For reasons too varied and boring to explain, we’ve not had a summer vacation.
What we have had are a few long weekends. Some of them have involved traveling to visit or help family, some were spent doing errands or household tasks. But we had one wonderful “daycation” and I’d recommend it highly.
One late evening, my husband and I drove to a little town an hour away. We did an errand or two and stopped at an inexpensive restaurant for a light dinner. While there, we had a good laugh at one trucker’s parking job.,
After waiting out a sudden downpour, we made it to the car and headed to the next town over where we stayed the night. What a nice beginning for our daycation! There’s a little ice cream shop in the second town which makes THE best chocolate malts ( a kind of milkshake). We each enjoyed one while we walked around, appreciating the varied home designs and gardens. It was a lovely night, post-rain shower and the walk was a happy ending to the first few hours of our getaway.
The next morning, we were up and out! Breakfast came from a not so unique little place – McDonalds. When you want a fast and hot breakfast along with drinkable coffee, McDonalds does the trick. Once we were fed and caffeinated, we were off to ….go fishing!
The spot we fished at was in a beautiful local park. Since it was a Friday morning, we had the place to ourselves. It was so peaceful there. The fact that we caught nothing didn’t take away from the fun. We stayed just as long as we wanted and then packed up our gear. Although I enjoyed the fishing, I was excited to move on to our next activity – antiquing. This little town has a delightfully large antique “mall”, representing many antique dealers in that area. Prices are more than reasonable, dealers are willing to dicker and the stock turns over often enough to check it out frequently. All I bought this trip was a Steve Miller record album (I’ll wait if you want to go look those words up) but we both had a good laugh at a collection of transistor radios (same offer), a wooden baby walker and so many other treasures.
We had only two scheduled activities. One, to visit my sister and her family occurred around lunch time. Her son, “little man”, is a precocious 4 year old who is always fun. (An example: He called the other day to say he had a new joke. We said that was great, that we were ready. So he said, “Knock, knock!” Then he cracked up, laughing so hard at his own joke that he couldn’t even tell it.) So a happy hour or so was spent with them, hearing about their actual vacation and catching up.
The last scheduled event is one we both looked forward to – dinner with our son. Having graduated from college this year, he accepted a job at a firm about 2 hours away from home. Thanks to the GPS, we took a route from my sister’s town to his. What a surprise! The route took us zig-zag across the state, by some incredible farms, some horse country and lovely small towns. That trip alone was worth the travel. We made it our son’s city in plenty of time to meet up with him. The three of us enjoyed a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant. It’s lovely to raise children but the real pay-off is to get to know the adult versions and watch them evolve into wonderful men and women. We so enjoyed our conversation that we lingered awhile at dinner. Regretfully, we hugged our son and headed to the car. It was time to head home.
Believe it or not, we weren’t horribly late getting home but even returning late added to the sense that we had been somewhere, that we had really gotten away. The variety of activities with visits, and no drive too far made this really feel like a vacation. If you haven’t gotten away and are lucky enough to have places you can visit not too far away, give it a try. If money is tight, you can eliminate the overnight and aim for public parks, scenic spots and anything that intrigues you or that you know you enjoy.
According to the news, more and more people in the U.S. and the U.K. are having stay-cations instead of long getaways because of the economy. Consider trying the daycation as an alternative or another way to break up your summer without going broke. Happy Travels!