Monday, January 13, 2014

Stay-cation!

This past weekend one of my best friends and I had our seasonal Stay-cation. We began doing these last Winter, so this has been our 4th one so far. Basically, the two of us have combined our desire to have a vacation with our desire to save money and formed a day every season where we pretend like we are on vacation, without going anywhere.

Our stay-cations typically begin with a sunrise hike. Now, I am not an up at dawn sort of riser, but knowing that naps are common on this day, it is much easier to be up at sunrise.  Holly picks me up with coffee packed in a thermos and a snack (1st breakfast, if you will…). We drive out to Hueston Woods, a gorgeous state park only ten minutes from town. There is a trail along a lake that is pretty much perfect for sunrises. When we start it is still dark and we haven’t fully processed the coffee, so we are quiet. As the light begins to filter in and the caffeine begins to kick in, we start to talk. Going on hikes has been a lifelong thing with the two of us. We talk about anything and everything, though usually (and today is no different) it is our current hopes and dreams. Little goals that we can hold each other accountable for and help to make happen. It is crisp and cool morning and an absolute perfect way to start stay-cation.
We get back to my house. I have made an apple-cinnamon steel-cut oatmeal dish (recipe can be found here: http://www.theyummylife.com/Slow_Cooker_Apple_Cinnamon_Oatmeal) in the crockpot overnight, knowing that a hot (2nd) breakfast would be nice to come home to after a chilly hike. It is warm and delicious. We make another pot of coffee and change into our stay-cation uniform (aka: pajamas). We have prepared lots more delicious meals (on stay-cation we eat like hobbits, 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, brunch, luncheon, afternoon tea, supper, etc…). Today we have decided that we most feel like watching Harry Potter and doing spa things.

We spend the day watching the 6th and both parts of the 7th movie. We have foot baths and we put drops of mint in them and soak til they are wrinkled. We do our nails and put various masks on our faces and hair. We have a delicious lunch of home-made wheat tortillas with sauteed peppers and onion and a mixture of black beans and cheese. We have guacamole and chips. Oh and Holly, who has become a master infuser of alcohol, has brought some strawberry and vanilla infused vodka which we mix with ginger ale to make a lovely little cocktail that goes just perfectly with our vacation atmosphere.

Other friends we have, know about our stay-cation and drop by for visits sporadically. These visits break up our movie marathon quite nicely and keep us from turning into zombies. Towards the end of the day we realize we haven’t packed a dessert (mon dieu!) so we head up to Starbucks, grab a latte and some chocolate and settle back in to finish the movies. At the end of the day, we feel refreshed and energized. The spa has restored our need to pamper ourselves, watching movies all day feels like an indulgence, a throwback to when we were kids, the conversation has us re-energized and ready to take on those goals that we hope to accomplish. The fact that we did it all on no budget and with minor planning feels like a bonus.
What would be on your schedule for the perfect stay-cation?

Ashley

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