For no reason this morning I opened up a folder on my computer containing the thousands upon thousand of images from our African honeymoon that began four years ago next month. This is the first photo I clicked on of a solitary black rhino backdropped by the jawdropping vastness and grandeur of a mist-shrouded Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania (click for the bigger picture):


Susan and I have strung together a remarkable series of vacations beginning with this one in 2005. The following year we did our 4,500-mile Western states roadtrip, in 2007 we cruised all the way around Italy and visited Paris, and last year we explored the rich history of Central Mexico.

We hadn’t planned on a full-tilt vacation for 2009 primarily because of the work on the house (the last bits of which are being completed this week), and also in part because we’re going to Yosemite to enjoy the famed Bracebridge Dinner for Christmas with my mom thanks to her generosity. I also have hopes for a November excursion to Death Valley to bike the Racetrack Playa road and camp out on the dry lakebed.

But last night Susan wondered about doing something to get away. “I need some time off,” she declared imperatively.

Read ya loud and clear, sweetie.

So I’m thinking a couple options: a road trip up to Monterey and then a meander back down Highway 1 for stops at Big Sur and Hearst Castle. Or south for a long weekend in San Diego with a sidetrip to Tijuana.

Stuff to ponder.