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Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer and, with it, summer vacations.

Webster's New World Dictionary's first definition of vacation is "freedom from any activity." It continues to say that a vacation includes "freedom from work."For our summer vacation this year, my husband and I decided to stay at home and plan day trips around the Wasatch Front. For 11 days we were going to visit places and do things we had never done before. We took an evening carefully to prepare our calendar - some days spent with our 2-year-old and a few hours for just the two of us.

Our first activity opportunity came the evening of Friday, May 27. For the first time in the 10 years I have worked at the Deseret News, the Utah Jazz played well enough for me to use the playoff tickets I received through an employee drawing. You remember that Friday - the only game the Jazz won!

Well, we had to give our tickets to another employee because our irrigation rights coincided with the game's starting time and we couldn't find a neighbor home to remove our floodgates.

This was an omen that my cherished "freedom from work" would also be my "freedom from activity."

On Memorial Day we did have a quick barbecue before my husband had to go to work so we could have fun Tuesday on a scheduled trip to the Hogle Zoo.

This would be my daughter's and my first time at the zoo and her first experience with animals besides doggies and kitties. Tuesday would truly be memorable.

Utah County residents remember Tuesday, May 31. That's the day 121-mph winds blew through the valley. Although it was somewhat entertaining, I'd rather have been pointing out the lions and tigers and bears at the zoo instead of feeling like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz counting the numerous shingles blown off my house.

My husband ended up having to go in to work for staff meetings and some of my scheduled meetings ran longer than usual the rest of the week. We didn't go to Park City, we didn't visit the Kennecottcopper mine, we didn't do the museums and we didn't go to the top of the LDS Church Office Building.

Only one item on our 11-day vacation came to fruition - a two-hour tour of Geneva Steel. Can you believe it took a tour through the local steel mill for me to feel like I was on vacation? The tour was great, just my husband and me and George Wright, our guide. We saw some interesting things and learned about the changes the mill is making to comply with EPA regulations.

So . . . thanks, Geneva, for a great vacation. However, if I have anything to do with it, our next vacation will fit Webster's third definition - "vacationer: a person taking a vacation, especially one who is traveling or at a resort"!