Preparing for a Summer Vacation er uh Staycation
Summer is finally here. The calendar says that officially summer begins the third week of June, but here in the Pacific Northwest (west of the Mountains anyway) summer doesn’t really begin until after the 4th of July. Summer means vacation time! I would love to take a real vacation. Drive or fly somewhere fun, stay in a hotel and eat in restaurants. I wouldn’t have to cook or clean. And we’d be taking a break from school so there would be no lesson planning or prep work, no teaching of lessons, no grading. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Well, we can’t afford to take a vacation. (If we could, be going back to Minnesota to visit family and help my uncle and aunt celebrate 50 years of marriage!)
We can’t go anywhere but I still need a vacation. My husband needs a vacation and he has “use it or lose it leave” accrued. My children do need a fun break from school. What to do? Have a staycation of course!
Honeybear and I sat down with a calendar and instead of him taking off a full week or two for a family vacation that we can’t afford, he’s taking two or three days off of 3 or 4 weeks this summer. One of those 3 days off weeks, will be the longer staycation to enjoy a visit from his parents. The girls and I will have the WHOLE week off and Daddy will join us from Wednesday to the end.
Since we’ll be staying home, I won’t have a maid to make my bed or tidy my hotel room, but I can do a few things to make the week more pleasant and less stressful. We’re doing some DEEP cleaning and decluttering. If the house is completely clean at the start of our staycation, I will feel more relaxed. If we go on our day trips, we won’t be here to really mess up the house and coming home will be relaxing. I’m also making sure the really cute quilts with the matching pillow shams are clean. Then the bedroom will look more bed & breakfast cozy.
Speaking of breakfast, one of the things I love about staying at an hotel is that most of the time, a continental breakfast is available.(For free!) Also, when you are on vacation you eat out so there’s no cooking to do and no clean up. We can’t afford to eat out every day during our staycation so I’ve come up with a plan to reduce the cooking we need to do that week.
The girls and I have done some meal planning and some grocery shopping and we’re going to do some cooking ahead to have meals ready to go with little to no work. We have purchased bagels, cereal and muffins and we’ll be making breakfast sandwiches. We’ll pick up some yogurt and fresh fruit for easy breakfasts that we can quickly eat at home or take with us to eat in the van on our longer day trips.
We’ve got baked ziti and hamburger patties in the freezer. We’ll add come chicken breasts in marinade to the freezer. They’ll marinate while they defrost and we can grill them for an easy dinner! I’ll be adding some home made broth for a soup and making sloppy joes and spaghetti sauce. If I do as much cooking/prep as I can BEFORE my staycation, then it’s like getting a mini-vacation from cooking that week.
By having meals planned, prepped and some what prepared, and by having the house extra clean, I’ll be able to relax a little more. I’ll be able to spend more time creating memories with my children as we have fun and visit with their grandparents. No I don’t get a complete vacation from cooking and cleaning, but I will get a vacation from home school and I will get to relax and have fun.
What are your plans for this summer? If you home educate do you take the summer off?
This weeks Blog Cruise topic is Summer Staycation Ideas. The Crew Blog post with all the links will be up Tuesday morning. Next week’s Blog Cruise Topic is Summer Family Fun and I’ll be talking about some of the fun activities that we’ll be doing both on our staycation and over the summer.