If you only have one week vacation

This is the first summer in over 16 years that we have not gone to France. It's not that we didn't want to, but it is also the first time in 20 plus years that my husband, Jean has limited vacation time as a result of taking a new position in which they ONLY give 2 weeks per year. Forget health care, it is a crime that at age 50 plus you are relegated to 2 weeks vacation!

Okay, I have to admit we snuck in a week unpaid earlier this year to tie us over, but still, vacation time is almost more important than health care-- after all it does keep us healthier.

So looking around we decided to head north to the Sun River Resort outside of Bend, Oregon. We heard a lot about it as a great place for kids, relaxing, easy, and chock full of activities. After two days I have to agree, this is a little bit of heaven. The grand pine trees, blue sparkling river, twenty-nine miles of paved bike trails, and aesthetic looking wood houses all nestled behind their own grove of trees. Even at the height of summer, it doesn't feel crowded (unless you are at the pool between 3-5) and everyone is nice. Everyone says "Good Morning," as you pass them on the bike path. Your neighbor welcomes you to Sun River and the concierge services are more than helpful.  As a wonderful treat, a friend and her family rented a house nearby for the same week and we are seeing each other spontaneously for a float down the river, a dinner, and a swim. There is no doubt we are seeing them more this week than I have in a year at home.

With only one week vacation, you have to make the most of it. Like a Club Med or the all inclusive clubs around the world that we so love, Sun River is a great option. There is something for everyone, a kids camp, tons of activities to choose from, and most importantly with 29 miles of bike trails you never (or rarely) have to get into a car.  I have to say, this alone is what makes the difference between a relaxing vacation and one in which you have to work (not to be compared with a traveling vacation which is a different category).  Okay we do have to cook and shop a bit, but the trade off is more leisurely meals and hopefully a few pounds not gained.

In driving up to Oregon, we talked about how far it was and how big America is. It has taken us as long to drive from San Francisco to Portland (where we took a detour to on our way up) as it does from our town in the south of France to London, England.  No wonder this country is so divided politically.

Soon we will get back to our beloved France and Europe, but meanwhile, it is a treat to explore some other beautiful parts of this huge country and make the most of our week vacation.


Suzanne Saxe-Roux