It’s Now Official—The Beginning of Summer

Baby Boomers Are on the Move, or Not—Instead Are You Staycationing?

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it”. Unknown author. Photo by Brett Sayles (Pexels)

Welcome to the beginning of summer.  Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of summer with schools having completed their course work and semesters, pools opening, BBQ’s in full swing, and folks from all over jumping in their cars and on airplanes to visit friends and family, or just to take a break and vacation at some fun spot on the globe.

Everywhere I went this past week, people were excited about heading out somewhere/anywhere to celebrate the upcoming holiday weekend.  Although we typically do not travel on the holiday weekends because it’s always so crazy here in SoCal with traffic and crowds, we thought why not—let’s go.

I looked online at some of our favorite places in the mountains for either hotel or VRBO vacancy, and everything is booked and even over-booked.  I then went to some of the special spots on the northern California coast and found the same experience.  

After a full year of the doldrums and with stimulus checks burning a hole in our pockets, people are ready to explore and enjoy the benefits of society once again re-opening to the thought of vacationing.  Just the word “vacation” excites everyone, if it’s back to a favorite place or a new one yet explored, along with the mental images conjured up of fun and splash.  The main purpose of a vacation is to breathe and feel refreshed in the sun and perhaps a splash in the pool, lake or ocean along with a renewal of self.  

Here’s what might happen with this well-earned time off. Once you get to your destination, you don’t want to be standing in lines and fighting the throngs of people who have decided to descend on the very spot you were thinking of visiting.  Definitely not the purpose of a vacation.  As so often happens, you don’t want to be returning home just to rest up.  

Is there an alternative?  Thankfully, YES!  Especially if you want to avoid the crowds, packed freeways and overbooked flights. It’s called a STAYCATION,  a term coined for holidays spent at one’s home country rather than abroad, or more appropriately, a holiday spent at home and/or involving simple day trips to local attractions.  

Staycations are budget friendly and will probably cost slightly more than a few bucks, but guess what, they are less time consuming and definitely more relaxing and ultimately, more refreshing. 

“I hope the weather is good tomorrow, for my trip to puerto back-yarda.  I’m getting tired of los living room.”

The Funny Beaver

I know we’ve been stuck at home for the past number of months, longer than anyone would have expected.  But there are some wonderful staycation ideas for enjoying the upcoming long weekend, whether it be at home or wandering out for a special meal in your hometown.  Goodness knows, our hometown establishments need the support after what they’ve endured this past year.  

Think of it as supporting your local businesses/restaurants (who doesn’t enjoy a meal out).  Be sure to thank them, especially if they stayed open with pick-up and delivery services.  

Here are my top 12 low-cost tips and ideas for enjoying your staycation.

PREP YOUR HOME BEFORE THE STAYCATION BEGINS.  That means cleaning, decorating, and shopping in advance for your meals.  That way you don’t need to venture out and risk the encounter of traffic madness.  Here in SoCal, the wild rides are no longer at Disneyland, they’re on our freeways and in the parking lots.  

BIKE RIDE.  Who doesn’t love to feel young again.  Just remember to keep your hands on the handles.  We don’t want any mishaps.

READ OR REREAD YOUR FAVORITE NOVEL.  In short, one of the best ways to roam and wander is to let your mind enjoy the world of words and adventure.

“Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are”

Nason Cooley

I just love the variety of foods you can cook on the grille. Photo by Pixabay (Pexels)

FIRE UP THE BAR-BEE.  The recipes for the BBQ are endless, so pick up your favorite seafood, steak, chicken or good ol’ hamburger meat and get ready for taste sensations.  I also like to prepare my vegetables on the grille.  I wrap them in foil with a variety of condiments and cook them a wee-bit longer than your main food.  That way they will both come off the grille at the same time giving you the perfect serve.

Nothing better on a warm California night with your smoker in full swing. Photo by Roberto Nickson (Pexels)

WATCH A SPECIAL MOVIE ONE NIGHT.  Turn down the lights and play it on your big screen, even outdoors, or stream on your handheld.  Bring out the popcorn and homemade hummus for a lighter fare.  

DECORATE WITH MEMORIAL DAY FLAGS.  If you live in the United States, it is quite customary to hang your large flag at the front of your home, along with smaller versions that you can stick in your plants and gardens and let them float in the breeze.

Let the book lull you to sleep. Photo by Los Muertos Crew (Pexels)

TAKE A NAP.  Since most gardeners at our homes will not be working over the three-day weekend, what better time for a quiet nap in a hammock or chaise lounge.

TURN OFF THE NEWS.  Honestly, there isn’t anything truly news-worthy, and not so urgent that it can’t wait until tomorrow.  Your mindfulness will thank you.

Who doesn’t love this board game. Can you guess what it is? Photo by Suzy Hazelwood (Pexels)

DUST OFF A BOARD GAME OR PUZZLE.  If you’re competitive like my BoomerGuy and me, we will bet on who wins and the loser gets to do household chores for a week. Or better yet, try a video game that you can play with your grandchildren.  Good luck with that one.

ALAS, THE PROCRASTINATED PROJECT.  Because I’m the consummate decorator, I love projects as they bring new life and looks into an otherwise mundane and tired space.  From homes to townhomes to apartments or even an RV, make your place extra special.  

“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful”

Hazrat Inayat Khan

THE DAY TRIP.  We all live where a day-trip can be fun and memory filled.  Be sure to take your camera or smart phone.  Have lunch out or take a picnic basket filled with your favorite drinks, sandwiches, and snacks.  

May we all salute our wonderful warriors. Photo by Pixabay (Pexels)

THE MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE.  This weekend is for our fallen hero’s and those who have served as well as those who are currently serving in our military forces.  

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.  It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official holiday in 1971.  Many Americans observe the day as the last Monday of May by visiting cemeteries and memorials.  And of course, by now, you know that it marks the beginning of the summer season.  

Talk about “in memoriam.” This will send chills up your spine. Photo by Mohan Nannapau (Pexels)

My BoomerGuy and I have been going to the cemetery on this very special day to honor his father and uncle who served in WWII, and my grandfather who served in WWI.  We stick three flags at the gravesite in memoriam and thank everyone who has served. 

My last tip is a free one.  If you decide to travel for the upcoming weekend, bring your masks.  There is a whole lot of mass-confusion about whether to wear or not wear, oops, make that “mask-confusion” on all fronts.  Better be safe than sorry.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY one and all.  Make it special by being overly kind to those around you and be forever grateful for all that we have.  

Until next week, I am your BoomerGal, Connie.

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