Visions of Vacations Dancing in our Heads
L.M. Montgomery, best known as the author of the Anne of Green Gables series said “I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”
June is a wonderful, generous month where the days are sunny and hot, roses are in full bloom, and strawberries are ripe for the picking. School is out, summer camp begins, youth sports are in full swing, and vacation fantasies start flitting around in our heads.
Webster’s Dictionary defines VACATION as a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation. The idea of travel and recreation was once a luxury of wealthy people alone. In the Puritan culture of early America, taking a break from work for reasons other than weekly observance of the Sabbath was frowned upon. However; when a religious movement began which encouraged spiritual retreat and recreation, the idea of breaking from work periodically took root among the working class and the modern concept of vacation was born.
With the school year drawing to a close, June marks the beginning of vacation season. However, the thought of planning a summer vacation causes many people to break out in a cold sweat. Furiously trying to balance their vacation budget, finding a place to go that offers something for everyone, plus the decision of who to include in their plans can be a pretty daunting task. Not to mention the agony of dealing with the “Are we there yet?” backseat chorus.
Because of fluctuations in the economy the last few years, we’ve invented a new term called “staycations” wherein we take vacation time from work, but stay at home instead of traveling. Staycations are low cost, relaxing, and can be wonderful bonding time for the family if you structure things correctly.
While recently picnicking with my kids and grandkids at Percy Priest Lake, I looked across the water and announced that instead of going on a family trip to the beach in July as originally planned, we were going to stay at the cabins at Nashville Shores and spend our days at the water park and ropes course. The grandkids jumped up and down with glee and my kids said “Well, that could work.” Unfortunately, I said this as a joke since I had already reserved (and paid for) a beach house. But this did plant a seed that a staycation could actually be a lot of fun and could possibly save a lot of money.
I googled staycations and came up with the following list titled “How to Know When You Need a Staycation:”
- You and your partner have had at least two arguments about how much your vacation is costing
- You promised you’d help your daughter re-paint her room - two years ago
- You’ve spent so much time on the road, your neighbors call you “the visitor”
- The patio furniture you bought last spring has never been used
- You stay awake at night stressing out about planning your family trip
- Your kids have never seen your own city’s major sights
- The forecast for everywhere affordable is cold and rainy, except for where you live, which is sunny and glorious
- The last time your family spent a Saturday together at home was the day you brought your children home from hospital
- You promised your mother-in-law she’d be invited to the next family vacation
And last but not least:
- You need a vacation to get over your vacation.
Robert Orben, a comedy writer and speechwriter for Gerald R. Ford said “A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” I guess the key to a great staycation is not checking chores off your “To Do” list at home, but in making plans to get out and do things. In our area, there is a lot you could do to make a stay at home vacation blissful. For instance, you could ride the train downtown and visit some of the museums, get together with friends or family for a cookout, schedule a massage, go horseback riding, take a family hike or picnic at one of the local state parks, go to a water park, enjoy a yoga class, spend the evening at a Sounds game, or enjoy one of the area’s many art or music festivals.
After all, the point of a vacation is to unplug and spend quality time away from all the daily distractions which typically keep us from truly enjoying each other’s company. With a little bit of advanced planning, and some disciple, a staycation could be the best vacation you’ve ever taken! So, look out kids - in 2014, Nashville Shores, here we come!