My Darling Vagabonds,
If you know me, or have even spent more than five minutes nosing around this website you’ll know that I’m a big believer in being a tourist in your own town. And I’m sure that if you’ve spent any time on Pinterest or browsing the holiday pages in the Sunday paper you will have come across the term staycation. To those who haven’t already embraced the idea of ‘living and loving every moment’ a staycation is a thing you do where you do touristy things without leaving your own city. Sound familiar? That’s because it is. It is the very thing we’ve been aiming to do here by being tourists in our own towns. To me the term ‘staycation’ conjures up a completely different image than to other people.
So what does the term ‘staycation’ feel like to me? Staycation sounds like sleeping in, no appointments to run to, no house to clean, limited cooking to do and no guilt associated with taking the weekend off because I’m on staycation. To me a staycation sounds like a break from the real world. No one expects you to do any of those things when you go away on holidays, so why would you do them on staycation?
If you’re dreaming of having a break or are desperate for a little down time, you need to read on. Grab a cuppa, sit back and prepare to be inspired to find a weekend to kick back on and have your own staycation because here’s how it is done, Brunch Fuelled Vagabond style.
A proper, relaxing break takes planning and preparation. There is nothing less relaxing than being the one to do all the work or finding that you had intended to go for a swim in the pool but forgotten that you have to spend two hours fixing the filter first.
To prepare for your staycation you should do the following in the days leading up to your weekend off:
- Plan all meals and do as much preparation for each one in advance as you can.
For example, if you are making homemade pizzas you can chop up all the toppings and put all the pantry ingredients together to make it a simple 10 minute process to prepare dinner.
- Clean the house and make sure all the laundry is done.
Especially if you are one of those people who can’t leave a job undone. It will bug you until you get up and dust it/put it away/wipe it/throw it out. Get it done before you kick back and you will be able to relax properly and not have a housework hangover to deal with after your weekend off.
- Get everyone on board.
There will always be dishes to do and meals to cook. Sharing the workload gives everyone as much of a break as possible.
- Think about what you would like to do and plan for it.
Go shopping for anything you will need, prepare anything that takes effort and definitely….
- Make sure everything you plan to use is in working order.
Watching a movie is relaxing, fixing a dvd player is not.
Our first attempt at a staycation was a smashing success, even if I do say so myself. Everyone was on board with sharing the load and to make sure I started my time off in style, my daughters baked and decorated cupcakes before I got home. They even folded me some towel animals and left them on my bed to make sure I got the proper holiday experience just like on our cruise.
After work/school on Friday we all congregated in the place we love best. Home. Knowing that there was nothing to do but enjoy family time for the whole weekend changed the atmosphere and we almost shed the weight of the world when walking through the front door.
Commence Movie Negotiations.
Got to love my kids, they opted for The Princess Bride for our inaugural staycation movie night. A classic. With the projector ready to go and pizza toppings prepped the night before, all there was to do was throw the toppings on the pizza and get them through the oven.
Piping hot pizza, a movie on the big screen and some nibbles, together with room full of happy bodies chilling out. You couldn’t ask for a better evening. Well, I could ask people to stop stealing cars and setting them on fire. I did lose my hubby for a couple of hours half way through the first movie to an RFS call out. We went from the Princess Bride to Deadpool and once hubby was home it was time for some more snuggling, a couple of drinks together and the indulgence of a movie we both love, The Lake House.
By the time we switched off the projector and curled up to sleep I was already feeling much more relaxed than usual knowing that we had two more days of chilled out family time to come.
Sadly, life doesn’t grind to a halt just because I want to. Hubby had RFS training, Daughter #1 (as she has changed her name to in my phone) had a morning ice skating date and I still had an appointment to run daughter #2 to. We all went our separate ways for the morning, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make the most of the time I had while waiting for the appointment to finish. I bundled my daughter, her friend and myself into the car and we headed down to Copacabana for the morning. While my girl was at her appointment the two of us headed down to the beach with our trusty DSLRs. I will admit to getting distracted from the photography by the blissful breeze and the sounds of the ocean. After snapping a few shots of the beach I meandered up to the rocks and found a Jo shaped rock just made for sitting on. The beach becomes a whole different experience when you close your eyes. You become more aware of the wind on your face, the smell of the salt in the air, the sound of children laughing and gulls calling, and the winter sun warming you through the layers of clothing.
