Friday, January 21, 2005



All the recent whirl of activity in D.C. has gotten the Parkers to thinking that it might be a good time to get out of town and take a vacation. And while the Bluejays are absorbed in planning for their summer escape Down Under, the Parkers are not quite so decisive. Today's USA Today offers some suggestions ranging from a volunteer mission to Thailand to help clean up Tsunami damage-- good for the soul, maybe not so good for the spirit-- to a spa retreat at the exclusive Elk Mountain Resort in Telluride, Colorado. Refreshing to the spirit, I think, and click on the website

Listening to a new age symphony, I view photos of mountain views, candlelit suites, and gourmet dinners. Then I notice the activities: climbing, spa treatments and courses in carrying concealed weapons, combat shooting, the use of an M16 , and my favorite, Executive Cane Fighting. ( " This four hour course is designed specifically for those on the move who do not have the opportunity to be more effectively armed, but could carry a cane in their everyday life. This short course is designed to convey a few efficient and effective techniques that anyone can easily learn and retain, which could mean the difference between life & death during a violent attack. Students learn how to use the cane to create distance, avoid an attack, control an attacker and launch their own counter-strikes. Cost: $250 plus cane purchase, if necessary").

And here's a fun event for a family reunion-- Live Fire Scenario Day-- for just $100 and the cost of ammunition, you and six guests can spend up to eight hours shooting at cardboard people and each other! "The centerpiece of the Valhalla Facility is the Scenario House. Here guests shoot for entertainment or education under the supervision of our staff. Inside the scenario house, guests engage 3-D, automated and reactive targets....Or even Each Other (with proper safety equipment and Soft-Air or AirMunition's training pistols)." (If you view this web site, also check out the "staff," many of whom declined to be photographed).

So, there it is. Two soulful vacation options. I think we may just have to go to Disney World.

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