Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring is what happens while you're waiting for summer

Breakfast: eggs and tomatoes from the farmer's market topped with fancy salts.

My kids only have four and a half weeks of school until summer vacation. That hardly seems possible when some parts of the country are still seeing snow, but it has been hot and humid and gross here for a while now, so yes. Summer is coming!

A few weeks ago P and I sat down to make our summer vacation plans. Working around son C's summer band schedule and some possible upcoming business travel for P, we decided that early June would be the best (okay, only) time to go on an inexpensive little family trip. We kicked around a few ideas: New Orleans? That's only a day's drive away and the kids and I have never been there. Maybe drive a few hours more and visit P's brother and our niece on the gulf coast of Alabama? Son C really wants to go out on his uncle's boat one of these days. What about one of the beaches here in Texas? We went to Padre Island last summer and had an absolute blast. Or maybe West Texas? Or Arkansas? A long day's drive could take us any number of places for a relatively cheap week-long vacation. The possibilities were endless. We decided to table the destination discussion for a couple of weeks, see what the rest of the extended family was doing and what the kids wanted to do.

You know what comes next, right?

Yeah. P did our taxes.

And then daughter H expressed a keen desire to go to a particular film acting camp here in town.

And then we realized C had just turned 15 and if he was ever going to take driver's ed, which is not taught in the schools here, it would have to be this summer before band starts.

Aaaand ... there went all the days we had blocked out on the calendar for a vacation. And all the money we had available to spend on it. (See also: Mother's Day. I've been told to expect a nice card. I asked P to throw in some coffee and donuts and the expectation that I would not be cooking or changing out of my pajamas all day, and he agreed, and we're both happy.)

So it's going to be a (very busy) stay-at-home summer for us here in the saltycrunchy house, which is totally okay by me. As much as I spent our unusually cold winter dreaming of daiquiris on the beach, the thought of not needing to pack and drive and kennel the dog and tote around bags full of damp laundry and find sand in places that sand should never be is almost a relief. (I am not a good traveler, people. That's something you should know about me.)

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I love the idea of a travel-stress-free summer. Here are some at-home summer things to which I'm looking forward:
  • Buying a cheap kiddie pool for the dog. It will be his first summer with us! Hilarious antics are sure to ensue!
  • Watermelon, blackberries and peaches from the farmer's market. Hell yeah.
  • Putting our ice cream maker and shaved-ice machine into heavy rotation.
  • Finally perfecting alcoholic popsicles!
  • Swimming laps at the neighborhood pool when it's too hot to run.
  • Camping out at IKEA. All day long.
  • Catching up on Weeds and Breaking Bad via DVD.
  • Basil in/on everything. (I have somehow accumulated five different varieties of basil this spring. Not sure how that happened, but I'm not complaining.)
  • Sleeping in my own bed every night. I like my bed.
  • Showering in my own bathroom every morning. I like my bathroom.
  • (Have I mentioned that I'm a terrible traveler? It's not that I don't like seeing the places and doing the stuff, I just like going home immediately afterwards, is all.)
So yeah. No vacation for us (cue the tiny violins).

This might turn out to be the BEST. SUMMER. EVER.


  1. I'm delighted to meet another terrible traveler.

    However, I've been feeling guilty about how little we've traveled with our daughter, who is now 10. So, this summer we've rented a little bungalow in Eureka, CA, and we're going to spend a week exploring the coast. It will also be her first flight, which is an adventure in itself for her (and for us, but not in a good way).

    I envy how many things there are for you to choose from within a days drive --up here in northern Illinois, it seems like most of the good stuff is days away!

  2. You are going to show us a video of the kiddie pool antics, yes? I know poodles love water...so they should be spectacular.

    Please call me when you perfect the alcoholic popsicles. Seriously.

    BASIL! Nom. Nom. Nom.

    As someone who's traveled a hell of a lot for the last four years--I commend you on your stay-cation. Hope you have a wonderful summer. Sounds like you'll be making the most of it. I'm refering to the popsicles, of course.

  3. There's no place like home, uh?
    I'd also like you to define alcoholic popsicles.
    Inneresting ...

  4. Oh honey, I am probably the worst traveler on earth! I hate it! Hate the packing and hauling all my junk and every possible thing that we might need. Hate it! Hate it!

  5. Sounds like a perfect staycation for you.

  6. Wouldn't an alcoholic popsicle just be my big red cup with a straw in it????

  7. Ahhh, you will love it! Traveling with the kids always seemed to be everyone having a vacation and Mommy bustling around like a combination Mr. French and M-O from Wall-E.

  8. That sounds positively awesome. A perfect plan.

    P.S. Those eggs and tomatoes look so good!

  9. Kathy—sounds like the summer of your dreams! Enjoy! I, too, dread the travel. Not so much the vacationing part of it, but the part where I'm responsible for planning, reserving, washing, packing, driving, unpacking...And I'm not even a mom! I can only imagine the work triples when you have children and a man-child.

    @Renee—be sure to drive a bit farther north to Klamath and take her to Trees of Mystery! Holy Tourist Trap, but she's 10; she'll love it! Humboldt Bay is beautiful, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

  10. Why didn't I insist on your Mother's Day plan? Ours is gone now. Pah.

    We gave up going anywhere forrin years ago because we couldn't afford it. I don't miss it. At. All.

  11. Wait... FANCY SALTS?!? You just can't toss that out there without explanation! What are fancy salts? What makes them fancy? Where does one get fancy salts? Is the price as fancy as the name? I have never heard of this before. About all I know is garlic salt and celery salt. Yummy... but not really that fancy.

  12. Oh, I have ALL KINDS of fancy salts! The salt on the tomatoes is some kind of spiced Mediterranean Sea salt that P bought in the south of France. I think it might have herbs de Provence in it? Or something? I dunno. It's good on tomatoes. The eggs have Hawaiian red salt on them, which I bought ... at the liquor store, I think. You have to LOOK for the fancy salts. They don't just jump out at you.

  13. So it's just salt with other stuff tossed in? I was thinking it was going to be salt that was dyed a color or was mixed with edible glitter or something. Good to know. Good to know.

  14. Well, some of my fancy salts are salts from fancy places. Like the Hawaiian red salt. And the Himalayan pink salt. And the Celtic grey salt. And the black salt that has some sort of volcanic component and tastes like sulfur and death. Come to think of it, food dye and edible glitter might be a better idea.