Attendance is important, and it's hard to 'catch up' from being absent. Perhaps the teacher wasn't as tactful as you would have liked, but I believe her attitude is justified. I know that kids can't avoid being sick, but when parents schedule vacations during school, it's frustrating. And this isn't a rare occurrence; sometimes it seems as if I spend each week trying to catch a student up on what happened while he was out. I work hard and my students' learning is a high priority to me, and I think it should be a high priority for parents.
School no longer means students sitting at their desks doing one page after another in their workbooks. Students work together in groups, and a lot of the learning is 'hands-on'. When a student misses activities like this, she can't really make them up.
Also, I often modify my lesson plans and homework assignments based on what happens in class each day. Because of this, I like to wait until an absent student returns to give her a list of make-up work so that I can be sure it's accurate. Because more and more teachers are dealing with this issue, many schools have a "no assignments in advance" policy for children who are out of school for pleasure trips.
Keeping a journal is an excellent assignment for a vacation. It's a chance for your daughter to exercise her writing skills, and she will be able to share her notes with her classmates when she returns.