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Are you tired of the usual vacation to somewhere like Disneyworld or Hawaii?

A really good vacation has to be an "adventure".

What is an "adventure"? It is when things go so wrong on a trip that the story you get to tell about what happened is much better than the actual experience. Like, after you get lost, your rented car breaks down, it starts raining, no one speaks English, you really need a ride to the airport 500 miles away, and you hitch a ride on a bottle truck...that's when the "adventure" starts.

SHARK FISHING OFF THE FLORIDA KEYS: For a few hundred dollars (no American Express), you can rent a tiny little boat and fish for really big sharks with a hand line. You hook a shark. It must be a big shark. A mean shark. Bigger than the boat. Then a hurricane comes. A big hurricane. You fight your way back to land. For a few dollars more, you can get another boat and crew who will videotape your Hemmingway-esq battle with the "fish".

HUNTING FOR A PARKING SPACE IN A PARKING GARAGE IN LOS ANGELES DRIVING A SUBURBAN: The Quest makes for a very interesting adventure, but Monty Python has already found the Holy Grail. The typical suburban is 6 feet 8 inches tall, and the typical parking garage in L.A. has 6 feet of clearance. This is why Angelenos drive small cars. Spend days wandering about the city, searching for a place to park. Hint, there is one.

TAKE A CAB FROM TEPIC TO SAN BLAS, MEXICO: Tepic is high in the mountains, and San Blas is about 12,000 feet down a narrow, twisty mountain road. Mexican cab drivers like to drive very fast. Notice the crucifix hanging from the rear view mirror. If you aren't religious when the trip starts, you will be praying when it ends.

WALK 500 MILES FROM PHOENIX TO LOS ANGELES IN JULY: People actually used to do this. Bring lots of water.

RIDE A TRAIN IN MEXICO: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have ridden a train in the 1930's? The very same passenger cars are running on the Mexican railroads. A favorite trip is from Nogales, Sonora to Guadalajara. What makes this trip an adventure is that often, when the train stops in Mazatlan to be reconfigured, they forget a few of the cars and leave them behind on the tracks.

FLY AMERICA WEST AIRLINES: America West flies out of Phoenix, and is cheap. But, schedules? They don't have no stinking schedules.

WATCH YOUR GOVERNMENT IN ACTION: Go to any state capital (or if you are really brave, to Washington, D.C.) and watch your legislature in action. It is more of an adventure if you find out where all the people in suits are standing around buying and selling your government. Not for young children.

GO ANYWHERE THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS NOT TO: If you don't mind being shot at, or kidnapped, the US State Department has a list for you.



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Copyright 1998-2006 by Hugh Holub