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Next time, let’s hit the road.

For the first time ever, we tried our hand at a “staycation” this past week.  Now, I’m only using the term staycation because it’s become part of our vernacular, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Because generally, I think it’s just a dumb, made-up word to describe a fairly lame concept.

NBA store

Because of the shifts in school calendars due to Hurricane Sandy, my kids had an unprecedented week off between school and camp this summer.  We’d thought about going away somewhere, but decided to stay home and do some fun local things with the boys, while still having time to relax and get ready for camp.

We went to the beach, and to Six Flags.  We took the boys into New York to see a Broadway show (which was immediately followed by a testosterone-repleneshing visit to the nearby NBA store).  So, yeah, that was fun.

We also took the boys bowling, where Matthew complained about losing the first game and Michael complained that he was hungry.  We went to our local pool, where the boys complained they were bored.  I did a load or two of laundry every day, served breakfast every day and dinner a few days, and argued with Dave about the clutter level in the house.  Things that just made it feel like an extra-long sucky weekend.

So, I kind of came to the conclusion that while the concept is a nice one (and don’t get me wrong – it might work for some people), I’m glad that our “real” vacation at the end of August involves air travel and a hotel room.

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Ugh, vacation?

As much as I love getting away and seeing new places, sometimes the planning and preparation is so much work that it seems easier to stay home.

For me, anyway, because my best estimate is that in my family, about 90% of the planning and packing seems to fall on my shoulders.  And that’s for several reasons:

1. How many pairs of socks does an adult male need for a week’s vacation?  According to my husband, two.  Or however many pairs are clean when he starts packing because he actually remembered to put them into the laundry.

2. Where is the kids’ travel kit with their toothbrushes and whatever else they’d need on the road?  I doubt I’d think to ask Dave that question, because I’m not sure he knows that it even exists, despite the fact that he’s had to have seen this black bag on hotel room bathroom counters for at least the last five years.

3. What do we need to pack for a beach vacation with the kids?  My answer: swimsuits, goggles, frisbee, football, sunscreen, baby powder (to get the sand off their feet), flip-flops, towels, beach blanket and umbrella.  Dave’s answer: a beach chair that’s good for naps, and a book, right??

Now, in Dave’s defense, he generally works a lot more hours than I do. which means two things – 1. He is in a greater need for a restful break than I am, and 2. More of the child care responsibilities fall to me because I’m with them more (so I have a better idea of where their stuff is.  Or, in some cases, that it even exists).

It is getting easier as the kids get older and are more self-sufficient.  Vacation feels more like vacation, and less like I’m just cleaning up after them in a different place with a pool.

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