Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our summer staycation

We're trying to finalize our vacation plans for this summer. Originally we thought about driving to Philadelphia to see old friends from seminary, but with the price of gas the way it is we shelved that idea pretty quick. Then I was lobbying for a trip to Santa Fe, which is a place I've always wanted to see, it's about a 10-hour drive, and I'm feeling pretty hippie-deprived here in the buckle of the Bible Belt. This idea also seems to be fading, partially because of the price of gas but also, and probably more so, because we'd have to stay in a hotel there and it would probably be around $700 just for that. (And before you ask - DW doesn't do camping.)

My 3 faithful readers (well 2, if you don't count the person I share a checking account with) know that we've been stuggling to get our heads above water financially. Due to the largesse of the government we've been able to put about $2000 into a savings account. DW has been consistently saying that to go on a trip that would cost just about that whole amount seems irresponsible, and she's right, I'm afraid.

So we're going on two smaller trips. The first is to KC, hometown of DW, for my father-in-law's 2d bar mitzvah. (Explanation: The Bible says we're allotted "three score and 10" years on earth; so at 70 we start counting again, and at 83 there's another bar mitzvah! I bet the gifts include fewer savings bonds, though.) My folks are coming to that, and (get this) they are taking the 3 DKs to Branson for 3 whole days afterward. (God bless them!) So DW and I are staying in KC sans kids for 3 whole days. (Three times longer than our honeymoon, but that's a another story.) We're seeing friends, including a friend of ours who's a singer and has a gig on one of those nights with a band we've never seen. We'll hit at least one of the museums, have a picnic if the weather is nice, and I'm hoping to see the Royals once while we're there.

The question now is, where do we stay? We could stay for free at her parents' house, but it's not (how to say this delicately) the most romantic setting. She won't ask her friends if we can stay with them - I would, but it's not my call. There's a hotel in the Westport section that looks interesting, "KC's first green hotel," and the only thing you have to do is say to me is that something is green and I'm there! $111/night on sale at Expedia. I reckon we can do 1, possibly 2 nights there.

Then we have another week, first week in August, which is when we were going to go to Santa Fe. Now it looks like we're going to do something that's been getting a lot of press lately with all the economic problems - a "staycation." I'm determined not to fall into my tendency to just shlep around the house all day. We're looking in the local travel books to find places that are interesting and within 2 or 3 hours of the house. We'll probably go up to Lawrence, maybe even overnight - we've always heard good things about that town, and KU won't be in session yet. There's the farm where we get some of our eggs and chicken in Hutchinson, we'll probably go up there for look-around. Newton is supposedly an interesting town, they have a 10,000 Villages store. And we have memberships to the Zoo, the botanical gardens, and the children's museum that we don't use enough. I'd like to do a hike in the Flint Hills, if it's not 110 degrees, or maybe rent a boat in El Dorado. And that should fill up a week.

It's disappointing a bit not to be going to Santa Fe - there's a certain adventure aspect that will be missing. I'm hoping that if we move fast enough and fill the week with interesting things it will be something we'll look back on with fond memories. And it won't completely kill my meager savings. And that, in these days and in our circumstances, has to be the best part of all.


suefendrick said...

We've done a staycation on at least one occasion (or is "o-cation"?), and really enjoyed it. It's a different kind of vacation, but not always a lesser one--getting packed to go away, the transitions of going and coming to have their own stress. It's hard-to-impossible to completely block out things like the business of life, email, paying bills, answering regular phone calls, etc., but there are ways to minimize it, esp. with advance planning. If you plan much of it in advance, cook or buy special foods, let each kid bring a friend for one of the days, it can really be spun (and experienced) as a great vacation. One time our kids actually asked for it--they were so exhausted from camp at the end of the summer that they just wanted to relax, and this gave them more options.

Hope you enjoy it. The green hotel looks great--I can't believe how reasonable the price is.

Anonymous said...

Since you guys are fairly new to the area you live in--short trips are a great idea! We only went 3 hours to get to Charleston SC and that was fine. I think vacations over a few days are highly over-rated. I'm trying to figure out how to visit my son out in Idaho and my mom in wisconsin in September--w/o being gone more than a week. Its going to cost me a ton-- but haven't seen mom in 2 years and son in over a year. Because of cost hubby/kids won't be accompanying me, but that's ok--I'm a big girl now. :)

Anonymous said...

oops-- I was logged into my work blog! LOL.. I've been trying to improve the blog I'm doing for work. Mary t