Thursday, May 5, 2011

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

For a brief time this spring, we were playing with the idea of taking a road trip home to the armpit of Ontario during Rosemary's Baby's 2-week break from therapy in July. But then something struck us as...interesting.

In almost 14 years of marriage, the Captain and I have had exactly two vacations that have not involved visiting family. Both of those vacations were road trips, and neither of them lasted more than 3 days. One of them was our "honeymoon".

We are the ones who have moved away. So I do recognize that we need to make the effort to see people from time to time. However, should our first thought every time a vacation period presents itself be to drive all over hell's half-acre fulfilling family obligations? Plenty of other members of our family are smart enough to recognize that they need a trip to a tropical island, or a cruise, or a weekend in the big city from time to time. Why on earth have we gotten into the mindset that we can't do that?!

As we let this thought sink in, another one popped up, and this one was the final nail in the coffin of our road-trip plan.

FREAKING RIDICULOUS GAS PRICES!

The Captain sat down and did a little math on the cost of food and hotels to and from our destination, the price of boarding the dogs and cat while we're away (not to mention the extra vaccines they'd all need to stay at the kennel), and the amount of gas we'd use in the process. We were looking at a minimum $1500 road trip. We could go to Disney for that!!!

Granted, rummaging through my mother's baking cupboards and making creative desserts with all those cake mixes she buys that I don't still sounds like more fun to me than being hugged by a mute in a giant Goofy costume, but $1500 is a lot of money.

So after a bit of discussion, we've decided that this year our best bet is to plan a staycation.

A staycation is a tricky thing though. If we don't want to end up cleaning out the garage and doing laundry the whole time and regretting not going somewhere, we need to plan this thing like tourists with guide books and fanny packs. So I'm doing my research now.

So far, we have a day trip to the big city planned, complete with a visit to the zoo, lunch and a bit of light shopping. We'll have a trip to Booming Metropolis for more family fun (ie. NOT grocery shopping), a nearby small-town festival to visit, and a morning at the park for some beach time and a hike. Barbecues, bonfires and a backyard camp-out will be going on the calendar to keep us accountable, as will a trip to the drive-in movie. I will buy a souvenir, just like I would on vacation, and we'll eat burgers and ice cream. "Staycation" is going to become a synonym for "fun".

If any of you out there have had a successful staycation and have any tips or ideas for me, I'd love to hear them. I'm on a mission to enjoy a holiday at home even more than a road trip to see my in-laws.

I'd make a joke about that, but come on. Fish in a barrel.

17 comments:

Linda said...

Sounds interesting, I look forward to hearing how it goes.

I get the whole visiting family thing too. We moved to Maine, leaving both sides of family in R.I. We used to take the kids camping in ME before we moved, but after that most vacations were spent driving to R.I. and trying to make sure we saw everyone. Good times, but not always relaxing.

Dimple said...

Hubby and I just decided to visit our grown children, and I'm sure it will be at least that much. But a visit, "just because," will be worth it. We haven't been empty-nesters for all that long, there aren't any grands yet, but I miss my kids!

It sounds like you have a lot of fun planned!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You've been on the "visiting family" treadmill for 14 years? When is it THEIR turn to visit you? Highways in Canada run both ways.

knitwit said...

We do have family members who are superstars about coming out to see us, some of whom try to do it almost every year, so it's a pleasure for us to go see them. And we understand how hard it is for those with families and jobs etc to get away. It's the handful who make it clear that they think it's our responsibility to do all the travelling when they don't even have little kids, jobs etc to work around who drive us bananas. We decided that this is the year we start putting our family's vacation needs first, and if certain parties want to complain about not seeing us, they can lump it!!

In Real Life said...

I love your Staycation idea! I'm a bit envious, actually. We were toying with the same idea this year, as we spend our vacation time every summer travelling to Eastern Canada to visit family...but, I think we are making the trip again this year afterall!

Suburban Princess said...

The last holiday...and I dont mean a trip, I mean holiday was ummmm....a LONG time ago! Pre husband. Since we now live where people come to get away from the city I dont feel any need to 'get away' and we have a big back yard, big pool and a comfy outdoor living room so I dont feel any need to go anywhere most times. I would love even just a day/night away at a spa tho! ALONE!

