Vacation or Stay-cation?
All things considered, I’d rather be away.
Happy February vacation everyone! Tell me: how did you decide to spend this week?
I’m guessing more than a few of you opted for a little fun-in-the-sun with Mickey and Minnie. Better yet, some of you probably decided to spend the week just lounging by a pool or on some amazing beach soaking up the rays. Or maybe you ventured even further south? I have a friend in the Caribbean; I see from her Facebook postings that it is warm, sunny and gorgeous down there.
Many of our more robust fellow residents have, I understand, ventured North for a little skiing and snowboarding – and hot chocolate laced with peppermint schnapps. The snow conditions, it would appear, are perfect for downhill slope-like activities.
On the other hand, perhaps you are like my family and me, and you’re spending this week at home. It’s the old standby: February stay-cation.
Really, it’s not so bad. Sure, there’s no fun-in-the-sun to speak of. And there’s no roaring fires to enjoy after spending the afternoon skiing down the snow peaked granite-mountains. But listen to what we do get to enjoy on our typical February stay-cation.
We spend our time steeped in reading and engaged in family jigsaw puzzles. As for reading preferences, we tend toward the plays of Shakespeare, the poetry of Rilke, and Joan Didion’s latest novel. As for puzzles, well, the bigger the better: there’s a 1,000 piece one of the nighttime sky that we are all eager to tackle.
When we are not reading or puzzling together, there’s the family yoga sessions: Hatha, Iyenga, Bikram. Hard to say which we prefer; the reading, the puzzles, or the yoga.
OK, the truth is there is no yoga and there are absolutely no puzzles. That was all a fib to make you folks in Disneyland or at Smuggler’s Notch jealous.
So what does our stay-cation actually look like?
Well, first of all there’s lots of television, including reruns of The Office, 30 Rock, the season finale of Downton Abbey, and several movie versions of Jane Eyre.
Sometimes we have errands to run and that requires scraping a thick layer of ice off the car which is the closest I’ll get to skiing in a Vermont-like experience.
Then there’s the eating of too much junk food. This, I’m afraid to admit, often occurs in front of the aforementioned television.
Meanwhile the children, bless their little souls, are happily immersed in some sort of iPod Touch, snap chatting activity. They sometimes rouse themselves from i-device-land at meal and snack time.
Truth be told, almost all of our vacations are stay-cations. And this week in particular – I mean February vacation – is an especially challenging one.
For starters, during the Christmas break, there are family visits and new gifts to be occupied with. And in April, the weather usually supports many more outdoor activities.
But February? The weather is harsh and there is not a lot to do, all of which leads to too much screen time. Oh sure, there are museums and things we could drag the kids to. It’s just that they are so darn crowded this week.
So February is my least favorite of the school weeks off, and ...
Well, I like you too much to go on any further describing how we spend this long, cold, snowy, windy week off here in Belmont. Let me be silent here and allow you to enjoy your time away.
As for me, all things considered I’d rather be ... well, almost anywhere else.