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Vacationing without video games

Our family just returned from a week-and-a-half vacation during which, as the headline states, I pretty much unplugged from work and video games alike. Oh, I had plenty of options to take games with me — even MMOs, as we had wifi the whole time — but I feel it’s good now and then to disconnect entirely and simply focus on family time.

So we did what our family usually does for trips, which is we pick an area we’ve never been to before, rent an Airbnb or two, and create an itinerary focused on exploring and experiencing. This was one of our longer trips, and so we really packed it in.

During the time, we went to an indoor waterpark in the Poconos, stayed in a cabin in the mountains, went on an underground coal mine tour, visited Gettysburg, attended two amusement parks (Hersheypark and Knoebels) on their opening weekend, saw some family, toured a historic mansion, stayed in the heart of Amish country with a Mennonite family, hiked a bit of the Appalachian Trail, went through a zoo, fell into a creek, explored an aquarium, and walked so many steps that my step counter was pleased with me for once.

We definitely tuckered our kids out, but they had a pretty good time along the way. My only complaint was that it wasn’t restful, per se. Every day had stuff to do, and that stuff usually required a few hours of driving. I think everyone got a little tired of piling into the car to go two hours to do a Thing, then two hours back. My wife and I agreed that our next trip would focus on a place with more local experiences and attractions.

But for now, it’s back to normal life. It’s the part of vacations that I dread the most — not because it means that the vacation is over, but because it’s usually a lot of extra work and stress to get back into a routine while dealing with the usual accumulation of tasks and notices that we’d put off.

My hope for myself is that by unplugging, I might feel refreshed to come back to old favorites like LOTRO with a renewed sense of fun and purpose. And dang it, I have to get all of the anniversary stuff done before the calendar runs out!

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