It Might Be a Great Vacation If…

IMG_0343Last week I was so blessed to spend a week exploring the Grand Canyon with my dad and brother.  We went to Havasu Falls on an REI tour.  Our guides were the best of the best, the scenery was unbelievable, the accommodations were exceptional, and the hiking was a welcomed challenge.



One day while relaxing in my tent I decided to jot down a few things that were so great about the adventure we were enjoying.

It Might Be a Great Vacation If…

10. Your cell phone is 10 miles away, uphill.
9.  Your to-do list for the next day consists of only the following:  hike 7 miles, brush your teeth, float on the creek, and wash your underwear.
8.  You learn about biology, sociology, and geology all within a half mile hike.IMG_0306
7.  You can play UNO while someone else makes dinner.
6.  You can relax in a creek-side hammock while someone else cleans up dinner.
5.  Your once blue shoes look like this at the end of the day.    ———–>
4.  You are having so much fun you don’t want to stop to take pictures.
3.  No one cares if you shower or not.
2.  You forget where you put your watch and decide not to look for it.
1.  You get to spend lots of time with family and meet new friends that become like family.

bubba he-mutI had one full day home, and then it was right back on the road for vacation with the other half of my family.  We spent the beginning of this week in the friendly, quiet town of Damascus, VA where we rode the 30-some mile Creeper Trail.  This is our third time making this trip in just as many years, and we were already planning our return on the ride home.  I have such fond memories as a kid of returning to the same river beach for family vacations, year after year.  Maybe this Creeper Trail will become the same for my two.  Again, we were having so much fun, we didn’t really stop to take pictures….just this one of Bubba in his “he-mut”.

Tonight when I finally sat down to type out my “Great Vacation” list above, I started to think I needed to add one more…

It might be a great vacation if you’re glad to be home.

I think the whole point of vacation is to give you a breather from real life.  In my case, vacation (especially the first one) was a chance to catch up on some major alone-time hours that my introverted, mommy self never can seem to find.  By the end of the week, my introvert tank was spilling over the brim, and I was ready to be home with my people.  I think that means it was a truly excellent vacation….it was just long enough and relaxing enough to get me excited to come back to the everyday, real life.

So I know I’ve only been home home for something like seven hours, but I’m glad to be back in the normal rhythm of things here.  (Maybe ask me again how I’m liking the rhythm in 27 hours when the temperature’s pushing 90, I’ve run out of inside ideas, and nobody will nap.  Never mind…don’t ask.)

But tonight was good.  We ate pancakes for dinner, and Jay had it all cleaned up before anyone left the table.  After that we took a drive to the mall so we didn’t have to do our post-dinner walk in the rain.  (Nope…I’m not too proud to admit I’m a mall walker.)  Before bed we worked a few puzzles and chased fireflies.  I even managed to keep my cool when Chica threw her royal tantrum over the bugs.  Yep…it was a good night.

Vacation was great, and I’m glad to be home.

Best (Daddy) Staycation Ever: Lynchburg Edition

Five nights from now I’ll be sleeping in a tent at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  My brother, Dad, and I will be hiking the 10+ miles to Havasu Falls, and I am beyond excited.

I’m super thankful for both my mom and Jay who are making this trip possible by watching Chica and Bubba for the week that we are gone.  That’s some big time love right there.

In preparation for Jay’s days with the kiddos in Lynchburg, I sat down and typed out every possible fun thing I could think of for him to do with them while I’m gone.  I fully realize that survival mode may kick in, and they’ll spend 95% of the time watching Elmo’s World and escaping to Nana’s house.  And I am totally great with that…I get it.

But sometimes the biggest barrier to doing something fun is just not having a fresh idea or all the info.  It’s not so easy to come up with the ideas when someone’s throwing a tantrum in the floor and you realize that NOW is the time to move on to the next thing…preferably  out of the house.  So thus the Best Daddy Staycation Ever: Lynchburg Edition list was born.

And after I finished typing it, I realized that I might just be pulling out this list again in those desperate tantrum-on-the-floor moments when I return home for to the remainder of the summer. So maybe there’s one or two of you that would like the list as well.  At least it might save you the time it takes to look up the hours of operation for some of the spots you don’t visit often.

So feel free to download the document below.  I edited the one I gave to Jay because, well, you don’t really need to know where we keep the sidewalk chalk or the phone numbers of friends to call to send out an S.O.S.  (Friends…you know who you are….feel free to call and check on them ’round about Wednesday or Thursday!)  I left off some obvious toddler activities that are just a given, like reading.  I’m pretty sure Bubba could do that all day, but one daddy can only read Barnyard Dance so many times in a 24 hour period. There were a few Lynchburg spots I didn’t include because I knew Jay wouldn’t be interested.  Ex. He doesn’t do pools.  Oh, and he’s going to have them Tuesday through Friday, so I only included activities that were scheduled for those days.

Finally, if you live somewhere other than Lynchburg, maybe you’ll be inspired to edit this list to include the best ideas and times for your own city.  Feel free to share it here if you want.

Happy Staycation!

Lynchburg Staycation  <—-Download here!

P.S.  I had totally intended to add links for many of these places, but the rumored storm is here and in full swing.  I expect we may lose power shortly, so I’m just going to post as-is.  I’m praying this summer’s derecho is nothing like last year’s!