poconosMy husband and I need a vacation.  True, we just finished our summer vacation.  But we hardly got to see each other, I NEVER got a break from the kids, and we haven’t been away alone together for more than one night in — wait, how old are the kids?  Oh — that would be NINE YEARS. Trouble is, we don’t know where to go.  There are tons of great travel deals out there for families…but it seems like none of them are for us.

Firstly, we have requirements.

1. We will not fly.  This is to be a break – not a real trip – and spending two of our three or four days in airports does not appeal.

2. I do not want to drive more than 200 miles.  That means that great places in the Vermont like Tyler Place Inn are out of the running.


3. I do not want to spend — nor do I have – a gazillion dollars.  So fabulous places like Mohonk Mountain House in not so upstate New York, and Woodloch Pines in the Poconos are also out of the running.

4. We need to have something to do once we get there.  And by that I mean something to do outside of our room. Hey, we’ve been married for 12 years, and we’re all for romance, but then we need another kind of action.

So what have I come up with?  Bupkes. For those of you not in New York, or who have never seen a Woody Allen movie, that means: Nothing.  Nada. Zip.

There is one place, though.  It looks beautiful. Calm. Peaceful.  There’s hiking nearby.  And outlet shopping. Mountain Springs Lake Resort in the Poconos.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I hear the word Poconos and I immediately hear a bland muzak chorus singing “beautiful Mount Airy Lodge…” (I even remember the phone number 226 0841 – man, that was a catchy jingle.)  If you’re not from the East Coast – let me explain.  The commercials on local (yes, this was pre-cable) television were relentless.  They featured a woman in a bell-bottom jump suit, and a man in a leisure suit, romancing away in the restaurant, or wearing shearling on a Horseback ride, or wearing nothing at all as they frolicked in the champagne glass tub.

Not my idea of a good time. (By the way, the place still exists, just as a casino.  Chubby Checker and Frank Sinatra Jr. are performing there in the next few weeks.  I’m almost tempted to check it out.  It’s so….retro.  So Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.)

Anyway, to me Poconos means “tacky.”  (with Woodloch Pines being the exception to the rule)

But this place looks…rustic, and peaceful.  No restaurant, no casino.  Just cabins on a lake, each with it’s own canoe.

For a NYC girl like me, it seems almost impossibly simple.  And maybe just what we need.