I have returned!
Yes, my vacation is over, and everything gets back to "normal" today.
Boy, am I looking forward to that!
Anyway, my family and I had a really, really nice vacation.
Yes, there was the driving of hundreds of miles to our locations and than hundreds of miles back to home, but you know what, it was fun doing a combination road trip/staycation this time around.
After actually going to the movies to see "Wonder Woman,"--which we thought was a very good movie--our vacation began by driving to Senoia, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.
Senoia is a quaint, quiet town, but what isn't evident on the surface is that this little backwoods town is very well known in Hollywood circles, and lots of movies and TV shows are shot there ...
Including the latest TV phenomenon, "The Walking Dead," on AMC.
That was the reason that we went there. My wife--not me, not our son--is a huge fan of the show, and the town has actually set up tours related to the series, so we booked one of the tours to begin our vacation.
The town has literally been taken over by the series, and everything is geared toward the show in Senoia--even the length of the grass in front of homes is regulated to give the show a real, eerie feel.
Many of the shops in the town reflect the show's zombie theme, from the coffee shop to the restaurant there, an eatery owned by a few of the show's actors.
But the town is also historic in itself, and the walking tour we took reflected on that aspect as well as "The Walking Dead" aspect, and my son and I enjoyed it nearly as much as my son did.
We also enjoyed all of the ways the tour guide described how scenes were shot to make them look real, and all the information we received about other series and movies that were filmed there, including "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Fried Green Tomatoes."
It really was quite interesting, and let me tell you, it really surprised me that it was so good.
Our next stop was a bit further north, to Myrtle Beach, S.C., one of the great tourist spots on the Eastern Seaboard.
We were supposed to go there last year, but our Korea trip knocked that off our radar.
Our son really wanted to go there, so this year, we were able to oblige him, and let me tell you, we had a ball there!
We did all the "touristy" things one is supposed to do on a vacation, and Myrtle Beach obliged us.
The town has turned into a combination of Orlando and Downtown Disney without the parks, and we did so many things there that almost literally put a "T" on our backs, labeling us as tourists.
We visited the wax museum, the aquarium, and the water park.
We went to what they call "Broadway," their version of Downtown Disney, and shopped in the shops, ate in the Hard Rock Cafe there, and literally just soaked in the atmosphere.
We also ate at a restaurant called "The Tilted Kilt," which we didn't realize is a "breastaurant"--an industry term, not mine--for restaurant featuring scantily clad waitresses, a la "Hooters."
And that restaurant not only featured excellent food, but was as G-rated as it could possibly be ... eye candy that you didn't need to chew, if you know what I mean.
We spent just a few days in each location, so then we headed back home. The driving was difficult, but we made it home when we wanted to, and then the third part of the vacation began, our staycation, which was more a staycation for myself and my wife, as my son went back to work while me and the Mrs. had a few days left to enjoy being away from our jobs.
We went to a few barbecues, had one ourselves, and basically, we just chilled out for a few days.
It was fun, but the day of reckoning has now come, at least for me, as I have to go back to work today. My wife has one more day to go before her own return.
As I have said before, this vacation, to me at least, was perhaps the most important vacation I would ever go on.
With a completely uncertain future at work, this might be the last vacation I take for a long time. I wanted it to be a great vacation, with no troubles, no headaches, and no thinking about the future, just the present.
And the vacation was all that, and more.
I have to thank my wife and son, who realized how much I worry about the future and bought into what I wanted this vacation to be.
We had an absolutely great time, and with a few wrinkles--we got major league lost driving home for about an hour, but we righted ourselves in due time--it was a trip that I will never, ever forget, one that I would do again in an instant.
I hope everyone's Independence Day was great, and now, I am back for the duration, so look for me each and every weekday here.
Speak to you again tomorrow.