Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer is here - How about a "Staycation"?

Kennebunk Beach - photo by Robert Dennis
"Staycation" is basically a "Stay at home Vacation". Great for the pocketbook but how do you make it interesting? Explore the idea and create a few cherished memories in your own backyard.

What are the advantages of a "Staycation"? Everyone gets to sleep in their own beds, so you are almost assured a good night's sleep. Since it is in your backyard, you are within familiar surroundings. You don't have to travel far with flights, etc., so the cost is minimal.

Some ideas we've done over the years as a family (not a new concept in our home):
  • Consider a day hike. We purchased a book when my children were young, called "Hikes in New England for Children and Families". It was sectioned by state, town, and degree of difficulty. We used it as a checklist in exploring hikes around our state and surrounding states. Some hikes were almost literally in our backyard - places we didn't know existed. Despite the complaining, our sons now look fondly back as adults and have started hiking again with their friends.
  • Seek life's simple pleasures - like Ice Cream! My husband and I love ice cream and in the summer, Maine has wonderful old fashioned, homemade ice cream stands. We often visited these places with our children (when they were younger) for a vacation treat. Now it is our mission, as a couple, to seek new places to try each week. My daring husband loves experimenting with their sometimes unusual variety of flavors (we always try two flavors in a cup).
  • Explore what you love in your own backyard. I love the coast. In my opinion, Maine has some of the most beautiful and varied seacoast in America. The length of the coast line stretches 3500 miles from Kittery/Eliot all the way to Calais. Bar Harbor with Acadia National Park, Deer Isle, Portland's Old Port District, Old Orchard Beach and many gorgeous beaches in Southern Maine in the Kennebunks, Ogunquit and York (just to name a few) are all fun and interesting places in between. What's in your backyard?
  • Free Cultural events and places to visit. You don't have to spend money to enjoy the arts. There are many free events in your communities that are waiting for discovery. Kennebunk the community in which I live, offers numerous art galleries, small historical museums, and free outdoor musical venues throughout the summer. There are also many festivals and fairs most weekends somewhere in Maine (and probably in your state also).
  • If you have children, discover what their interests are and plan events exploring these interests. I'll never forget when our children were young and their cousins from New York came to visit. We took them down to the shore and wading in the water at low tide we discovered all types of sea life - baby lobsters, crabs, starfish,etc. My son (a budding young marine biologist who at the time read everything he could about sea life) recited various facts about the life we encountered. They were absolutely amazed and thrilled with an experience that didn't cost their parents a cent and they didn't have to stand in line for hours . Afterwards, we brought lobsters home and they had an adventure cooking them. Needless to say, they still talk about their summer vacation in Maine.
My personal list can go on and on as there is much to do in this beautiful state of Maine. Look at your State and discover what lies waiting in your backyard!


Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

I love "staycations." I met a girl the other day who was taking a week off from work, and she was doing lots of day spa treatments, Pilates classes, that sort of thing. She looked wonderfully relaxed, and she said she was having a great time.

Chrisy said...

Did you ever see the episode of Corner Gas, a Canadian sitcom, where Brent goes on a Staycation...it was a classic!

Diary of a Young Designer said...

I read an article about staycations a while ago, it is a pretty good idea to use when you'd like to go on a vacation and you don't have much cash. Great ideas, loved the ice cream one! ^-^


Judy said...

Maine sounds just wonderful! I love your beach picture...wish I was there now. Enjoy your summer!

BailiwickDesigns said...

That's so true! We did the same when our children were young - going to the pier (where I grew up and my parents still lived) to visit the little aquarium there was one memorable thing. Now my daughter takes her son there when they visit.

Felix and Jayne said...

great ideas! thanks for sharing!

Krazy Kate Designs said...

Very cool! When we were camping, my granddaughter and I went to a class on wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains. I was planning on purchasing a book and spending a day with her in the prairies hunting for wild flowers. Now, we have a name for what we're gonna do. :)

LuLu Borealis said...

Loved you post and your pics, thanks for sharing.