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Our Homes Away From Home

Andy RooneySome towns in the U.S. have good names and some do not. I have a home in a great town, and I'm not going to name the town for fear that everyone will want to come there.

I like my homes and although I grew up in Albany, I don't think of it with great affection. Albany is near towns like Troy and Cohoes, which I dislike for no better reason than I like Albany. The great thing about Troy for me was the fullback on my high school football team came from there.

Albany doesn't get much attention, considering it is the capital of New York State. The capital building itself is magnificent but Albanians don't pay much attention to it. To its neighbors, it's just another building in the way. I grew up as an "Albanian," but my dictionary defines this word as "a native of Albania." I am not a native of Albania. I'm a native of Albany, and for a part of the year I live in a town 35 miles from there. I wish this town (which I am not going to name) had been called something else, something easier to spell, but it wasn't.

I also go through Lake George Village on my way to our cottage on the lake. The lake is 32 miles in length...and what a beauty. I think many years ago the town's politicians added the word Village to the name because the lake is better known than the town. Again, I won't the actual town where my home is because it's great and I don't want everyone to come there. Now, you might not be interested in this fact, but I make coffee using water I scoop up from the lake and then boil.

A lot of people have summer cottages away from the city where they visit all year long. It's increasingly more difficult to find an out-of-the-way, beautiful vacation destination. If you are able to find a good place that doesn't have many people, it doesn't stay that way for long. Of course, we're all part of the problem.

I don't know what we're going to do about overcrowding. There's just no doubt that there are too many of us for the limited number of good places we have to go on vacation.

I have a solution for the great vacation overcrowding problem. We can all just stay in our apartments in our big cities. A family can 'get away from it all' and still have fun, even in a crowded city.

I lived in an apartment in New York City before I bought a house in a small town 40 miles from my office when we had three small children. We didn't feel any more crowded in the apartment than we felt in our home several years later. I think apartment living is underrated. So, even though I love going to our summer homes for vacation to get away from our daily life, I think sometimes I would be better off staying home.

I've said this before, but I'd like to encourage everyone -- and I include myself -- to start a movement called "Stay-at-home-on-vacation." The nightly pictures on the news of people on vacation flocking to our beaches are enough to keep all of us in our backyards, if we have a backyard.

Vacation spots near the water are clearly in short supply. I was at my lake cottage the past couple of weekends, and so was everyone else. Next year, I'm going to stay home and sit on my apartment terrace. That's were I'm going on my next vacation.

(Write to Andy Rooney at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207, or via email at aarooney5@yahoo.com)

(c) 2009 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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