Thanks, guys, for all the feedback. I ended up getting a 45-day trial sub to GoToMyPC, which works fine on Vista and was very easy to install and set up. But there is no way I would pay $20 a month for continued use of a product that is static by nature. The yearly fee would pay for an upgrade to Vista Ultimate with RDP built in and there are plenty of free VPN solutions. Of course, I'm assuming that these VPNs will work with Vista which is also what I thought about TightVNC. Usually, a subscription gets you new content or use of a resource (broadband, storage). I don't see why anyone would regularly pay for GoToMyPC.
I looked at LogMeIn -- the company that bought Hamachi -- and that looks good. At least they offer free versions which do all that I need. I'll also try TeamViewer and anything else I find or is recommended to me. I would like to have a hardware solution someday, perhaps when I upgrade to 802.11n final (will it ever be final?).
As for vacation, we'll be having fun but this is a Geek Holiday! Dad is a geek like me and we always have several hardware and software projects that we work on together. I'm thinking we can fill the dead times by checking in on the forum. Also, my non-geek family always appreciates help with their computers and occasionally throw me a stumper. So, I may need to call over here for help. Or, I may be a ghost but at least my options are open.