Have you ever had that feeling that you need a vacation from your vacation? That longing for your own kitchen that has everything exactly where it should be, that need for the comfort of your own bed? I’m usually willing to endure the vacation hangover in exchange for breaking our regular routine, seeing some new places and faces, or visiting family. However, Javier and I just spent a week-long vacation at home and I have been congratulating myself all week on the happy benefits of relaxing and indulging from the comforts of my own home.
Back in September of last year, exactly two weeks before Penelope was born, Javier learned that his company was going to start offering one month of paid parental leave as a new policy effective October 1. Prior to this, Javi had saved 10 days of his remaining vacation time to use for P’s birth. P was born on Tuesday Sept 26, and Javi used his vacation days to buy his way to Oct 1 when the leave kicked in. That left 5 vacation days that he had to use before March 1 of this year when his vacation time will reset. We considered a number of options for places we could travel with P on a budget, but finally concluded that the best option for optimizing comfort, relaxation, rejuvenation and cost would be to stay home and treat ourselves to a few extra indulgences than normal.
My mom and grandma were the real keys to our staycation success. The idea was for me and Javier to have the time and freedom to work on projects (Javier in his workshop, and I had a number of photography/vintage projects to finish) and get some pampering in if possible. So at the beginning of the week mom and grandma arrived with almost an entire refrigerator worth of food, snacks, freshly-baked banana bread, and meal plans for the week.
Every day we’d wake up and have a nice leisurely breakfast. P was never able to fuss much with 8 arms waiting for their chance to hold her. Slow cups of coffee and Olympic recaps kept us occupied until around noon when it was time to start ticking off the fun-oriented to-do list. Every day that weather permitted we would take a nice long walk around the neighborhood, sometimes stopping at Rainbow Blossom or Kingsley for ingredients for whatever meal we were planning.
On Tuesday, mom, grandma, P and I had an unplanned but super fun Galentines shopping date at Oxmoor mall complete with special treats from gma, two kitchen-sink cookies at Panera and a pizza at CPK (extra indulgence for me since I’ve been abstaining from dairy since October!). For Valentines day we had a big brunch in the morning, for dinner we ordered take out from El Taco Luchador, and for dessert we bought the ingredients to make Kentucky Mules at home. Eating in meant we could talk as long and eat as slowly as we wanted, and we didn’t have to worry about driving after a few drinks (good thing, too).
Penelope got extra love every day from my mom and gma. They changed her diapers, watched her while I went out for a haircut, pedicure, and to the dentist, and gma read Harry Potter to her during any down time. Mom helped me measure, photograph and repair all of the items that have been waiting in the wings to list in my shop (check for updates this week!). The dogs even got their share of attention for once with so many hands on deck for holding P AND petting them.
Of course it would’ve been fun and special had we been able to travel to Maine or Oregon (two hot spots on our wanna-go-to list). We also would have loved any trip that took us to visit family. But on short notice and with little energy and budget, we had a really amazing, refreshing week at home. HUGE hugs and shoutout to my mom and gma for all of the added fun and extra help! If you have unused vacation days coming up, consider saving the money for a bigger vacation next time and treat y’self to an indulgence-filled staycation.