Plan for Labor Day: Things to Do

“Are you going anywhere for Labor Day?” our friends asked us last night as we sat in our living room after an evening at the movies seeing The Bourne Ultimatum. They were heading out on an extended family camping trip.

“Nope, we’ve been gone so much we thought we’d stay here,” we said. This summer we’ve been from the East Coast (Massachusetts, New York, Washington, D.C.) to the West Coast (Washington State and on over to Montana) to the Midwest (Owensboro, Kentucky) and to Cleveland two times, that Labor Day weekend needs to be spent catching up on the things we haven’t taken care around the house that we promised to do before the end of summer. I call this “shoveling out.”

But, since Labor Day does offer that present of a Monday off, here are some suggestions of Labor Day jaunts and possibilities that I came across. Beaches, parks, museums, restaurants etc. are on the lists.

  • For romantic getaway suggestions check out “Top 10 Things to Do Before Labor Day.”
  • For where to go for Labor Day on a budget, here’s “Top 6 Places to Spend Labor Day on the East Coast on a Budget.”
  • If you live near Seattle, here’s a huge list of things to do in an article from The Seattle Times.
  • And here’s Labor Day Weekend 2007 on About: Travel with Kids. This is a terrific roundup of things to do across the United States. There are links upon links upon links.

Doesn’t summer end though on September 21? Maybe we can slip in at least a day trip for Labor Day. There’s that rodeo going on at Smoke Rise Ranch in Hocking Hills, Ohio. (The photo is of the Working Man sculpture outside the Seattle Art Museum. The fence is gone now since the construction is completed.)

Paris: Romance Perfection or Romance Disaster? You Decide.

Now, that this day has been filled with love, here’s the other side of the coin. Paris is touted as the city for romance. Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes there. Gene Kelly danced through puddles to “Singing in the Rain” in An American in Paris. Frank Sinatra crooned “I Love Paris,” (click for lyrics) Cole Porter’s song. We’ve all seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower backlit with kissing couples doing some perfectly framed eye-gazing.

Sure, Paris might be the place for romance, but my first time there during my junior year in college was romantically disasterous. The first misstep was not convincing that dashing Canadian fellow I met at that youth hostel in Norway to ditch his friend in Germany for a couple of days and come to Paris with me. “There will always be Berlin,” I had said.

Being young and determined, instead of altering MY course and going with him like he thought I should do, I headed to Paris alone on my “I’m independent” streak. No, nothing terrible happened, but I did fend off a custodian’s advances at a Metro stop which involved drawing a toilet on a scrap of paper after I unwittingly wandered into his custodial closet while looking for the restroom. With that coloring my impressions, I wasn’t too thrilled to brave out my adventure. I did get in a boat tour on the Seine River, toured the Louvre and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, went to a symphony concert and walked along the Champs Elysee before heading out of town feeling disappointed. I sighed all the while, thinking about my missed Canadian opportunity. Oh, the follies of youth.

Thankfully, I’ve been back to Paris three times since then and each time was better than the last. So, go ahead, give Paris and romance a shot. Just avoid the custodial closets.

If you are going to be in Paris on Valentine’s Day here is a romantic dinner cruise you can take on the Seine. If you can’t make it by the 14th, this cruise is a daily event made for two, but book ahead.

Do you have any of your own sad-sack love/travel stories? Here is a place for venting.