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Get off that couch — you deserve a real vacation!

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Posted: Monday, June 19, 2006 10:00 pm

Happy summer everyone! Barbecues are sizzling, the pools are chlorinated and it is pretty hot outside.

With hot summers come hot summer vacations. In the past I've been fortunate enough to travel to destinations across this great country of ours. From Atlanta to Wyoming, my trips have been eventful and worth every minute, but what about yours? Statistically, the average American family doesn't take many summer vacations; as a matter of fact, the average American barely takes a vacation, period.

Well hopefully you will break that mold and exercise your R and R right. In July I'll be heading to San Antonio, Texas. Will it be hot, humid and sticky? Probably, but will I be getting away from home? Yes, and that's the point. By getting away, even if it's just a small trip to somewhere in California, rejuvenation is what's important.

Of course, it isn't too late to plan a summer trip either. Heck, my friends and I head over to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk every August just to enjoy the ocean, sand and boardwalk festivities. What first started as just something to do has quickly become a bit of a tradition.

I know that among the teen crowd, a popular destination has been Lake Havasu, Arizona. This literal "hot spot" has become the new party central for the youngins.

Resort life is nice, but why not really get away from it all? You might want to consider a vacation in Yellowstone National Park, roughing it in the wild with nature as your backdrop.

Not a camper? How about taking to the water in cruise form? I found one heck of a deal, a 10-Night Caribbean Cruise for $699.

Not in the mood to spend the money you've been saving for retirement?

Try this cheaper deal: 2-night cruise to the Bahamas for $129!

Wanna save money to spend money? Then Las Vegas is your answer and for $157 you can fly, stay and spend, according to Expedia.com. Stay at the Golden Nugget and have round-trip airfare included.

It's all in finding the deals.

Don't have time to go far? Well you still need to get away and can do so with a little creative thinking. How about a long weekend in San Francisco? Great dining, excellent scenery, romantic and adventurous, all qualities the city by the bay has.

Living in Lodi we have the fortunate opportunity to not have to go far for pleasure. We live within a hop skip and holler from the snow, bay, mountains and forest.

But maybe you want to do something a little different. How about a trip to New York? The Big Apple has never looked better and the weather is normally a pleasant shift from the heat of Cali.

No East Coast vacations for you? Don't think the kids would like the big city? Then stick around and take a day's drive to Anaheim where Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration is in its final stages. Within ears distance you'll also find Universal Studios and Knott's Berry Farms, not to mention Magic Mountain.

Even if you don't want to go all the way to Southern California you could still enjoy the fun and excitement of theme parks. Santa Clara hosts Paramount's Great America. Prices are as follows: Adult admission (ages 7 to 59) $51.99; child/senior admission (ages 3-6, 60+) $34.99; children 2 and under are FREE!

Honestly, do you want to spend the rest of your summer at Lodi Lake? Then get off the couch, hop on the Web and plan a summer vacation that will satisfy the need to get away.

Wade Heath is a college student and editor of http://www.lodiyouth.blogspot.com. He can be reached at: reachwade@lycos.com.

First published: Tuesday, June 20, 2006

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