Sandra said...

well you know, if you hit the Big City on July 1st, the zoo is free, then that leaves you a few bucks for the Children's Museum or something else ridiculously overpriced...I'm sorry, I won't be much help, for us 'staycation' does translate to cleaning out the garage, and an even greater reason for my husband to remain plunked on the couch watching every stupid sport imaginable on tv. So would this armpit of Canada in Ontario you speak of be Thunderbay? Simply, I refer to that place as Hell.

Amanda R said...

I love to stay home on vacation. We call it going to "porchville" around here. My idea of a vacation is doing whatever I want during that time. Whether it is spending a day shopping, having a little beauty day or just napping if I wanna I enjoy it more than spending a ton of money that I don't have to waste. Have fun!

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

I'd have to be super disciplined to get the most out of a staycation - I would definitely be cleaning garages, or windows or tidying the depths of some basement cupboard, whilst muttering under my breath.

Good luck and enjoy!!

Hines-Sight said...

I think a staycation is a great idea if you do exactly what you are doing and plan outings, places you've always wanted to go, but don't got. I think it will be fun.

GLENDA BROOKS said...

I haven't had a small child in so long I can't even remember a vacation with one. For me just sitting on the porch watching the world go by is a vacation for me. Something about....If you can't run with the big dogs, just stay on the porch! Well my running days are over. I hope you have a wonderful time and I would love to hear about your camping expedition to the back yard. That one sounds like a lot of fun!

LaelShine said...

I think that's a lovely idea!
Very inspiring too. I might have to steal it!

Rebecca Flys said...

We don't go on go-away vacations. A weekend here or there, but not a real vacation. Soooo in summer we do a lot of backyard campfires with smores and kid's friends. Sleep in tents...

We did a big theme party for Eclipse last summer, I made half-moon cookies and werewolf kibble (out of checks mix, pb, & chocolate) and punch with strawberry milk mix all over the bowl to look like blood.

Maybe you could all dress up and take candid outdoor pictures, like a picture day? So you have staycation memories?

Go somewhere that you can feed birds straight from your hands, that's a big hit with my crew!

Can't wait to see what you do!

Michelle said...

Staycations can be fun! You could even do one night in a hotel if you could find one cheap. We did that last year one weekend and it was fun. We swam in the pool, went out to dinner and it was in an area of our "city" that we don't usually visit, so it really was like we were on vacation. Have a wonderful time! (I know you will). My real reason for visiting today though was to wish you a Happy Mother's Day!!! I assume there's some kind of celebration of mothers in Canada! ;)

Laural Out Loud said...

You are so smart to plan things as if you were on a real vacation. Only you'll come back to the comfort of your own home every night! We've done a few staycations, and I learned pretty quickly that no planning equals a lot more cleaning at home (out of guilt for wanting to fill my free time with productivity). Have you been checking out the daily deal sites? I've discovered at on of local things to do just from the deals that I see on those sites. Have fun!!!!

Nezzy said...

Oh baby, I wish I could help. We could have a wonderful staycation here out in the middle of nowhere you'd think. We have a pool, and acre yard filled with flower gardens, benches and water fountain. The birdbath and feeders are filled with colorful birds and a squirrel abides in the front elm tree. I could go on...but people find us, the phone rings constantly and my little MIL lives just up the road. Never works for us.

We do go to Texas but we end up doin' all kinds of repairs and business for my Mom. It's more like a 'workcation'.

If ya'll are able to 'lock' yourselves in and unplug the phone, computer and hide the cells ya might be able to pull it off.

There are tents, blow up pools, games to play. Marshmallow and water gun fights. Slip and slide competitions. You may have nearby water parks or amusement parks ya can visit in a day. Good luck sweetie and let us know how it turns out for ya.

God bless and enjoy your day! :o)

Melanie said...

I think you should consider, geting one of those groupons and have a maid come clean you house
(just like room service) while you are at the beach!A couple of hours of cleaning that you don't have to do -- that is VACATION for sure.