I love having the opportunity to be with my son everyday for the first year of his life. I’m able to do things I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. Breastfeed on demand. Make him fresh baby food. Watch both my boys learn to interact and love each other. But, the maternity leave budget really reduces our fun money.
We go out often, but a vacation where we go on a plane, to a 5-star somewhere, and eat well everyday is not on the books this year. Welcome the idea of a Staycation. We stay at home for our vacation. Woohoo! (enter sarcasm here) It doesn’t have to be total crap. With a smaller vacation budget we’ll just do stuff in and around the city like a tourist. Hello theme parks, water parks, Science Centre, Zoo, CN Tower, The Falls, beaches, picnics, etc Perhaps Great Wolf Lodge can be worked in. Although, from what I’ve heard from other parents, my kids may be too young to enjoy all the amenities. Definitely a cottage is a must.
It’s not where you go on vacation (this is what I tell myself to keep the illusion alive), it’s the state of mind. I don’t want to look at a clock to be at some scheduled activity. I don’t want to cook. I want to go to places I don’t normally go to.
One of my grandiose plans for this summer is to create a backyard oasis. Hammock, garden, pool (not sure if just a kiddy one or a small above ground one), sandbox, bbq area, and a swinging chair so Franklin and I can watch the kids play while we swing together and chat.
Nom. Nom. Nom. That’s me eating an awesome steak cooked by the hubby and my money buying all my summer dreams.
Growing up, my family never did vacations, with one exception – when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and her prognosis wasn’t very good, my mom sis and I went with my grandmother on a trip to Hawaii – a nice trip, but under the circumstances it was a little grim.
Other than that, I spent my whole youth growing up in the city, playing outside in the backyard, in parks, going to the pond, day trips, and things like that. I loved it, and really, although I know I am not as well traveleld as many people I know, I don’t really feel like I missed out on anything too major – I always seemed to have a good time anyway as there is so much to do in Toronto – and really anywhere as long as you have a bit of imagination.
That being said, it doesn’t work quite as well now that we are older – pretending to be knights, cowboys, and superheroes is a little more difficult these days (the imagination isn’t quite what it used to be, and you get a lot of funny looks), and the slides and swings at the park don’t provide that same level of joy (although, admittedly, I do still enjoy them!). I like creating a home that is fun, where I can really relax – the wife and I have been doing a lot of work on our backyard – precisely what you have been talking about. It is a good chance to create a fun and enjoyable space, a place where you can go and relax.
But there is always something to be said about being able to leave all of the worries of home behind and not have to worry about cooking and cleaning. This year, for our one year anniversary, the wife and I are going to Disneyworld (this is the exception to that statement above about never feeling that I missed out on anything as a child…). We are staying on resort, and have a dining plan and have made reservations to a whole bunch of restaurants – the trip is basically all planned, all we have to do is show up. This is actually the first ‘all inclusive’ style of vacation I have ever taken, and probably going to be the last real vacation for some time.
I am not much of a go away for vacation guy, I really do enjoy the staycation. There is always something about going away that leaves me feeling slightly… uncomfortable? As luxurious as it is to be able to not have to worry about what to cook or do, sometimes the stress of the costs or the lack of choice or even just being away from home and my comforts that I have built up there serves as an obstacle while away on vacation. As with my backyard, or my basement ‘mancave’ with my tv, toys, and videogames, I feel that there is a lot to be said about the concept of having a fun and relaxing home. Further, a city like Toronto really provides a lot for home grown entertainment – I have always considered myself a home base type guy! Staycations require more work, but are less expensive, and honestly, I feel can be a bit more rewarding. So cherish the staycation, for I really feel that it has just as much to offer as the go away vacation!
Staycation for the kids, they will not notice. Sure I went away quite a bit when I was young but, usually it was for only between a week to a month at a time. Otherwise I was in the city. No cottage to escape to each weekend.
Still waiting to experience your backyard oasis. just sayin’ 😛