Home is Where the Hotel Is

The first thing my mom said to me when we got back home from vacation was, “When are you moving to Utah?”

“We’re not,” I replied. “Why would you think that?”

UtahBut I knew exactly why she said it. Whenever we go someplace new and have a good time there, we get the itch to pack up our belongings and call this new place home. It happened most recently on our trip to the Olympic Peninsula.

“How was Port Townsend?” my mom asked.

“Great!” I said. “We’re moving there!”

Granted, I did not offer a timeline as to when this impending move might occur, but it was enough to cause her to worry. My parents don’t want us to move too far away. I even blogged about it here.

And now Tara and I want to move to Port Townsend. We even found a house.

The same thing happened when we returned from Denver. And every single time I pass through Astoria, I dream of a house on a hill overlooking the Columbia River. Hell, we can’t even go to a show in Portland without me admiring the neighborhood and gushing over how amazing it would be to live in an urban oasis like the Hawthorne district or Laurelhurst.

You have to understand, this whole “plan” to uproot ourselves and move to a new city will likely never come to fruition. Because every time I feel the tug of someplace new – Omaha, anybody?! – common sense eventually prevails. I love Washington. The Pacific Northwest is the greatest place on earth. Why would I ever want to leave?

And so it goes with Utah. It’s true, I did mention to Tara that if I had to live someplace else, Utah would make my Top 5 list. And I might also have said – purely hypothetically, of course – that if money were no object, I would be keen on buying a house in Park City. Utah is beautiful, and they have actual seasons. Plus, there are tons of hiking opportunities. And…the Great Salt Lake! But I did not come back from this current trip with any immediate desire to move. The truth is, I’m far too liberal for Utah. I have a “live and let live” mentality, but the politics and religion would drive me nuts. PDX is more my speed in every way possible.

Utah IS beautiful. There's no denying that.
Utah IS beautiful. There’s no denying that.

So relax, mom. No need to worry. We will not be calling the Beehive State home.

She may need to dust off that anxiety in another 14 months though, because we are already planning our next vacation. Yes, it’s over a year away still, but it’s never too early to plan! We’ll be going to Yellowstone and the Black Hills the week before Labor Day, 2016. I am already looking forward to it.

And thinking again about the cheap housing in Rapid City…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

14 thoughts on “Home is Where the Hotel Is

  1. I’ve picked out a specific spot in Utah–down on the Escalante–where I’m supposed to be abandoned when the inevitable dementia sinks in. I know what i want to look at in the end. Does that count as wanting to move there?


  2. Joe and I really liked Rapid City for a stomping ground too. It’s a cute enough spot. Utah was awesome as well. I don’t blame you, but agree on why I wouldn’t move there. Plus, there’s the whole desert/sun thing. I’m liable to self-combust.

    Have fun in Yellowstone!! Are you taking the kids too? Great trip and lots to see. Hard to pack for – as the temps drop way low at night. I ended up buying sweatpants and sweatshirt while there because I was freezing at night!!


    1. I lived in Rapid City for three years – well, Ellsworth AFB, but close enough. My parents did not like it (as evidenced by my mom’s comment below), but I am quite enamored with the place. We will be taking Audrey along, but Rusty is pretty much on his own now (just turned 20) and is busy with work and school. I hope it’s nice and cool at night!


  3. Mark, I think it’s so awesome that you enjoy traveling and experiencing different places. I don’t travel nearly as much as you do, but I totally understand your passion because I have it too. I LOVE to visit different places and often become enamored and then think about living there.

    I’ve never been to Utah but have seen many pictures of it and it looks stunning!

    For me, I think the only place I am seriously considering moving to in the next year or so is NYC. And with my new job, they have so many stores there; therefore I can get a transfer. As you know, I ADORE that city and need to be there.

    Great photograph, buddy! WOW!


  4. We lived in Rapid City for 3 years. It snows there—a lot–and it is hot and dry in the summer. No tress, no green , etc. Need I say more!


  5. Moving always passes through much mind on vacation, but that’s because we only travel to places with better weather than we have here.

    Yellowstone is my favorite national park. And I highly recommend staying at the K Bar S lodge in the Black Hills.


    1. I lived in Rapid City for three years so I have some decent ideas of places to stay, but I’ll check out the K Bar S lodge as I’m unfamiliar with it. I always think the places I visit have better weather, but that’s only because I love extremes. Snow? Thunderstorms? Bring ’em on!


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