vacation ideas?

in a perfect world, i'd have enough sick time to stay home today and nurse my MRSA infection i mysteriously manifested on friday night. however, i'm completely out of sick time, thanks to the pneumonia of 2006 and the great spleen-bruising a couple of months ago, both of which had me out of work for just over a week at a time. add a few scattered migraines, GI tract insurrections, and my annual case of strep throat, and it's all gone.
talking with amandarin last night, commiserating about our jobs and catching up on the week's litany of Work Disasters we usually share over IM, explaining why i have no sick time, it hit me that the reason i have burned through all my sick time is that i haven't been able to take a real vacation in years, and definitely not since i started this job.

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oh, sure, i've taken a day or two, sometimes taken a week of afternoons off. in the summer 2005, i started taking every friday off, because i was accruing vacation much faster than i could ever hope to take it, otherwise. the last real vacation i took, which involved absolutely no work whatsoever for weeks, and no family obligations, was in 1998 -- nine years ago -- and it's almost entirely my own fault.
see, i have it in my head that vacation means time spent not at work, in some far-off place, with your significant other and not leaving your hotel room. vacation also means getting together in one place with a bunch of close friends and making the sorts of memories you'll tease each other about the next time you see each other. i managed the latter on friday night, at my rather-late-in-the-year midsummer party, where my lawn got set on fire. (i know, mom; i said nothing caught on fire, but it didn't occur to me that the lawn counted.)
when i had a significant other, we had no money to speak of, so we never went anywhere unless his family or friends were visiting from other countries, and we'd play host and tour guide. in the last few years, i've avoided going on vacation, because i didn't want the forcible reminder that i was still single. so now the trick's going to be finding something to do and somewhere to go that's both affordable, and not full of happy couples smugly being together. otherwise, it'll be another series of days off spent running errands and seeing people who complain i don't see them enough. (funny how those same people can't be bothered to pick up a phone or come over to my place for dinner when i'm working, isn't it?)
so… where to go? what to do?