At this very moment I have friends who are either relaxing by a pool in Naples or enjoying the historic sites of St. Augustine or otherwise dipping their toes in the crystal clear ocean while I endure the hot streets of Rome.

And I’m sick with jealousy.

Now I know I’ll get my turn at the beach when I go on vacation but until then I’m really annoyed by the photos and updates people put on social media. I’ve come up with a list of the most annoying things you can post while on vacation only because there are those of us who WISH we were doing the exact same thing.

1. Photos of your sweaty, tanned legs in the foreground and a white sandy beach in the background. Most of these look like two wet hot dogs.

2. A different take on the legs/beach photo is the toes-in-the-sand photo. It’s so overdone. It’s like everyone needs to let the world know they’re at the beach by posting a photo of their sandy toes and the caption “My happy place.” We need to come up with something new. It’s 2022. Get creative.

3. Temperature gauge in your car. Apparently the world needs to know the temperature of the inside of your vehicle because it’s so unique. This isn’t so much a vacation photo but it’s still really annoying. It’s the summer equivalent of posting a photo of 7 snowflakes on your back deck after it “snowed” for 11 minutes in your part of town. Now it’s one thing if this phenomenon is ONLY happening in the one location you are. But chances are everyone in that area is experiencing the same thing.

4. Checking-in-at-the-airport photos. Yes we know you’re about to fly somewhere. That’s really nice for you. But people fly all the time. We’ve all seen what an airport waiting lounge looks like. We all know what drinks at an airport bar look like. Stop posting airport photos or “checking in” on social media while at the airport.

5. Airplane window photos. Once again, we’ve all seen clouds. We don’t need to see a photo from the tiny airplane window that shows the wing of the plane and clouds and sky beyond that. Now if you’re flying over, let’s say, the Grand Canyon, or something so spectacular that an airplane view is just a wonder for the senses, then yes by all means let’s see it. But please don’t feel the need to snap a photo as your plane is taking off from Fort Lauderdale.

5. Coffee-cup-and-book photos. Let me paint you a picture. Your Facebook friend who does NOT have a clean house and who has NEVER read a book in his or her life suddenly posts a heavily filtered photo of a cup of coffee perched on top of a new best seller and in the background is a beautifully decorated couch or coffee table like you’d see on the pages of Southern Living Magazine. The caption says “Coffee and good book always put my soul at ease.” Now we know good and well that if that person took a wider shot, the rest of the house does NOT look that good. And since when did they start reading? I don’t buy it.

6. Origami swan photo. Apparently people walk into their hotel room, see an origami swan or elephant made out of a hand towel sitting on the bed or on the toilet tank and think “OMG, I HAVE TO capture this moment.” First of all, you’re staying at the La Quinta for free because you had enough points built up. Second of all, there’s absolutely nothing special about hand towel animals. Tons of hotels do that. Now if the hotel staff leave those little Andes chocolate mints on your pillow, holler at me. That’s actually pretty great because I love those things.

7. Facetiming folks when you check in at a nice place. OK, I get it. You’re staying at a really nice resort and as soon as you step into the lobby you can tell it’s super fancy. They got chandeliers and fresh flower arrangements and it smells like someone’s burning an expensive candle. But do you really need to immediately Facetime your family and post a video of you giving a tour of the place? This is especially annoying to the other guests who are trying to relax by the pool when you walk by, hollering into your phone “Mama... Mama, they got a SLIDE AND A SPLASH PAD out here. Get Daddy. I want him to see this. The lounge chairs have cup holders.”

8. Jump photos. I don’t know when or how this started but we should never have had to endure photos of people jumping in the air. The photo captures the moment the entire group is off the ground. They do it on the beach or in a field or in front of a building. Y’all stop jumping up at the same time.

9. Cocktails. Everybody knows what a piña colada looks like. We know what a cold beer looks like. We get it. You’re drinking at the beach. If you’re having some extremely unusual beverage served in a crazy container then sure, let’s see it. But if we’ve seen one tiny umbrella sticking out of a coconut, we’ve seen a thousand.

As I said, many of these are only annoying to me because I’m not on vacation myself. So when y’all start seeing origami swans popping up on my social media pages, please look the other way.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the

Rome News-Tribune.


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