“What comes to your mind when I say staycation”, I asked my brother? He simply said, “staying at home versus going away”. Of course, I was hoping for a more detailed response. But, that’s all he had since he was exhausted from digging a hole for a pond he’s decided to build in his backyard while on his vacation or should I say staycation. For me, a staycation can be as simple as getting a book off the New York Times Best Seller list and lounging for hours in my hammock. Staycations seem to be the norm these days. With so many families watching their pennies, fancy trips seem a thing of the past. Instead, many have decided to just stay home. But, that doesn’t mean this long-awaited, well deserved time off work/school can’t be FUN!
When I was younger, my dad would alternate teaching summers at Kent State University so we could afford to go to Maine for two weeks the following summer. The summers we spent at home were just as fun as the summers in Maine. And, I think it’s because my parents gave us the freedom to get inspired. My brother & I grew up in the best neighborhood; it was almost movie-like, filled with kids of all ages. On hot, summer nights, we would play hide-n-seek or goose in the graveyard until the wee hours. Which was probably 11pm, but for an 11 year old, it felt more like 3am. On rainy days, we would watch movies or play Monopoly & Risk until all the pieces were gone. The most creative thing we ever did on our staycation, was put on a neighborhood circus complete with animals and talent acts including a unicyclist! Growing up on Verner Road was the best!
As we got older, my parents would take us exploring. Long Sunday drives consisted of eating lunch at a local diner, visiting area zoos, or art and natural history museums. Depending on the artist visiting for the summer at Kent State, there were creative art projects to be made. One summer, we made our own paper, learned silk screening, batiking and even gathered clay at Virginia Kendall for sculpture making.
A staycation can be your way of reconnecting with the world around you. Living in the fast paced age of social media and instant information, who couldn’t use a little “TIME” to enjoy the view? Italians describe this with the mantra “Il Dolce Far Niente” or the “Sweetness of Doing Nothing”.
So, if you are planning a Staycation this summer check out your city’s event calendar for fun things to do. Go visit the Akron Zoo (I’ve heard the jellyfish exhibit is a must see – complete with ones that glow in the dark). Or, plan a camping trip – whether West Branch State Park or in your own backyard. As for me, I’ll be making a lime basil mojito, grabbing this year’s summer read and heading for the hammock.