Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Staycations

I think I may have mentioned this already, but D's and my 3 year anniversary is coming up on Feb. 2. We (I) try to make it a point to plan something special, preferably some sort of getaway.
The problem is, I was somewhat short-sighted when I decided that a February wedding was a good idea. Turns out, if you don't have lots of money, it's kind-of hard to find things to do in Michigan in the dead of winter. Right about this time of year, the cold starts to get really tiresome and the novelty of the snow has long since worn off. And all you want to do is go someplace warm and tropical.

Sadly, warm and tropical requires money. And also, not so easy to get away when kids are thrown in the mix. Especially when one kid is just about finished baking and could be popping out of the oven at any time.

For our first anniversary, D and I went to the west coast of Michigan to a bed and breakfast. Turns out, the town I had selected was actually more of a summer mecca and pretty much closed down in the winter. Which would explain why I had gotten such a good deal at the bed and breakfast.

This post is not about that trip, but I can't resist giving you an idea of what we were dealing with. First of all, it was basically a blizzard when we were driving into the town, trying to locate our B&B. It was just like a scary movie, where the roads are totally deserted and there's one lone traffic light blinking yellow in the distance.

Needless to say, we were the only ones at the B&B that weekend. Which was also eerie, because the B&B was a restored Victorian-style house and every time I opened the door of our room, I expected to see the scary girl from The Shining standing at the end of the hall.

Part of our weekend package was a gift certificate to a local restaurant. So we called the restaurant to see what time they closed and they said, "Whenever people stop coming in." And there was literally nothing else in this town except a bunch of boutiques that were closed and one other bar-type restaurant.

It was not a banner weekend, to say the least.

For our second anniversary, I don't remember what we did. When I started to write this post, I thought we went to Chicago, but then I started to remember that we went to Chicago in the summer for our babymoon before L was born, and not for our anniversary.

So please excuse my pregnancy brain, because I truly cannot remember what we did last year. I know L was here, so it can't have been anything exciting. And I was returning to work from maternity leave right around that time, so that seals it. We didn't really do anything for our 2nd anniversary. I think we exchanged gifts?

This year, I knew we'd need to do something. We're on the brink of having 2 under 2, I feel like I've been pregnant forever and I just want a weekend that is without a schedule and that doesn't have to be planned around nap time. So, I started thinking about it back in the fall, and looked ahead at the calendar to see what D's work schedule looked like.

Unfortunately, our actual anniversary falls in the red-zone for me pregnancy-wise. I'll be just about 37 weeks, and I think my doctor would lock me up and throw away the key if I mentioned to her that I was planning on going anywhere further away than an hour. But, since D was off weekends in December, it means he was on weekends for January. So the first weekend we could do anything would be this coming weekend, the last of January.

Not to be deterred, I announced to D that we would be taking a "staycation" and just go to a local hotel and bop around our home area for the weekend. At first, I had all these grandiose plans about how D would pick an activity to do on the Friday night and I'd pick something for Saturday night and we'd just play it by ear for the day on Saturday.

But then, as this weekend drew closer and closer, I realized that there was pretty much one thing I wanted to do: sleep. As it turns out, hotels are really awesome for that. So there's definitely going to be a lot of sleeping built into the agenda.

We do have other things planned, like dinner and a movie on Friday night. And then on Saturday, there's a home improvement show at the local expo center (with an arts and crafts fair built in) that happens to be a stone's throw away from the hotel. I'd tell you how unbelievably pumped I am about this, but it would quickly become apparent how much of a loser I am, so I won't go into that. Other than that, we have no plans except to just eat dinner and possibly bring our DVD player and watch a movie on Saturday night. Maybe order some dessert from room service or something.

But no matter what, we will have a complete and total lack of structure and schedule. This is so incredibly appealing to me that I can't even really put it into words. We're going to wake up when we want to wake up, eat when we want to eat, go where we want to go when we want to go there.....ahhhh.

Sorry, I just got a little bit swept away by the sheer bliss of it all.

I think I might be more excited about this staycation than I have been for a weekend in a long time. To be honest, I don't think I was this excited about Christmas. Or my birthday (even though this past birthday totally kicked ass).

I'm so excited that I think I've got myself convinced that staycations are just the way to go in general. Forget fancy trips to exotic locales. Why go countries (or even states) away, when a fun staycation could be yours?

Think of the perks. For one, you are already familiar with the area. If the hotel concierge tells you some sort of attraction or event is in a certain town, you already know where that town is.

You also have complete control over your travel time. You can choose a hotel 5 minutes away or 30 minutes away. And since you already know your area, you know which hotels are nice and which ones to avoid. So you eliminate the chance that you'll end up at some questionable hotel on the seedy side of town where they have the option of renting rooms by the hour.

Then there's the fun of exploring the area in which you live. You can go places you never even knew existed or always wondered about. You can eat at restaurants you've always wanted to try. (Or, in our case, you can eat at the restaurants you'd normally eat at because your husband is picky and relatively predictable and would rather eat someplace he knows he likes because if he's paying for it, he'd better like it or it will ruin his whole life.) And best of all, it's cheaper!

With all these revelations, I've got myself about 75% convinced that all our future family vacations will be staycations. If we get started with this now, our kids won't know anything different. When they're in school and their friends are talking about Disney World and cruises and beach houses, our kids will be like, "For our summer vacation, we went to Ann Arbor." (To any non-local blog readers, Ann Arbor is maybe 30 minutes from us.)

And then, if we ever do dare to venture out of state for a vacation, our kids will be in total and complete awe. By that point, we wouldn't have to go far to impress them. I'm pretty sure Cedar Point would do the trick. And Chicago would probably blow their minds. (But seriously, Chicago is awesome. Chicago blows MY mind.)

So that's the plan for the distant future. The near future holds a wonderful sleep and relaxation-filled weekend with my sweetie of 3 years (well, married for 3. Together for much longer than that. I've lost count.) Probably the last one of it's kind for a while once 2.0 gets here.

But I won't think about that. D and I made a pact that, while we can talk about L and 2.0 and general baby stuff, we aren't allowed to stress or bicker or talk about the lack of sleep that awaits us or discuss anything un-fun (specifically, money). There will only be relaxation and enjoying each other's company.

And dreaming of all the changes we want to make to our house while we're at the home improvement show.

2 comments:

Pink Gingham Girl said...

What a great idea! Actually, my birthday and Valentines day are four days apart so we've been trying to plan something JUST like this too! Thanks for the ideas! :)

Nicole Everitt said...

We did a staycation at a nice local resort for our 21st birthdays. It was GREAT... and so nice that the resort was far enough out of the way from "home" that it was a different part of town, but still home.