Last month when my teens and I were planning our road trip to do community service at our beloved wolf sanctuary (Howling Acres) and to see the University of Oregon, at Eugene, which is on my eldest daughter's short list for college, I heeded my own advice and "checked in" with them about how excited they were about the trip.
What they said surprised me, and led to a radically different vacation. My teens were thinking that with camps and half the summer spent with their other parent, the two weeks we would be traveling were their only two weeks at home this summer and they were thinking maybe they would rather stay home!
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, my teens and I joined the thousands of families in the United States this summer who, faced with very busy school year schedules, rising gas prices, an uncertain economy, and one income that does not seem to go as far as it used to, decided to stay at home instead of taking our annual summer vacation.
We made a list of all of the cool places in the San Francisco Bay Area that we had not visited ever or recently, activities we wanted to do including an all day Monopoly game, days with friends, the beach, baking pies, picking blackberries, visiting IFly, and then developed a calendar in which we could sleep late, eat out a lot, and do at least one thing someone wanted to do each day.
We are one week into our "staycation" and I have to say we are all relaxed, happy, well into our summer reading books, and completely enjoying our family time. My house has seen better days, and there is a lot of laundry to do next week, but I recommend this to everyone!