After her appointment I took my Little Bear out for a Slush Puppy. If you don’t know what this is, your childhood was a very sad time. The ultimate slushy, the Slush Puppy. She loves that we can still get these at the Copa General Store and it is her treat more often than not when we go.
A quick cruise by the shopping centre for a spot of light shopping (my husband says shopping is like a sport to me, I beg to differ. I excel without any training at all, I don’t even stretch first.) and we were headed back to the couch for some more chill time. I had taken sausage rolls I’d made out of the freezer the day before, so lunch was fuss, and stress, free. After a relaxing afternoon watching telly and chatting with each other it was time to commence operation Schnitty Night. Everyone loves a good pub schnitzel when they are on holidays. There isn’t much I could do to prepare in advance for this one, but we all pitched in and got things done so no one person was left with all the work. Many hands make light work and all that jazz. Jazz Hands! My kids are old enough to enjoy a small drink with us so I’d bought cider to share. Sitting around the table eating good pub style food and laughing led into the most wonderful, and irreverent, game of Cards Against Humanity. We were planning on playing poker and gambling with pretzels, but it turns out that we are not decent human beings and enjoy being bad people. If you’re planning a staycation and have small people – you might want to do the pretzel and poker thing, CAH is highly inappropriate for… anyone really.
By about 9 pm our eldest was ‘ready to art’ so she grabbed her tablet and went to do some more work on her comic. You can find it here if you’re interested. I’m so impressed with her, you should be too. We packed up and headed to bed to make use of the projector while it was set up by continuing our foray into a new Netflix show, Stranger Things. Oh what a wonderful 80’s vibe. This must be binged.
After a sleep in, as all good holidays should have, we pottered around the house getting ready in no particular rush then made our way out to have brunch with my hubby’s parents at Coast 89 in Toowoon Bay. No surprises here but I ordered the Eggs Benedict. After a lazy morning/afternoon with nothing much to do but eat good food and enjoy good company it occurred to us that the new Ghostbusters had just come out in the cinema. After a couple of views of the trailer we had made up our minds. We would spend the afternoon in the cinema. We’d had a late brunch and dinner was already prepared for when we got home so we forwent the popcorn and we’d gotten drinks at Kmart on the way in. That saved us eleventy million dollars. Is cinema popcorn coated in liquid gold? I’m pretty sure for the price I want it to be. Rant aside, we loved the movie and were inspired to use the projector one last time to watch the original Ghostbusters after dinner.
I’d already made curried pumpkin soup on Thursday night, so it was a quick reheat of soup and rolls and dinner was ready. While dinner reheated I threw together a cheese board to snack on during the movie for the proper cinema experience. For the second time that day I heard the Ghostbusters theme blare from speakers and was completely content. I couldn’t ask for more.
…We had all been exceptionally busy for weeks, between school, work and extra curricular activities, we were all more than a little frazzled. We needed a break – but didn’t have the time, finances or leave saved to actually get away. We had been talking about having a staycation for quite some time and we’d reached a point where we needed to make it happen.
It was brilliant to have no plans other than family time at home, movies, games and lots of laughs.
I’d had a long week and ended up quickly setting the projector and surround sound system in the main bedroom on the Friday afternoon, it would have been nice not to worry about this and get down to watching movies and eating homemade pizzas from the comfort of our own bed and hour earlier, but all in all it was a hugely relaxing weekend and exactly what we all needed.
Unfortunately during the first movie my pager went off and I had to head off to an incident call and missed half the night.
Lesson learnt – after the second callout for the weekend – when having a staycation and you’re a member of the RFS mark yourself as NA and turn your pager off…
A Brunch Fuelled Vagabond style staycation was just exactly what we all needed to regroup as a family and recoup from the day to day stresses of life. I cannot recommend it highly enough and I would love to hear about how your family relaxes at home or your own experience staycationing BFV style.