Thursday, July 9, 2009

Picnic Table Talk: Staycation

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In our eight years of marriage, Mike and I have gone on only two vacations that didn’t involve visiting family, attending weddings/reunions, or some type of work commitment (I wish we could go along on Mike’s work trips, particularly last summer when he “had” to go to Hawai’i for a week). The vacations? A three-day visit to a small Scottish town to celebrate our three-year-anniversary (we were living in Scotland at the time) and our less-than-48-hour honeymoon way back in 2001.

Fortunately, we always have a wonderful time visiting family, and we’re pretty good at staycations. We love finding local ways to have a good time, especially when these things are free. We spent several years as (by Western standards sometimes nearly literally) starving students and now live as a family of nearly-five with many student loans and a house that (lately) has been exceptionally fond of falling apart, so free is good. Here are a few staycation activities we’ve enjoyed so far this summer:

  • A free family outing to the Boston Museum of Science last Friday, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays.
  • A day out at Davis’ Farmland – not free, but we got discounted tickets through a friend and the kids had a fantastic time.
  • Several trips to the Discovery Museums in Acton. We bought a membership last year and have gotten more than our money’s worth over the past twelve months. I do wish I had started bringing my kids to the science museum earlier – I assumed they were too young but took them there last week and it turns out they PREFER the science museum over the children’s museum (much to their super-geeky father’s delight, and well-timed since he had been expressing concern over their lack of geekiness relative to himself).
  • A potluck BBQ for Mike’s coworkers and their families in our backyard (they don’t fit in our house)
  • Our town’s 4th of July parade
  • Celebrating my birthday with family
  • Celebrating our 8-year anniversary (dinner out without children – quite the treat in our home!)
  • Play dates and get-togethers with friends
  • Playing outdoors

And some activities we’re looking forward to:

  • More play dates – including a trip to the zoo with friends this Friday (free, thanks to the friends’ zoo membership!)
  • Visits from family members throughout the summer (thanks in large part to the pending arrival of Baby #3)
  • Mike’s birthday
  • Playing outdoors
  • Visiting local farms and our town’s new Farmer’s Market
  • Birthday parties for a couple of Emma’s friends

Last, (hopefully) quite small, but most definitely not least, the arrival of Baby #3 – ideally within the next 30 days! I even washed the baby clothes and packed a hospital bag last night…

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