By Karina Smith
Vacation: what does that word mean? I can’t remember the last time I took a proper more-than-a-weekend vacation…If I had to think back, I would have to say that my last vacation and real time away from work was in the summer of 2012, where I went camping through New York State. Camping might not sound like much, but when you never went camping for fun, it is really important. Before that, I had never camped for pleasure; it was always for work with bulky and heavy equipment and little sleep. Needless to say that sort of camping was never a fun.
In mid-August 2012, we made our way to Toronto (Ottawa is home) where we stayed overnight with family. The next day, we drove through Buffalo and slowly made our way through the New York State. We camped, ate, and replenished the cooler at different local establishments, stopping here and there for small coffee breaks (yeah Starbucks!). It really amazed me that even if we are geographically close, the Canadian and American cultures can be really different.
Because of technology, we did not really bother carrying paper maps…we figured it was a small mistake on our part when we became ‘lost’ trying to get around Syracuse. A short stop in the McDonalds parking lot allowed us to fire up the laptop and verify where we were and were going. Yes, we carried the laptop to go camping. Yes, we totally cheaped out and scammed the free wi-fi out of the parking lot – sometimes, you got to do what you got to do. Vacations do not mean it has to cost a fortune! Anyhow, after passing Syracuse, we made our way to Cooperstown where we camped for the night. The KOA campground where we stayed at was almost empty and located in the middle of a farmer’s field – very interesting when you wake up in the middle of the night terrorized from hearing terrible cow screams. Ever hear something like that? It’s very scary and weird.
The campground also provided hot showers, cheap coffee, and Wi-Fi. Yes, we had Wi-Fi in your tent so what did we do? Update our Facebook profiles of course! When we woke up the next day, it was raining and it was gloomy. Not a great way to finish your vacations, but regardless, we decided to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. If you do not know where or what is Cooperstown, it just means you are not a baseball fan. This small city is the mecca of baseball. From little leagues to major league, players and fans will visit this place more than once in their lifetime. We took a free tramway into town, and visited the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Walking around Cooperstown, we saw so many different people from so many different places that it was hard to keep track. What was fantastic about it is that it didn’t matter where you were from, what you wore or how you spoke, everybody was there to enjoy one thing: their love of baseball.
After the Cooperstown highlight, we drove home, unpacked and went back to our busy lives with the last vacations as a fading memory.