How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2016).

(Warning: This post might be considered boring to anyone who isn’t me. Proceed at your own risk.)

Now that I’m feeling better, I can finally reflect on my annual US vacation. Three weeks in the States allowed me time to do most everything I wanted to do and several things I needed to do. For example, I…

… ate most everything and everywhere I wanted. It was nice to have both my favorite home-cooked meals as well as food from my favorite restaurants.

… got to see all my friends. Not only did I see all the people I wanted to, I saw a couple of them twice, and was able to give away some mighty souvenirs. I even got to see my best friend, who scheduled his family visit around when I’d be in.

… brought back both old and new stuff. Aside from new clothes (work shirts, socks, underwear), I also brought back a mass of t-shirts, a new laptop, some older games and systems, and a vast amount of snacks and pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, this means my plans to carry back fewer bags will have to wait until next year. I also didn’t quite have time to get the casual shoes I wanted online. Finally, I left my old netbook at home, which turns out to have been a mistake: Windows 10 isn’t particularly torrent-friendly, and won’t play my old Infocom games. Need to find some way to get that back here.

… got to go to the last Otakon in Baltimore. For the next five years, anyway, it’s moving to DC. I also got a nasty case of pneumonia there, which I’m still shaking off as of this writing.

… got to drive for the first time in a year. While I don’t miss driving in my hometown or having to pay car expenses, I do periodically miss the freedom to go anywhere at any time.

… got to take a whole three weeks off work. ‘Nuff said.

… cleared out a massive amount of crap in my mother’s storage room. It took her weeks to put out the resulting trash, but reduced my clutter by a startling amount. (Next year will be my old books and RPGs.) I also found some stuff thought long lost, and gave away a pile of things that I didn’t need but were too good to toss.

… also sold a startling amount of unneeded things. My old car, an old printer, and two tubs full of never-worn game shirts and caps; as well as games, accessories, DVDs, anime, comics, tchotchkes, and leftover strategy guides; plus a few things I’d brought back from Japan, mostly to a local retro store. They were glad for the huge influx of stock, and I was glad to make well over two thousand bucks while on vacation.

… helped my mom with a bunch of stuff around the house. In addition to selling the car (which gave her the other half of her garage back), and on top of restoring some of her storage room space, we also donated a bunch of unwanted items (large electronics, too-large bookcases), earmarked some electronics that require special disposal, put up a mirror, and moved my childhood toy chest from the garage to the basement. My last act was to set up a new router to replace the failing one she had.

On the whole, I’d call this year’s vacation a success, considering how many people I saw, how much I ate, how much I got done, and the fact that I actually made money.


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