Inside Texas Running - Travel Destinations for the Non-Runner

Even though I don't gamble, I'm willing to bet money that most Americans feel like they could use more vacation time. Personally, I'd settle for …I don't know…any. One of the drawbacks of being your own boss is that there's nobody to hit up for paid time off. So perhaps even more than most folks, I like to put some serious thought into where I go to get away.

Many of my running amigos prefer to use their precious off time to go run, only in a different place. Since they probably run six times a week already, this strikes me as somewhat of a busman's holiday, but whatever floats your proverbial boat. If you consider a thought process that goes something like: "Hmmm. I've never gotten shin splints in Boston…" to be rational, I'm sure it's because you're devoted to your sport. Nothing obsessive. Yet I must add that, though I remain committed to seeking out attractive women in my bachelorhood, I've never thought to myself: "Gee, I can't recall ever getting painfully and embarrassingly dumped in the Pacific Northwest, maybe I'll try that." I'll save my money and assume it would be just as sucky, only rainier. As in more rainy, not the mountain.

I mean, I see a good deal of attraction in golfing trips. The beauty of playing courses in Hawaii, Scotland or basically anyplace outside of Texas coastal prairies where a fire ant mound is considered higher elevation, is obviously alluring. On the other hand, I don't currently play golf six days a week. If I did, I might want to book myself into an office cubicle for a fortnight. Variety is the spice of life, or so I tried to explain when that one girlfriend caught me on a date with her neighbor.

Vacation is the time to go do something different, to see something new, to eat exotic foods and to spend inordinate amounts of time looking peaked in exotic bathrooms.

When I was a kid, all vacations started out the same way. We spent the first week visiting out of state relatives. Since all of my family lived north east of us, I was in college before I realized the United States extended west of San Antonio. And consequently "exciting and different" meant "Uncle Louie got a new shirt!" So I resolved to see the world once I was out on my own.

Yep, see the world. The only problem was that my finances rarely allowed me to go farther than Beaumont. But just in case my dream of pick-pocketing a winning lottery ticket ever comes to pass, here are some of the destinations I'm considering:

You know, on second thought, maybe I'll toss a big ribeye on the grill, open a cold bottle of Bohemia and see if I can find a Micronesian masseuse who makes housecalls. I mean, hey, I'm on vacation.