Thursday, July 30, 2009

Staycations

I wish I could remember the legal lingo they use at the beginning of movies and tv shows when they say that the content in the show does not represent the opinion of the production company because I would say something like that before pasting this article. I am not judgmental of people who stay home for vacations, in fact we had our own little staycation for about a month when Jack was born, but this article from the Seattle Times made me laugh...

New apocalyptic sign: family "staycations"

By Ron Judd
Seattle Times columnist

Maybe you've noticed the guy in the cubicle next to you looking a little down.
He came back to work on Monday with dark circles under his eyes. Had that shellshocked look about him, the one you see on people who have just returned from the battlefield, or worse, an in-law's family reunion — in Crawford, Texas.

Got there early and stayed late. Kept caressing his phone line like it was the only thing connecting him to the planet. Was asking people to go to lunch at 9:45.

Two possible explanations.

Your friend might be suffering from clinical depression.

Or he might have just wrapped up a refreshing three-week "staycation" at home with the wife, kids and various unpleasant pets.

It's going around these days. You can read it right on the Internet. Tripadvisor.com, that well-known fount of scientific research of American leisure trends, estimated earlier this summer that about half of Americans will be sticking closer to home — or even staying at home — for summer vacations, because of sky-high fuel prices.

Some people, it turns out, are flat-out camping in their own backyards — a development which, when those multiple acres of big blue tarps come out at the first hint of rain, is likely to be highly popular with the people next door. Nothing brings back summertime good times quite like sharing the sights and sounds of your neighbors on a two-week backyard campout.

"Honey, did you leave the water running again?"

"No dear. It's just the Judd boy outside, peeing on a rock. They're on staycation, remember?"

Slight digression: If you really want to get into the spirit of things, you can help authenticate your neighbors' backyard camping experience by, say, tossing an active nest of hornets over the fence, planting some poison oak in the hedge between your houses, or better yet, backing your 42-foot diesel pusher motor home into the very spot they plan to erect their tent and declaring loudly, through your vehicle's public-address system: "Sorry! We reserved this space 18 months ago!"

The entire concept of the "staycation," a lame, Orwellian, black-is-white nonword no doubt invented by some marketing firm representing the National Association of Grimy Cinder-Block Neighborhood Taverns — the ultimate destination of some 90 percent of staycationers — is offensive.

In fact, if we hear it uttered one more time by some radio or TV gasbag, we might feel compelled to engage in threatribution, or even some heinous act of civil fistobedience.

But since lots of you supposedly are getting away from it all while enjoying all the "benefits" of being at home — the very definition of the term, according to the Urban Dictionary — we feel compelled to pass along, and improve upon, some actual staycation tips provided by the self-delusion experts at ABC News:

• "Schedule start and end dates. Otherwise, it runs the risk of feeling just like another string of nights in front of the tube."

Pure genius. If you didn't have an Outlook calendar alert popping up to remind you where your staycation actually starts and ends, it would be sort of like you never had a vacation at all!

(Speaking of timing: We should also note here that if you plan to camp out in your backyard for more than a few weeks, you should contact local authorities, otherwise you run the risk of having a social-service agency pick up your entire staycation village and moving it to the parking lot of some do-gooder church in Lake Forest Park.)

• "Pack that time with activities."

But of course. Pack a lunch and day hike to the top of your compost pile. Take a tour of the Museum of Ancient, Unidentifiable Antiquities on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Schedule an involuntary-commitment hearing for the spouse who dreamed up the idea of "staycation" in the first place.

• "Declare a 'choratorium.' That means no chores! Don't make the bed, vacuum, clean out the closets, pull weeds, nothing. You're on vacation!"

They're right on the money here. Nothing says relaxation quite like watching dishes pile up and topple over and mold forming over piles of rank, unwashed laundry as blackberry vines slowly consume your starving, neglected family dog on the back porch. It's craptastic!

• "Take staycation photos or videos, just as you would if you went away from home on your vacation."

Apparently, they're serious about this. All we can say is: If you follow this advice, please, for the love of God, don't ever actually show the visual evidence of this debacle to anyone.

Unless, of course, you're attempting to prove your insanity to a judge after a shooting incident involving your neighbor's RV.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Fest

We spent last weekend in Royal City with my family attending their Summer Fest. I was really proud of Nate. When we first got married he had a hard time adjusting to the small town, country feel that my parents and some of my sisters live in. However, over the years (and I think especially since we've gone on a regular basis since we moved back to Washington) he's started to appreciate the unique attractions that a small town can offer, especially Royal City. He even joined in the festivities of summer fest and ran in the 5k fun run. For those of you who know Nate, you'll know this was quite the sacrifice because not only did it involve him running, it also meant we had to be at the race at 6:45am! And I wasn't even running it with him! He came in right after a handful of really serious runners with a time of 21:37. Not bad for someone who never runs eh?
Carly and I were in the twin contest later that day (I couldn't believe they had enough twins in the area to hold a contest, but there were actually 9 or 10 sets of us there). We had matching shirts to get into the spirit of things, but we DID NOT ride on the twin float in the parade, that was a bit much for us :) We ended up winning the "twin girls who look the most alike" category and each took home a whopping cash prize of $15! I guess our next stop is the twins convention in Texas!
Later in the day we had tons of fun trying out a new waterslide that some of their friends built down the side of a hill. We ended the day with a bbq at the Allred's pond before driving home that evening. We had such a fun time!

Carly and I with our new babies.


Nate and I on the waterslide (I learned that going in back is the much better spot because the person in front gets most of the splash when you fly into the water!)


Ethan and Grandpa swapping hats.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Simple Pleasures

My Mom has finally put all of her talents to good use and started her own business called Simple Pleasures. She has the best taste in color combinations and everything she's selling is so cute. Check it out if you're looking for a unique gift, or just want to treat yourself! simplepleasures1.blogspot.com