What makes a great vacation?

There are a variety of things that make a vacation well worth the taking. To begin with, just the break from the regular day to day stress and work related to one’s job makes a vacation a blessing. It gives you a bit of a recharge in your battery, so to speak.

So, I took a vacation a few days ago with the above in mind and we headed out for our nation’s capital for a soccer match between the U.S. Soccer Team and the German National Team. This seemed like an opportunity of a lifetime to see the German National Team, who knows when this would come our way again.

We decided to travel by car and even though it was over 13 hours one way, the trip seemed to go quite well. We saw beautiful scenery in Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia as we passed through the pastoral scenes of these states. The Shenandoah Valley was especially worth the drive with its farms and old houses.

We got to take a whirlwind tour of Washington D.C. on our first day and it is always great to tour and see sites that you see on national news. Just knowing that we were actually there at the capitol building makes it seem a bit surreal. However, when you see it on the news now, you can always say, “Hey, I’ve been there and I saw that!” Even though this was my second trip there still makes it seem a bit unreal.

The second day brought the much anticipated soccer match with the U.S. team taking the 4-3 win over the German National team. Even though Germany played without most of their top players due to the fact that they had commitments to their league teams back home, it was still a fun match to watch. The U.S. has a lot of young talent and hopefully will do well in the qualifier rounds coming up for the World Cup. It was still worth the trip to say that we got to see both teams play. We also got to see the match from historic RFK Stadium and even though it is a bit old now, it was still great to actually be inside the stadium that I had seen so many times on television.

We did see some legendary German players play, just not many of them. Miroslav Klose played on Sunday and he is one goal shy of tying the German scoring record with 67 goals in 126 appearances. Klose appeared to have scored a goal in the first half, but it was disallowed due to an offside by Klose. Per Mertesacker also played during the first half of the match and he has 90 appearances on the German National team. Lukas Podolski was another veteran of the team with his 110 appearances and 46 goals.

Even though it was great to take a break from work, see some beautiful scenery, tour our nation’s capital, see a good soccer match that featured some legendary players and future stars of the pitch, and to be at a historic stadium, none of these made the vacation the joy that it was.

What made our vacation great was the fact that I was able to spend quality time with my loved ones. Although only four of us could make the trip due to work constraints for the others, we really enjoyed our time together. The main reason for taking a vacation is to make memories that will last a lifetime. We will look back in the days to come and say “remember when?” or “remember that?” We definitely had some memorable moments that we will never forget and can even laugh about even now. The top three reasons that I had a great vacation were the following: Vicki, Savannah, and Nathan and the experiences that we shared together as a family. They made my vacation the best that I have ever taken.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.