Every year I try to plan at least one mancation. 5 or 6 years ago I would try to organize something with a bunch of my friends, but each year it got harder and harder to make everyone’s schedules work and I have found it is just easier to go at it solo. There is an additional reason it is easier to take a solo mancation; I can do whatever I want. This wasn’t really a big problem with previous mancations, but there is a fundamental difference between how I and my friends view vacations.
For my friends, a vacation is an opportunity to relax and just do nothing. Se they are constantly doing something, usually involving family and children and work, so the opportunity to just sit and relax is very appealing. Me on the other hand, my entire life is already based on relaxing. That’s why when I go on vacation, I like to build it around something specific and try to plan out a bunch of activities.
Usually the activities I try to incorporate into my vacation/mancations is of three varieties. The first is sporting events. The second is Nerd stuff and the third is Obligatory land marks. Oh and there is a fourth; food!! If there is a food that the city or region is famous for, I will try and go out of my way to eat it.
Maybe further down I will detail some of my past vacations and how I have been able to hit up all 4 of quadrants of my ideal vacation/mancation, but for now lets discuss what my plans are for this year.
Originally I was going to fly to Vegas in May with T-Mace for the WSOP, but he backed and I didn’t want to go to Vegas by myself for a whole week. Then I had decided on driving at the end of August from HBG down to the big Easy via Tampa and return back home through Hotlanta and West Virgina. The plan with that trip was to hit up a bunch of preseason NFL, and regular season College Football and Major League Baseball games. Well the weeks I wanted to do this won’t really work with work, so I’m going to try option three.
As of now I am planning on Flying to Vegas on a Friday and then driving to San Fran for a Sunday football game and then also a Thursday football game and then drive down to a Whale’s Vagina Chargers game Sunday before driving back to Vegas and flying back home. Here is the day by day break down that I have laid out in my head:
Friday October 16th: Take flight from BWI 7:30 pm to Vegas. Spend fri night in vegas doing a little gambling and collecting more poker chips for my collection.
Saturday October 17th: Hit the road for Santa Clara. It’s a long drive so I am planning on breaking it up by taking the more scenic route through Yellowstone and Death Valley. I will probably take a lot of breath taking photos during this part of the trip.
Sunday October 18th: 49ers host the Baltimore Ravens. The majority of my day will be center around this. Maybe since I’m driving this time and planning on getting super cheap seats, I could try getting fucking hammered doing some tail gaiting.
Monday October 19th – Wednesday October 21st: No fucking clue. This is the part where I try to find something nerdy or semi artistic to do. Since i spent 4 days in SF two years ago I don’t know if I’m going to want to hang out there for three days till the next football game. I could drive down to LA or up to… some place…??? By this time in the year, the NBA and NHL seasons have probably started, or at least their pre seasons have, so I can probably occupy some time with a Warriors or San Jose game.
The only problem with that is that I don’t like Hockey and two years ago I actually saw a Warriors and a Sacramento Kings game when I was out in Cali. So this time maybe I could get lucky with the Lakers or clips having home games. Or I could find more San Fran stuff to do like checkout the Redwoods or become a vegan.
Thursday October 22nd: The Niners host Seattle on Thursday Night Football. Odds are this is going to be a bad year since half the team is retiring during the off season, but I’m’ still going to be overly optimistic of their chances to beat Seattle in this game.
Friday October 23rd – Saturday October 24th: Hit the road for San Diego, with probable stops at Los Angeles and many, many, many casinos on the way. If the LA NBA teams are hosting either of those days, I will try and make sure I get some tickets. If not then maybe I will head down to San Diego expecting to arrive late Friday night, and then spend all day Saturday doing San Diego type stuff. I don’t know what that is, but I’m sure it will be… seriously what is San Diego known for aside from being the Setting of Anchorman and a much nicer place than L.A according to Phillip Rivers?
Sunday October 25th: San Diego Chargers host the … ugh…. Oakland Raiders. This will be the third consecutive year I have seen the raiders play a gam. The first time was when I went to a game they hosted against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. They got destroyed by Alex Smith, which I was alright with. This past August I saw a preseason game at Lambeau field where they got their asses handed to them by Rodgers and a bunch of backups. This year they will probably get cur stomped again. I’m totally fine with the raiders loosing since their fans are kind of assholes. Still, I would like to see different teams, especially when they have players that are of note.
Monday October 26th: Phoenix cardinals host the Baltimore Ravens…maybe. Well that is definitely the game being played that day, I’m just not sure if I’m going to want to drive all that way just to hopefully see an NFC team lose to Joe Flaco. Since I will be renting a car in Vegas to do all this driving I am going to have to drive back to Vegas and not fly back from San Diego. Yes I could do one of those things where you rent one place but return the car somewhere else, but if you aren’t returning the car some place relatively close, it is crazy expensive.
The problem is that Phoenix seems close to Vegas and San diego when compared to its proximity to Harrisburg Pa. But in reality it is a 5 hour drive from SD to PHX, and 4.5 hours from PHX to Vegas. On the other hand, there are tickets for that game that are only 49 bucks and it would be cool to go to a Monday Night Football game.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$: If I am estimating my costs for the trip, which I am as you are about to see, the flight would be about $225, the hotels each night are about $45.00. Each NFL game is around $120. Rental car would be about $300, and gas for the approximately 1700 miles I plan on driving would be something under $180. There will be a ton of random expenses like for parking at the events, or tolls while driving, or Los Angeles Super Model Hookers, or meals, so I should probably add another $35 a day if I am being super frugal. Grand total comes to $2065. Yikes.
Granted I could lower a lot of my estimates, first by getting a car with better gas mileage and buying the gas in cheaper towns instead of San Fran like in my estimates above. Plus hotels even at a 20% tax could be as low as $35 bucks with my employee discount I’m sure I can find a rental car discount to get closer to $250 and If I’m getting free breakfasts every morning at the hotel, maybe I won’t spend so much on miscellaneous like food and pricey LA hookers. So maybe a better estimate for the cost of the vacation would be a range from $1500 to $2200. Maybe as low as $1300 if I cut out the trip to Phoenix.
Nerd Stuff: So what random stuff can I do during my trip that will sate my hunger for all things geeky? Well maybe it isn’t that geeky but I could take my camera and hit up Alcatraz or go Wale Watching. More Geeky would be to do one of those timed locked room mystery things I saw on Conan and ranked highly on tripadvisor for thing to do in San diego.
There is the “3RD I Film Festival South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond” that honestly sounds too artsy for me. Or I could go real artsy fartsy and in LA go see the Lion King musical.
Or, best Idea yet, I could drive up to Palo Alto and visit the headquarters of Hooli or PiedPiper.