Vacation. It’s like an Entmoot, but we’re not going to war.

Seems as though we’re headed to Nashville for vacation.

This morning the wife registered us for a Hutchmoot. “An entmoot, without the ents.” It sounds like a nice little retreat, although it’s geared much more (almost solely) towards the bookish — such as my wife — rather than visual art types like me. The Rabbit Room is sponsoring the event and retains an interest in the the visual arts, but only one of it’s official members claims such a title and she would rather be performing her foodie duty by cooking for those of us attending.

I can only think of one trip we’ve called “vacation” in our almost nine years of marriage. We made off through Missouri and stopped at the Botanical Gardens to see a Dale Chihuly installation. A lot of our time off of work has been spent traveling for fundraising in order to serve with M-DAT. Other times we didn’t feel travel was financially feasible and opted for a working (i.e. home-improving) staycation.

And often we don’t know where we want to go or what we want to do. Both of us would like to explore the Northeastern and Northwestern corners of the U.S., and both of us would like to travel internationally if we can. We like the idea of meandering around a place with a camera, eating good local food and experiencing some of the local culture. I very much dislike tourist traps, and therein places that are geared to attract tourists. This is one of the reasons I’m not at all interested in going to places like Branson or Las Vegas. And I’m not interested in cruises either, which have become mightily popular, it seems to me, since I graduated from college.

The one vacation we had laid out for ourselves at one point involved travel to Washington D.C. and New York City via Amtrack. And then we learned how expensive it is to take a train in and around the States.

Despite not being able to muster up much interest in the topics the Hutchmoot intends to delve into in 2010, this kind of trip may be the best kind of vacation for us anyway. It gets us away together — road trips are great for conversation — and gives us some intellectual stimulation with like minded people. (A significant part of why my wife wants to attend this particular event is to meet her brain twin face to face). Yes, I think gatherings such as the Hutchmoot could become a somewhat regular vacation destination for us.

If we’re so blessed, our next one might be to the Glen Workshop. I just wish it weren’t in New Mexico in August.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

5 Responses to Vacation. It’s like an Entmoot, but we’re not going to war.

  1. evie says:

    well paul, looks like we’re going to pull the ol’ switcheroo on you. this is evie speaking, token chick of the rabbit room and token visual artist as well. i will be displaying my culinary genius at the hutchmoot, yes, but it also happens that i will display a new body of work which will hang in a common space at the retreat locale where you may peruse, question, ponder, etc. i may not be holding court in one of the actual *sessions* but you sure are welcome to sneak into the kitchen and have a handful of olives and become engaged in a chat about story and art and old wood and the wild western skies we both seem to be fond of.

    by the by, i also have family in siloam springs — my parents went to JBU and i grew up going to visit my grandparents there. south oak hill, over behind the old IGA, holds many happy memories for me.

    looking forward to meeting you at the ‘moot. (and come straight to me for the non-touristy spots you should hit — i won’t steer you wrong.)

  2. Jim Daniels says:

    So jealous. I’m heading to a wedding that weekend…family, so I can’t skip it. Even if I could go, it’s full already. I really hope they have another next year. Enjoy. Dang! Jealous.

  3. Pingback: TV as a time-suck, and as a part of us « The Aesthetic Elevator

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