Pandemic Family Vacation
I don't know about you, but I always feel like these couple weeks just after the 4th are super special and make some of the best summer memories. It's hot, humid (at least here in the Washington, DC area), work is slow, the kids are enjoying every last drop of sunshine because school is looming in the not-so-distance future, and most meals are on the grill. This time of year, we typically pile everyone into the Family Truckster, hit the road and go on a week-long vacation. Not this year, bub.
The husband and I decided to take our usual time off work this week and planned some fun activities for us and the kids to keep our vacation tradition and "get away" from our new normal day-to-day.
Here's what we have planned this week:
First things first, we needed a centerpiece for the week: a DIY Slip and Slide. Oh yeah, the mecca of yard fun from our childhoods. I found some great instructions online to build one…the one I chose was Bob Villa's World's Most Amazing DIY Slip ‘N Slide because I trust Bob. I was able to buy the extra thick plastic sheeting and anchors from Amazon, and we had baby soap (for speed) in the deep dark depths of our linen closet. Of course, we're going to use this at our own risk as you would, too.
Our backyard isn't that huge, so earlier in the pandemic, I spent a little money beautifying our small patio, new chairs a couple of tables so we could all have extra space to get away from each other when needed. A couple of weeks ago, I bought us a fire pit so we could spend evening hours around the fire watching the stars and fireflies and, of course, make s'mores!
After a long day of getting plastic and grass burns, we plan on staying outside, grilling, and s'moring (is that a word?). Everyone should be relaxed and pooped out, just the way I like it on day one of any vacation.
Spa Day! Yes, from the safety of our own home. I got us all matching robes and slippers à la fancy resort. I got the kids the Scientific Explorer Ultimate Spa'mazing Kit so they could make their own masks and lotions. For the hubby and me I have a gaggle of face masks we'll use (found in the magical depths of the linen closet). I plan on playing chill spa vacation music and burn some incense throughout the house and on the patio. All will enjoy cucumber water! 😉
We're hitting the road! Wait what…yes, we're leaving home midweek for a day trip. Once the Family Truckster is loaded with hand sanitizer, extra face masks, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, and of course snacks, we're headed to a National Park just an hour away. We chose Gettysburg to get our learn-on while getting in our steps. Knowing the visitors center might be closed due to the pandemic, we all did a little homework beforehand, so we get the most out of our history lesson.
Afterwards, dinner and a movie. We're going to stay in the Truckster and head out to a drive-in movie. The one we chose delivers food to your car in a safe manner. And the kids are so going to dig Back to the Future and perhaps understand the 2020 time machine joke even better.
Free day! No matter where we go on vacation, we always have a free day because, eventually, you need some downtime. I presume the kids will use the Slip and Slide, and the husband will be building something in the cool basement while I catch up on work…because it never ends, and I will have been away from my email for a whole three days. :o
Dinner, we will reunite for fondue. The classic 70's throw-out-your-diet-bubbling cheese yumminess. Here's the basic recipe I've been using for years. It's super easy, and the ingredients are only cheddar cheese, some beer, Worchester sauce, garlic, mustard, and flour. For dipping, I buy a couple of baguettes, apples, and some veggies like cauliflower and broccoli. And for our viewing pleasures, we're going to watch The Bad News Bears; our kids are older so they can handle the language. If you got little ones, there is nothing like the original Muppet's Movie for a classic 1970's vibe.
Sports! Obviously, we're not going to see a professional game because there are none and crowds are dangerous right now. We chose Tennis. A couple of our local parks have proper tennis courts, so I got the family new racquets and some fun balls. After a healthy breakfast (see last night's dinner), we'll hit the courts. And after expelling all our cheese sweats, we'll have a make-your-own smoothie bar set up in the kitchen. Come on; this is the best time of the year for fruit: mangos, strawberries, blueberries, and cherries! They all make great smoothies in any combination with some almond milk and fat-free Greek yogurt (add some protein powder to rejuvenate your muscles).
In the evening, I plan on bringing back the s'mores but with a twist! I'm pulling out the bacon, fruit, coconut flakes, and Nutella to add a little something-something to the classic. I also dusted off our tent, and we're all sleeping outside in the backyard under the stars to complete our pandemic staycation.
Last but most important throughout these strange days, it's crucial to stay safe. Everyone in the family has at least two masks, one that goes around their necks so they can pull it up when they are outside and may come across another human and a nice cloth mask that expresses their personalities. We each have refillable travel bottles of hand sanitizer that we can hook to our belt loops, so it's always ready. I have the whole family registered on MDBox for quick healthcare visits if needed and have the MDBox COVID-19 symptom tracker bookmarked just in case someone starts feeling ill.
I hope you steal some of my ideas!
Love & Peace-
*pictures are not my real family 😉