After much research on Mexico and Hawaii, Ryan and I began looking at rental houses in San Diego, not wanting to be contained in a resort where our search for a casual restaurant would be an ordeal. In San Diego, we’d get the weather, the beach, and be able to have oatmeal on hand to just make a quick breakfast in our rental. Then, after thinking about packing up everything to fly, we switched our search criteria to Santa Cruz, CA. So basically, our big summer vacation is going to take place about 90 minutes from our house. I am totally excited, almost as if we were getting new stamps on our passports.
To take it to the next level of convenience and cheapness however, we could have just canceled all work obligations for a week and stayed home. Called a staycation by the trend-watching media, this would allow us to spend all the money saved on travel on meals and activities that we never engage in. Just think about applying a $200/day budget to a week at home. Bring your meals in! Bring a babysitter with you to the beach, so if you want to fall asleep in the sun, it’s ok! Rent a crazy backyard tent and sleep out there! Host a margarita party for 20 friends!
Beyond the budget issue, there’s the time at home to appreciate. Not the time to clean out the garage, but rather the time to use those toys you usually don’t feel like setting up. The tunnels, the art supplies, the huge cardboard boxes I’ve been saving for fort-making.
And the outings! The zoo, the farmer’s market, the public pools with cool splashy things. Having the d-a-d at home during the day makes some of these possible for me. He can take the baby to Gymboree or to Studio Grow or to SFMOMA or all the other things that stay-at-home-parents can do. And I can do sewing projects, make pumpkin pie, and build very tall lego buildings with my almost-4-year-old without having baby sis pull at our legs the whole time.
And one more naughty thought for working moms: plan a staycation for you and your partner and KEEP your daycare situation. How much fun would that be? Daytime movies, leisurely bike rides, afternoon naps, lunchtime at a restaurant.
If you are willing to write one of these guides for Santa Cruz before August 15, I will be your best friend forever. (Sorry, Heather!)