Spring Break is fast approaching and this year we are not headed to an exotic destination. We are hunkering down and staying put. No packing, no jet lag, no airport delays, no backseat fighting, no sunburn, no "are we there yet?" This year we are embarking on a staycation and the possibilities are endless...
Perhaps we'll pitch a tent in the backyard one night, build a campfire and take in the night sky. Maybe we'll get crazy and project a movie on the shed in the backyard and have our very own drive-in theater. And if it rains that night, have no fear, we'll pitch the tent in the living room and roast marshmallows over the gas range.
We've visited DC, New York, and Boston and seen all the sites worth seeing. And do you know what tops my kids' favorite list from those cities? The ride on the Metro, the T, the Subway and in a NYC taxi cab. What can I say, my kids love public transportation. So, who am I to fight it? We'll take the trolley to uptown Charlotte and take a city bus home. I'll throw in a few bucks to buy some souvenirs, postcards and treats - because no trip is complete without useless tchotchkes - and I promise you the Jefferson Memorial, the Empire State Building and the Freedom Trail will be distant memories.
One morning I'll surprise them with room service. They'll wake up and find a menu next to their beds with instructions to intercom me in the kitchen when they are ready to place their order. Then I'll deliver the eggs (anyway they like 'em), toast, and orange juice on a silver tray with a copy of USA Today...right to their bedroom door. Service with a smile. And I'll give them the option of hanging a "Do Not Disturb" sign on their doorknob. If I'm still feeling generous at the end of the day, they will receive turn down service complete with a piece of chocolate on their pillow. The Westin's got nothing on Hotel Reid.
On second thought, that doesn't sound like a vacation for me. At all. I may decide to declare a choratorium: no bed making, no vacuuming, no cleaning toilets and certainly no meal preparation. In which case the room service idea may not be an option after all. Hmm. I'll have to think about that one...
The other night we were watching one of our favorite cooking shows...The Barefoot Contessa and my son commented, "Man it would be nice to have a dinner like that every night." Ouch. But I have to agree; in my next life, I'm coming back as the Barefoot Contessa's husband. I was quick to point out that if I cooked like the Barefoot Contessa every night, his sister would would starve to death. The thought of Dover Sole in a lemon butter sauce might sound appealing to him, but it would set her over the edge. Then I suggested that when we go on staycation, the whole family should get involved in meal selection and preparation. My son loved the idea and keeps asking if we are really going to do it. (wait until she vetoes his every suggestion).
I promise to share photos from our staycation. My husband's cameras and all the lenses accompany us on every trip. We have candid shots, posed shots, funny shots, family shots, individual shots; he's exceptionally talented and captures our lives on film quite beautifully. On past vacations, we looked forward to the nightly slideshow of the days activities and I don't expect this year to be any different. I'm envisioning a few snapshots of the couch, several of the kids playing the Wii, some kitchen scenes, the trolley ride, room service delivery, and one or two of the pizza delivery man (we can't cook every night) oh and cocktail hour. We may not be poolside, but we'll keep up the tradition of happy hour every afternoon. We'll get the blender out and mix up some fruit smoothies for the kids and pina coladas for the adults (note to self: purchase cocktail parasols for the umbrella drinks).
And, yes, of course, it goes without saying that I'll scrapbook the whole staycation. Because I am oh, so crafty. Not.
Maybe I'll come up with a theme for each day? Monday will be Beach Day (hence the umbrella drinks), Tuesday can be Spa Day (somebody can rub my shoulders while somebody else gives me a pedicure), Wednesday can be International Day (Bonjour! I'll offer French toast on the room service menu, visit Taco Bell for lunch and perhaps see a movie with subtitles in the late afternoon), Thursday can be Olden Days Day (no electricity, board games, candles, outhouse, etc...). Or maybe it would be easier to pick a theme and make it last all week? I like the idea of Film Festival Week. We'll rent movies, pop corn, eat Milk Duds and Junior Mints for lunch each day and wash it down with ginormous Coke products. The first movie will be The Wizard of Oz and I'll replay the part where Dorothy chants, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."
This could be paradise...