We weren’t going to go anywhere for spring break again this year, but the thought of another staycation was causing me to have spastic colon symptoms. Especially since our oldest daughter’s ballroom dance team was tripping to sunny SoCal to perform at Disneyland and have a private workshop at the Dancing With the Stars studios.
I mentioned to her we were toying with the idea of tagging along as semi-chaperones, but that got a big VETO.
I can’t blame her.
When I was sixteen years old and on my first away-from-home adventure with comrades, the last thing I would want would be my dorky fam tagging along. It would hamper TTR potential (Team Tour Romance), and totally ruin the atmosphere for games of suck n’ blow at the back of the bus.
So Jason and I, with our remaining offspring, had to come up with some plans of our own.
I was determined they would be actual “travel plans,” but they did have to meet certain requirements:
1. Warm weather. I was desperate enough to get away that I promised Jason I would actually shave to wear capris, shorts and a swimsuit if he would take me somewhere balmy.
2. Drivable distance. Over the past eleven years I think we’ve managed to acquire enough sky miles to fly two pieces of luggage to JFK round trip.
3. Moochable accommodations. To save money, I thought we’d contact long lost friends and relatives who live in sunny vacation destinations to see if we could just pop by and say hi, for five days.
4. Cheap, family-friendly things to see and do. Hikes, biking paths, interesting sites and scenic places where we could eat picnic lunches we would make with healthy food from the family cooler.
We decided on Las Vegas.
I guess 2 for 4 isn’t bad. We did drive and it is warm here.
The only shirt tail acquaintances we have in Vegas dodged our numerous phone calls and emails, but we did manage to find a screamin’ deal online for a hotel.
As for the inexpensive activities and cooler cuisine, we were really good, for the first half of the first day.
How were we supposed to know our hotel would be right next to a Cheesecake Factory? And how often do you get the opportunity to ride on a roller coaster that is on top of a building? It’s not like there are jousting tournaments every weekend to watch back home. Gelato is sooooo good and I swear there is a stand on every corner here.
We did show some restraint. We refused to pay $8 a person to go into the visitor center at Hoover Dam. Why pay good money to read a bunch of dam information you can read on Wikipedia for free? And we did make sandwiches in our hotel room one night after we got home from a movie because we couldn’t just put the kids to bed with only popcorn and Sprite on their stomachs.
I know, I know.
We had good intentions. We just lost them somewhere between The Mirage and The Luxor.
It’s hard to find a balance, to know when to conserve and when to throw caution to the wind and live a little.
My awesome cousin has a motto for vacations: Live like you’re rich and skinny.
We definitely applied that motto this week, now it’s time to head home where “poor and fat” will anxiously greet us at the door.