I have never succumbed to the "no place to go" lament, only the no-money, no-time or no-freedom-to-go blues. When they hit, I stock up on imported wines and beers, set up the slide projector, pour the potables, turn off the lights and take off for Europe, Egypt, the South Pacific -- wherever my formerly footloose and fancy-free feet have led me.
Often it's a solitary trip but sometimes, if the drinks appeal, my husband joins me. His idea of the perfect vacation, anyway, is setting himself up in the most comfortable pub or cafe closest to our hotel and sipping the local brew, reading and watching people. So, with the right brand of beer at hand to match the slide show, he's instantly transported. (Although some beers and trips are painful to recall -- like the dirty can of Egyptian beer responsible for his landing in quarantine in a tropical-disease ward back home.)
This can be the best way to travel -- no hassles, no tension, no huge outlays, no hysterical arguments with porters or customs officers. You've already paid your dues. In fact, it seems that 50 percent of the pleasure of getting away lies in the anticipation, and the other half in the remembrance.
Pictures provide the perfect precis of each trip. Only the arresting, charming, exciting or whimsical images are preserved. No agonizing over which restaurant to try, which street to walk down, which cheap but sure-to-be-charming hotel to choose.
But after the lights go up, inspired by the bliss of those perfect trips, I head for the travel section of my home library and start planning another trip. Although they're fewer and farther between now, mind trips are still the best panacea for a long weekend with nowhere to go. ARMCHAIR TRAVELS
If you don't own a suitcase-full of travel slides, you can still tour Venice, go on a fishing trip in Saskatchewan or see the sights of London from your La-Z-Boy, courtesy of public-library film rentals. Most area libraries require you to reserve, up to three weeks in advance in some areas; borrowing is free but usually for residents only. For information on your local library's policy, contact: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. LIBRARY -- 901 G Street NW. 727-1265. MARYLAND MONTGOMERY COUNTY LIBRARY -- Film Services Department, 279-1944. PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY LIBRARY -- You can order and pick up films at all branches or call Film and Video Services, 699-3500. VIRGINIA ALEXANDRIA PUBLIC LIBRARY -- Special Services, 998-0650. ARLINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY -- Film Department, 527-4777. FAIRFAX COUNTY -- All library branches have film catalogues and request forms or you can go directly to the Film Library at 5502 Port Royal Road in Springfield and take what's available. The Film Library also has two projectors for rent at $3 a night, but the waiting list is long. 321-9166. RENT A PROJECTOR -- Count on spending around $20 to rent a 16mm projector overnight. Better still, rent it on Friday and keep it till Monday for the same price. Look under Audio-Visual Equipment & Supplies in the Yellow Pages.