Bucks County Herald

Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox

Different strokes take a vacation

Isn’t it amazing how different people recreate in such different ways? Of course, as we change, our preferences also change and how we recreate is no exception.

I love the water. I’m a water sign and a good swimmer, but most people love the water. If they don’t like to swim, people still gravitate to the ocean. It’s mesmerizing and cool and water calls us to it. The tide has its affect on the planet and sea life but it also affects us. At the very least, it puzzles, excites and intrigues us.

For over two decades, all I ever wanted to do was take a cruise. To be in the middle of the ocean on a ship with nothing to see but the sea, all around, really spoke to me. Well, yes, I probably watched one too many episodes of “The Love Boat,” but still, it seemed like a moment in suspended animation. Then, in one sentence, my friend sank my fantasy.

“I love cruises,” she said in her famous bubbly way. “We were on a cruise one time and the captain announced that we were sailing on …” something like four miles of water. Oh, gosh. That was all I needed to hear. I mean, seriously, who needs to know that? As long as we can’t scrape bottom, we’re good.

Nonetheless, the depth was out of the bag and my cruising days were over. I couldn’t even watch “Titanic”; never seen it. My girlfriend, yes, she’s still cruising the world. Me? Well, I do still like the beach, but I rarely swim in it. Yet, I’ll fly. I have a loved one who won’t fly, but cruises work for him.

There are those people for whom a hard, sweaty hike is their thing, even if there’s no view at the end of the day. For others of us, a hard hike must be followed by a great sandwich with a magnificent view and no crowds. Camping? Oh, I love it and did a lot of it before my knees went south without me. Lots of people love it. It gets us lodgings where hotels just don’t grow.

Still, others among us feel roughing it is slow room service. We love our hot showers, rooftop views, private balconies and endless pools. We’ve got our snow people, sun worshipers, museum spirits, city light fans and country mice. It’s all good.

Problems can set in when the energetic city sophisticate or endless hill hiker takes a shine to the poolside lounger or back roads car tour fan. Trade-offs will be made because compromise can be tough to reach in dichotomies too vast for comfort.

Time, too, as it marches on, will have a fair amount of input on where we go.

Personally, my well-enjoyed camping equipment now just gathers dust where it once gathered only memories. It could very well be all that crawling in and out of those tents gave me these knees, but it was worth it.

Many of us gather family memories from leaky tents or peanut butter sandwiches shared with assertive seagulls on a mountain trail with a great view. Others fearlessly stroll along boat decks, cruising in water a few miles deep. Some fly. Others drive. Still others just fire up the backyard grill and turn off the phones for a week.

The diversity of how we unwind is just as fascinating as anything else that reflects the particulars of individual people. It’s all good.

Chatterbyte:
I would, personally, like to take a quick moment to celebrate the start of yet another year of publication here at the Bucks County Herald. I am amazed and proud to be a part of this endeavor since its start. It’s always a huge joy for me to mark another full year of this celebrated publication and I extend my deepest thanks to all for letting me remain a part of it. I feel privileged to do the work I do here.

My very first column was titled, “Striking Out.” It wasn’t about striking out at bat. It was about striking out for ourselves, taking our chances, and working hard to make them work. As we embark on our 16th year, we here at the Herald are still striking out – and if that’s not a home run, then there is no such thing. My gratitude and congratulations to the family of the Bucks County Herald and my thanks to the entire readership.

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