Sunday, July 10, 2011

Leaf Chronicle article for June 19th

I just realized that I have not posted the articles I write for the local paper lately—I’m going to do so in “rapid fire succession” just to get back on track.  I hope you enjoy them . . .

It is official, we’ve decided we’re going to be able to take a family vacation this year and we’re all downright giddy! First, all five of us will be together—the entire time. Ever since we opened Hodgepodge, I’ve often had to forgo the trip all-together (ie.: Spring Break trips to Florida to see Nana) or I’ve driven to Virginia with the family and flown back early. Then, naturally, Darren has missed about half of our family vacations due to military commitments. I know this story isn’t uniquely ours and many of you can relate to spending vacation time at home or very close to home, because it is so difficult to get away from work or other commitments.

My goal, as many of you already know, is to purchase a travel trailer, preferably an Airstream, that we can leave at a campground near our beautiful lake shores in the Land Between the Lakes region. The way I figure it is week-long vacations are difficult to schedule, for everyone, but weekend get-ways are more “do-able.” (In fact, I think a week is too long to be gone, but I doubt I’ll find much agreement at my house.)

airstream trailer

photo credit

I envision a trailer that will sleep all of us comfortably, but I don’t want the type that is all decked-out like a condo on the beach. Naturally, it will be vintage, not new. I do want a/c, an apartment- sized refrigerator, sink, cooktop and indoor “facilities.” I’m not into “roughing it,” but I am into “redecorating it!” I envision one of two themes: Roy Rogers or 50s kitsch. The cowboy theme is much more likely, as it is the one I’ve been imagining the longest, but the 50s kitsch has its own appeal in the bright colors and easy to find accessories. I guess what I really need first, though, is the trailer! Well, then a place to park it and . . .

How about you? Are you making plans to travel this summer or will you be staying home? Have you thought of some fun things to do?

(The rest of this is rather Clarksville specific, but you can likely apply most suggestions to your local attractions . . .)

Here in Clarksville, I think we’ve got great options. For instance, have you been to the new Ft. Defiance Interpretive Center? It got two big thumbs-up from my Dad and Son. You can use it as one of those subtle educational opportunities for the kids (especially considering the recent reports of our pathetic grasp of history).

ft defiance

Every third Friday night, there is a free concert on Strawberry Alley. You can bring your lawn chairs and pack a snack or enjoy one of our restaurants, while listening to some great music. Of course, every First Thursday we host the downtown Art Walk—a great time to get out and enjoy the wonderful talent Clarksville has to offer.


You could make a commitment to shop and eat local each weekend by getting the ingredients for your meals at the Downtown Market. Again, regular outings to the Market can have inconspicuous educational themes—the importance of supporting local farmers, sustainable environmentalism and basic commerce can be just a few of your weekly topics.


You could print a list of all of the parks and playgrounds in the community and plan a weekly visit to one. The trails at Rotary Park will provide hours of exploration and tucker the little ones out to boot! Perhaps you’ll even be able to slice yourself a little downtime out of the day while they nap. (Hmm—I feel next week’s column forming even as I type—a little summer relaxation for you!)

So, your plans are . . .?

Thanks for your indulgence!


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