The unvarnished truth about ‘staycations’

lucky reading

Lucky Dog is spending her staycation catching up on her reading.


One of the hottest new concepts in our pop culture is the “staycation.” Unless you live under a rock, you know by now this refers to a vacation that is spent in one’s own home, enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.

Hmm. This is going to be a stretch, but I’ll pretty much do anything to save a dollar. Since I can’t afford to go to Rome or Niagara Falls, much less the grocery store this summer, I have booked a week in my own home. I stopped the papers and unplugged the phone, so don’t call me – I’m on staycation.

I tried to get someone to go with me, but they all made up ridiculously lame excuses. Seems my home hasn’t made the top 1,000,000 travel destinations as yet.

As I write this column (my absolute last chore for the week), I’m wearing madras shorts and hot pink socks with my tennis shoes. My camera is dangling from my neck and in a few moments I’ll go wandering around the neighborhood gawking at the sights and shooting photos with which to bore my family and friends.  Lucky Dog is ready for the tour – has on her sun specks (above).

But let me back up. First, I had to ask myself for time off from the daily grind and phoned myself to book a week with me in my home. I am not the type of person to complain, but so far I find the accommodations and service totally unacceptable.

When I arrived at check in, I was appalled.”Housekeeping” must have been on strike – the bed wasn’t made and dishes were in the sink. The room that masquerades as a “guest-room” was filled with boxes of Christmas decorations that management has been too lazy to even shove under the bed.

“But it’s already July and it’ll soon be time to put them up again,” whines management. “What’s the point of climbing up in the attic just so some “tourist” can enjoy her stay?” Indeed!

Wait, I’m beginning to confuse the issue of whether I’m management or guest. This is one of the many pitfalls arising from this whole insane concept of staycation.

But back to my lack-luster itinerary. Mealtime has arrived. Management has not even bothered to stock up on the basics. There’s nothing in the fridge except a dying head of lettuce, a container of fat free cottage cheese, and every other condiment known to man – some about as old. The only thing to drink is a half bottle of Tahitian Noni Juice a friend gave me to try. So I eat the cottage cheese and chase it with the juice – a lethal combination. I feel like I did when I drank the water in Mexico.

The substandard cuisine and accommodations could be overlooked if management had delivered on some of the “fun leisure activities” I was expecting. Instead of crafts, outdoor games and spa-like treatments, the only activity available to me is to dawdle about in my pajamas, making copious lists of what I want to accomplish after this staycation is over.

On the positive side – you don’t have to pack or unpack, spend money on gas, or wait in long lines at the airport. You can catch up on your reading and watch old movies on the Hallmark Channel. Unfortunately this turns out to be “Western Week” – not a single chick flick on the playbill – and I discovered I’d read four of the five books I’d checked out at the library. Rebel Dawg, below, is spending his entire staycation watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.

rebel watching tv

I’m thinking seriously of going to sing Karaoke tonight at the corner bar – that will be a new experience. I’m practicing “Bad Case of Loving You” so they won’t suspect I’m 50 something in that 20 something hideaway. Not to worry, I understand it’s dark as midnight and if I wear a mask I may fool them.

In summary, this staycation will probably not become an annual experience – it’s well, too commonplace – other than the Karoake. If it weren’t for the downturn in the economy and the bubbly news reports about the staycation being a super awesome fun way for regular people to relax without spending money they don’t have, I’d feel pretty ripped off. I’d want my money refunded, but then I didn’t actually spend any.

Yawn. This week is going to be so relaxing, I may go into a coma. Would someone please check on me somewhere long about Saturday?

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