Wednesday, April 5, 2017

We did a Staycation


 Our youngest is on a two week spring break from college classes (she's a HS senior taking college classes to get her AA). We thought of going away for a few days but thought about it too late and many places were booked up. Plus, we're saving up for a few longer vacations and figured it might be best to not go away. We opted for a Staycation instead. Hubby took 3 days off and I took 2 days off (since I already have Wednesdays off). We are blessed to live in a small town in SW Washington State and are only 30-40 minutes from Portland, Oregon, a city with so much to see and do. There are also a myriad of outdoor adventure activities to be done. 
(Saturday, my hubby and I visited a Farmers Market in Portland. I always love everything about them)

Now, I will say this....Staycations can be tricky. Technically you are still "staying" at home and just doing things locally. Staying home means it can be easy to fall into the routine of what you normally might do on any other day if you don't have a plan. At the same time, if you are taking time off of work, just staying home might have a great appeal to it. I work 4 days a week for 3 hours in the morning, so I am home most of the remainder of the day, so for me a staycation would seem more like a vacation if we were out doing stuff all day long. For my hubby who works very long days and spends a lot of time in the car going from job to job, staying home, watching movies, etc..would be a great break for him. So it's a matter of finding the balance and to be honest, as much as I like to go do things, I really can be content just staying home, dinking around. 
(Multnomah falls is a great spot to visit..we didn't hike to the top, but enjoyed the drive and view from below and the bridge)

We found a good middle ground of heading out in the mornings to do things around the Portland area and then home in the afternoons to kind of do our own things (which was great) or like we did a few nights, head down to my hubby's parents house to play cards with his mom, which was a blast. Lots of time laughing and being together. I laughed so hard, I cried...doesn't that always feel good?
(One day we headed into Portland to walk around shops, eat at a new eatery and visit the popular Powells Bookstore)

The nice thing about Staycations is there's not much required really. Just a little planning ahead. They can be as grand or as simple as you want. Here are some of the things I did:

*  Got the majority of "housework" done before our time off. This makes it so much less tempting to need to do the same-O same-O. Sure there might be little stuff, but not much different than if we were in a hotel or rental house.

*  Make a list of things you want to do. Ask friends for recommendations. While we go to Portland a lot, we tend to hit the same places and areas, so we asked people what to do and where to go. We also like to check out Trip Advisor and Yelp. Think outside the box. Find new adventures to go on. Try a new kind of restaurant, etc.

*  Try, try and try again. If it doesn't go exactly as planned (when does anything go exactly as planned) don't give up. Plan for another staycation and know what needs to be done differently next time. I have some things I might do differently as well, though for the most part it went really well. 

* Have a budget. Just like a vacation, you want to have some "fun" money to do the local things you want. The nice thing is, it will probably be less than a "vacation". 

* Enlist your family for ideas and how you can "unplug" what is necessary in order to make it really feel like time off. For my hubby it was turning off his work phone and not checking emails. For me, it was just not feeling the need to "do". Maybe it was taking more time to read, maybe not checking my phone as much. I help a friend as a VA on her FB page and so I made sure I had everything already scheduled and checked in only a few times. 
(One thing I did was enjoy driving around the "bottoms" (farmland) of our town and taking pictures)

Maybe you can't take a long staycation, maybe you just have a day or two. No matter what the length, just do something. Anything. Because if you don't, you won't. What do you mean? I mean, sometimes we think, "oh, that would take too much time", or "That would use up too much gas", "that's not worth going just for the day". But you know what? If you use those excuses, you won't ever go anywhere, do anything, or see anything new. So, if it's going to take a few hours to get there, leave early enough and stay as late as you can to make it worth it. Trust me, I've made these excuses and heard them as well. I don't want to never drive to the beach for the day because it's going to take me 2 hours. I don't want to miss the view from the mountain for the same reason. Take that day, do that thing you want to do. Life is way more fun when we're living it to the fullest. 


With Joy Unquenchable,

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