News Editor

Stephen Milligan is the news editor of The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

I’m telling you, going on vacation is just not what it used to be.

Vacation used to mean long hours at the beach, endless laps around the pool, buying a lot of useless knick-knacks emblazoned with the city of origin’s gaudy logo and finishing three or four books during long car trips.

This year, however, I failed to achieve as much as my youthful vacation-going self would have once demanded.

For one, I only read two books while on vacation, which seems a chronic low for me. I could have read that much had I stayed at home. I fell down on the job there.

I did go to the beach, but hot, sunny days and I get along even less well than we did when I was a kid, so a couple of hours in the ocean was all I could take before I fled for shadier haunts.

I did make several jaunts to the pool, but, sadly, it was one of those all-too-common “family” pools that resorts and hotels are so fond of these days: the sort that never go deeper than five feet and provide little amusement for a person looking to get a brisk swim in.

And, honestly, I bought no souveneirs at all, unless you count all the calories I acquired from multiple rich options of cuisine.

I’m afraid, sadly, I’ve become an old man.

Thankfully, I still greatly enjoyed my week of vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, despite the unwavering heat, and it was mostly due to my nieces.

The whole family came down this year, so we had all three of my nieces in the party, and their enjoyment of the vacation standards was worth all the fuss.

After all, they loved the pool and would have spent even longer periods of times there had the grumpy adults let them. The beach, too, was a big hit, and the sightseeing and the general sense of adventure that spending a week away from home communicates to the under-5 set.

Next year, I hope to get more reading in, and maybe find a deeper pool, and definitely bring a bigger budget to buy useless mementoes.

But, honestly, as long as we bring the girls along, it should be another successful vacation.

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