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The End of Paycations?

Money a little tight this summer? Have you bought in to the “Staycation” craze yet? In case you’re not familiar with the term, a staycation is a vacation without the transportation. Plane fares and schedules are unpredictable or expensive or both, gas is expensive, food is expensive, let’s just say it’s too expensive to take a break from the high cost of living.

You might hear people on TV or the radio talking about great ideas for substituting a home vacation for, say, a trip to Disneyland. Their recommendations are that the family all wears Mickey Mouse ears, polka dot dresses and black tuxes and exaggerate happy actions for the entire weekend. Make kids wait for a couple hours between rope barricades to jump in the blow-up pool as you yell, “Look out for the alligators!” in attempts to make it a thrill experience.

If the kids were looking forward to their first plane trip, no need to deny them the memorable parts. To simulate the seating, surround your child's middle seat chair with packing boxes. Put a huge stuffed gorilla or something on one of the boxes, so its arm, flubs over the armrest into your child's ribs. Make an aisle by moving all the furniture to form a skinny corridor that goes only to the bathroom in one direction, and a lounge chair you don't let them sit in, in the other. Pile magazines and books up to the ceiling in the bathroom so there is only room to stand in one 12"X12" spot.

Another idea I heard was as a result of a canceled trip to Hawaii. The mom bought a big box of leis off E-Bay, invited family and friends, stuck an apple in a thawed chicken cavity and called it a pig. They suggest following the same model for other locations, as well. Were you going to go to London? Serve every meal with warm tomato slices, removing the salmonella first, tea and toast on a toast rack and don’t forget adding “blimey” or “bloody” to statements throughout the day. Blimey is an expression that translates to “Oh, darn…” and bloody is an adjective as in, “The neighbors are playing ukulele, hula dancing, barbequing a bloody apple plugged chicken on a spit, pretending they’re in bloody Hawaii.”

Teachers have staycations all the time. We did it last year when the sun hadn’t shone for two weeks. We called it Sun Day and played music that mentioned the sun, drew suns, used yellow paper for everything, and wore sun themed or yellow clothing. It did cheer us up, but I think it was just the novelty of painting during language arts time. We used to have Green Bay staycations back in the day when Brett Favre was quarterback. We’d wear green and gold, put tape on the carpet to simulate yard lines, made a kid stand at each end with both bent arms up to be field goals, and had that day’s snack distributor yell out, “Get your snacks, here! Only no cents a bag!” and then she would toss a baggie full of pretzels at someone.

I’m glad to see people getting creative about time at home. This weekend I’m pretending to be on “Design Star” as I attempt to grout, tile, and paint my bathroom. When I’m finished I’ll have three neighbors come over and tell me what they liked and what I sort of screwed up on. They’ll tell me I’m safe this week, but will not have immunity for the next challenge. That makes me want to try all the harder when I move on to adding crown molding to the outside of the house.

There is still a lot of summer left, folks. Enjoy your vacations, staycations, Green Bay-cations, daycations, farm trip haycations, couch potato laycations, or just keep your nose to the grindstone and have what many of us will,

a naycation.

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