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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Planning a trip? Heed this advice

  • Vacation season is fast approaching, and you know what that means. It's time to stock up on products that will aid digestion and other troubles that ensue, if you catch my distended drift.
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  • Vacation season is fast approaching, and you know what that means. It's time to stock up on products that will aid digestion and other troubles that ensue, if you catch my distended drift.  
    No, sorry. It means it's time for me to issue an important travel warning: Do not believe everything you read about the places you are going. If you embraced this warning long ago — hallelujah! You are ahead of the game.
    But if you, like me, tend to believe travel writers' descriptions, insights and recommendations, well, you are not ahead of the game. You are, in fact, behind the game, because this means you will need to be reminded, warned and beaten silly with an empty Milk of Magnesia bottle at the onset of every travel season.
    I speak from painful experience. Unfortunately, I not only take to heart everything I read about a place, but I also continue to embellish it in my mind, adding all sorts of hopeful expectations. I do this year after year, trip after trip, despite the above-issued warning. By the time the vacation rolls around, why I've got us dining with royalty after a chance meeting.
    It all boils down to this: I am a sucker for descriptive phrases like “an inn with a view to tempt a sea captain,” “a browser's paradise of funky finds,” and “a darling caf” tucked amid pastures and silos."
    For the record, I have seen the aforementioned “view,” and the only thing tempting about it was the twofer margarita special at the adjacent bar.
    Same goes for the so-called “browsers paradise” with its motley collection of moldy teddy bears, ancient jams, and creepy candles. Oh, and the “darling caf” amid pastures"?
    Call me picky, but a run-down joint with one withered cow standing next to it does not constitute "darling" in my book.
    I am especially vulnerable to the word "historic" and, in fact, have been known to travel miles out of my way to see a "village bursting with historic charm!" My family, which likes to stay the course, rails at these side ventures, especially when the town turns out to be a bust.
    Let me tell you, it's not easy to justify a lengthy trip to a shabby village that has less history than the Mall of America.
    When expectations are dashed, I can't help but wonder: Are these travel writers getting kickbacks? Or have they simply been sniffing too many turn-of-the-century mothballs along the way?
    Whatever. I'm not saying you should never believe what a travel writer says. All I'm saying is that you should take what's said with a grain of salt ... a grain of gourmet sea salt, of course, harvested off the historic coast of Maine by brawny fishermen in quaint loincloths.
    Page 2 of 2 - Anne writes for the Messenger Post in New York.           
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