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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

This Summer's Stay-cation

There wasn't going to be an opportunity for me to have a getaway type of vacation this summer. So when my husband told us he would be going out of town for 8 days (part business/part pleasure), I thought I could try to do some local stay-cation types of outings to make my week feel like I'd gotten away. One daughter is house-sitting for the month, but she was able to join my other daughter and I for 3 outings.

On the first outing, we visited the vintage and antique town a short drive from our home. Again we brought a picnic lunch, this time a simple one. I made a container of egg salad and brought slices of homemade bread and a rice cake for me, plus apples, nuts, and jugs of water. We treated ourselves to dessert at the locally-owned fro-yo spot. We'd gone into this place to check it out on another visit. I loved that they made many of their offerings from scratch. And they had a sorbet that would work for my dietary restrictions. Since I was shopping for a birthday gift for a friend, we visited shops we'd never been in before, which made this outing feel special to all of us.

On the second outing, the three of us visited our town's farmer's market. It's located in the central part of the business and retail district of town and just up the hill from the beach. Our main goal at the farmer's market was to buy some peaches and for my daughter to buy a gift for a friend. The guy selling the peaches gave us great tips for picking ones that would be ripe very soon. He told us the peaches we chose would be ready in two days, and he was right.  After visiting the market we ducked into the lavender shop to enjoy the fragrance and a complimentary cup of tea, the the art supply shop for my daughter to pick up a needed item for a job the next day. And we weren't done yet. Remember I said the beach was just down the hill. The three of us walked down the hill and spent an hour at the beach with a kite. Fun day!

The third outing was our biggest adventure. We got up and out early to catch a ferry across the Sound to the peninsula. A short drive from the opposing ferry dock brought us to the Norwegian town of Poulsbo. This is a fun place to visit. Lots of Scandinavian atmosphere, a couple of great little museums, a free aquarium, shops, restaurants, a waterfront with a nice park, and locals who never fail to entertain us with their stories. We enjoyed the town for the entire day, walked close to 5 miles, enjoyed our breakfast by the water, had a picnic lunch in the waterfront park (we're big on picnics), walked a beachside boardwalk around part of the bay, enjoyed the sights of a frolicking sea lion, and basically exhausted ourselves on fun. On the ferry ride back to the mainland we spotted a harbor porpoise and some flying fish.

In addition to taking these outings, we tried to make the 8 days feel like a vacation in other ways. We ate meals outdoors, had a movie night at home, barbecued, and even had a couple of nights where I didn't cook dinner instead each fending for oneself.

The stay-cation came to an end with this evenings dinner of hotdogs and fresh produce from the garden. My husband will return late tonight and tomorrow life will go back to non-vacation time.

For a variety of reasons, away-from-home vacations rarely work for us in summer. The garden needs constant attention from June through September. My daughters are more and more becoming busy with their own lives and jobs. Summers are actually the good time of year to remain in the Seattle area. And frankly, I find so many places I enjoy going that are a short drive from my house. So a summer stay-cation will likely be in my plans for many years to come.

How about you? What kinds of activities are there to enjoy near you in summer?


  1. Sounds like you've had a lot of fun during that 8 days! And peaches, yum! There's an orchard in Colorado who runs a truck route through Texas and Oklahoma selling their wonderful peaches (best I've ever had), and it will be here this coming week. We're excited!

    Near us, during summer--hmm. There's the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge where I like to hike and kayak. And a quaint, touristy little town out near it called Medicine Park. The problem is just the heat. Pretty much anything has to be done early morning. Some summers are a bit better and we mostly get to upper 90's, but this one has been a doozy and we've been in the 100's for weeks with the occasional break of a couple days "only" in the upper 90's. So it's been challenging. I often say (and believe) that my SAD is worse in summer than winter.In winter, I layer on more clothes and still walk and hike. Right now, I scour the 10-day forecast looking for mornings where we'll dip to low 70's so I can go walking. Anyway, heading to northern New Mexico hiking in a few weeks and holding on for that at the moment.

    1. Hi Cat,
      I've read that about SAD that for some people, depending on their circumstances, the Sad is more of a summer problem than winter. I hope the more bearable daytime temperatures return to your area soon. In the meantime, it sounds like you have another fun trip to look forward to, as well as those best-ever peaches!

  2. I love staycations and yours sounds like it was a lot of fun. And no matter where you live, there's always something interesting to see if you just look around. Like Cat, the weather has been hot enough, that we've been hunkering down inside much of the time this summer. However, one of the things we did was get a list of all of the parks in our town and visit each one of them. We played on swings in one of them, took a hike led by a naturalist in another, and found a gym of a pocket park we had no idea existed. We've been busy recently, but I'm starting to get the itch to go exploring again.

    1. What a fun idea, Live and Learn, visiting all of the parks in your town. I'll have to remember that idea and borrow it for my own town. There are always a couple of parks that are lesser known, many have great walking paths or hiking trails.
      I hope you find a new place to explore when the busy-ness is over.

  3. The postcards you have pictured are so fun!

    When our kids were younger, we stayed home and did lots of day trips locally. Our saying was "we live where other people vacation", which is true! It isn't quite as inexpensive to go to the beach as it was then--most of our beaches are now monetized by whatever governing body oversees them, so you have to get a summer pass, but if you plan on going a lot, it's still a good deal. We have several state parks within easy driving distance, as well as local and county parks. There are also lots of small towns with boutique shopping close by, as well as museums. If there's an inexpensive fun activity close to us, I've probably scouted it out. :)

    Speaking of which, I think I'll take my daughter to the art museum today (Thursday is free day). My husband is out of town for a couple of days to help my son with moving out of his summer rental, so I want to take the opportunity to do girl-stuff.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I hope you and your daughter had a fun day at the museum today. Sounds like a good, fun girly day. I didn't realize your son was living away this summer. Oh, they grow up so quickly.

      My son and daughter-in-law have birthdays just 3 days apart. This past year, between my daughters, husband and myself, we gave them a state park pass as well as the national US parks pass as gifts. they've enjoyed having both passes and have visited many big and small state and national parks.

      Our old favorite beach began charging for parking about 5 years ago. That's when we found a new beach that had free parking. There are some nice things about the old beach that I miss. Some day I'll go back and either park up the hill or pay the fee just to enjoy that beach and park.


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