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a vacation from my PROBLEMS

Remember that movie What About Bob? And Bob, the main character, has this great line where he says, “I’m taking a vacation from my PROBLEMS!”

My dad loves that movie. He came to visit this week. He’s working in the northern end of the state (where I live) but he’s also doing a little road-tripping and visiting of children. And we kept quoting this line to each other (it’s probably only funny if you’ve seen Bill Murray say it in the movie).

So I actually don’t have that many problems. But I’m kind of a wimp so I like to pretend I do and think about taking vacations from them. My problems right now mostly stem from 1) my inability to write anything good this week and 2) the way I like to not clean my house and then 3) be annoyed that it is never clean.

My husband took this picture of a bookshop in Cambridge this summer. (He called me while he was there and said, “They have a first edition Dylan Thomas. Should I buy it for you?” And I said no because it was super pricey but I loved that he asked.) I think this would be the perfect place for a vacation from your PROBLEMS. Let’s all pretend we’re there right now in Cambridge reading books in a used bookshop and then going for a walk along the river Cam. Let’s. Want to join me?

+ comments (12)
  • Ali Johnson
    September 2, 2010

    Hey look ! I’m the first to comment. Maybe it’s because it’s 12:00 pm in China the next day.

    Love your post Ally. I need a vacation from my problems too. I read this last night. I love, love, love Emily Dickinson. She wrote:

    Success is counted sweetest
    By those who ne’re succeed.
    To comprehend a nectar
    Requires sorest need.

    I like to change the words to say. “To comprehend a vacation, requires sorest need.”

    Wishing you a happy vacation Ally 🙂

  • Connie
    September 3, 2010

    What About Bob is my husband’s favorite movie. Another great line is “Baby steps.”

  • Samantha
    September 3, 2010


  • Justin
    September 3, 2010

    I prefer the line where Bob is eating corn: “Mmmm… Mmmm… Mrs. M. Mmmmm… is this hand shucked?”

    Also, make sure you get some peace and quiet on that vacation. Bob will be peace and Siggy will be quiet.

  • Sara B. Larson
    September 3, 2010

    I will join you there anytime! I would love to vacation someplace just like that. Away from all of my problems. Aahhhh, sounds lovely. 🙂

  • Julie Dixon
    September 3, 2010

    You can count me in on anything that happens in England!

    On another note, I just picked up a book last night that I’ve been planning to read for awhile & saw a erm…splurt? by YOU saying how much you liked it. That made me smile.

  • becca
    September 3, 2010


    (“I just let the boat do the work. That’s my secret.”)

    I would ravel the ends of England for you… or with you.

  • becca
    September 3, 2010

    Erm… “travel” is what I probably meant.

  • Red Boot Pearl
    September 3, 2010

    We love What About Bob… and frequently take a vacation from our problems…

    “I’m sailing, I’m a sailor” Is another line my fam frequently quotes… (about EVERYTHING)

  • Sandy Shin
    September 3, 2010

    That’s such a perfect place to hide away from PROBLEMS — it’d be so nice to squirrel away in a used bookshop for a week. :]

  • Karen_St_Louis
    September 4, 2010

    Hi Ally,

    I’m right there with you on this post! (That unclean house problem is one I have all the time, along with the unwillingness to clean it.)

    My husband and I actually met and married each other in Cambridge, England. (We were both studying there.) Let me tell you, it would be a wonderful, idyllic place to take a vacation from all problems. I have a lot of happy memories from those four years. (My college was “Hogwarts” from one of your previous posts. Lovely, but not quite as fun or exciting as the real Hogwarts would be!)

    I don’t recognize the bookstore from the photo, but I haven’t been back since 1998. Just the beauty of the photo makes me long for Cambridge, though…

  • Shannon
    September 6, 2010

    Sign me up! The sad thing is that I just got back from a weekend vacation in beautiful Oregon. I went to the beach and went on a hike to a scenic waterfall…and then was forced to come home to my house that I didn’t quite finish cleaning before we left. Is it possible for dishes to dirty themselves when you’re not home?

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