“If you huff and puff and you finally save enough money up to take your family on a trip across the sea;

“Take a tip before you take the trip; let me tell you where to go;

“Go to outer space, ohhh.”

Yes, my friend, now it’s possible.

Friday, NASA announced that, for the first time, it is allowing private citizens to visit the International Space Station — the only place where people currently live off the planet.

For a low introductory rate of only $35,000 per person a night, you and your little ones can enjoy a night of the station’s facilities — including air and water. (And you thought those complimentary drink tickets you got at the Hilton were a big deal.)

Of course, the tourist companies providing the rocket flights to the space station would charge a little extra, but what’s a few million dollars when we’re talking about precious family time before the young’uns head off to college?

Before you go there are a few things to consider, such as what to pack, what to do once you get there and how to send post cards back home since there are currently no post offices in outer space.

We have to assume the International Space Station is climate controlled, so you probably can bring along whatever clothing you planned to wear on a vacation to any other exotic location, such as Athol. Flip-flops are acceptable, although they might float off your feet if you take a walk outside.

But flip-flops are cheap, so what the heck.

People at the International Space Station may enjoy a game of golf while they’re there. Be prepared to make the longest drive you’ve ever made in your life, considering there is no gravity, and your golf ball will likely go on and on into the next galaxy.

Hard to score a game like that, but just think of the bragging rights once you get back home.

For the children, tether them to the outside of the station and let them hop around in gravityless space. It’s like the best trampoline ever.

At night, gather the family around the dining room with the other guests and enjoy a meal of freeze-dried beef stroganoff with freeze-dried peas and freeze-dried chocolate cake. It may seem a little awkward to imbibe a martini through an adult sippy cup, but before you drink all the liquid be sure to give it enough time to rehydrate the freeze-dried olives.

As far as post cards and other souvenirs, you may have to make do with whatever garbage the hosts send you back home with. Space at the International Space Station is limited, and there is a strict pack-it-in, pack-it-out policy in outer space.

But you will have your memories and stories you can regale your friends and family with, ad nauseam, all the rest of the year. And, after all, that’s what vacations are about, am I correct?

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.

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