. It’s the best recipe I’ve come across to date for banana bread and it comes from the Williams-Sonoma Kids’ Baking cookbook, of all crazy places. It’s easy and comes out great every time. Make it this week and enjoy…then go book yourself a little getaway.
(If you are feeling very giddy, throw some chocolate chips and a touch of cinnamon into the batter and party on)
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 medium VERY ripe bananas, peeled
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan with butter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the wooden spoon. Put the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, about 45 minutes.Remove from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes.