Staycation 2008

We decided several months ago that a huge trip this summer was not a good idea from a financial standpoint. I was highly disappointed, but since I was a part-time graduate student this past school year we were not in a position to fork out huge bucks to fly somewhere. We had planned to take the children to England once my son was 5. Well, he turned 5 in April. I’m more than a little disappointed that we can’t make the trek to my former homeland.

You see I have not stepped foot in England since 1993. My husband and I took a two week trip several years in to our marriage and toured the South of England, then headed north to see the Lake District, with a final tour of Scotland…Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and the chilly battlefields of Culloden. We are both English majors, so the Lake District was a huge hit…Wordsworth cottage as well as Beatrix Potter’s house.

I had an extremely nomadic childhood. I was born in Manchester, emigrated with my family to the U.S. at age 4, returned to England at age 7 for a few months, returned to the U.S. at age 8, returned to England at age 9, returned to the U.S. at age 10, with a final return to England at age 11-almost 12. I cannot imagine doing that type of moving around with my own children…too hectic, too chaotic, no time to take up roots before you move to another country, losing touch with friends. Oh, I almost forgot we moved to Italy when I was 15, but I stayed in England with my mother, while my father lived in Italy. Yes, my parents were still married, but lived apart for 4 years…I cannot even imagine.

So, while I have lived in America since I was a freshman in college and am now an American citizen, I still have ties to England. I want my children to see where I grew up. I worry that I will lose the opportunity to travel as the children get older and have more sports and other activities in the summer months. My daughter is only 6 years away from college. We absolutely need to go to the U.K. before she goes to college.

So, here we sit in Maryland on our staycation. We did a five day trip to Ocean City, MD. The kids and husband love the beach…me, not so much. I am glad the children got to go somewhere this summer.

To take our mind of where we could have gone, we have been making memories at home. The wii has been a huge diversion (purchased with vacation-type funds), not for me but the kids. Aside from the screams from the 5-year-old of “It’s not fair, that she won,” overall it was a good purchase. I have unearthed any number of crafts…we have done play dough, Moon Sand, painted with watercolors, inflated various beach toys from years past, and listened to kids’ CDs, and watched movies. Monday we attended a minor league baseball game…kids eat free Mondays!

We have ventured out of the house–my girls could live in their pajamas. Tonight was a good example of memories…a trip to the library to redeem prizes and coupons for reading books, a lengthy game of mini golf–nothing quite as funny as watching a 5-year-old score over 10 on a hole mutiple times, and a trip to Baskin Robbins to have ice cream for dinner. Good food, good family fun, and good memories!

On the itinerary tomorrow more painting (not a craft project, but a new coat of paint for my almost 10-year-old’s room, and possibly a trip the county fair…I hear a funnel cake calling my name!

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