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Our Labor Day Staycation: Guide to the Ultimate At-Home Vacation

One of the questions that seems to float around most in my house about quarantine is, "What do you miss about pre-Quarantine life?" The answer for me is easy, vacations. I miss traveling with friends and family and exploring a new place, indulging on new foods and sleeping, a lot! On the same note, I do like to make apple juice out of lemons, so I've started to play around with making my own vacations right at home!

You're probably thinking I'm crazy, the saying is make lemonade from lemons... Well let me be clear, I like to take it just one step further and really use my imagination. Sure, you can make positives out of this whole situation, but what if you went one or a couple steps farther and really expanded on what all you can do. The idea of a Staycation isn't by any means a new concept, but I'm all for making old things newer and even more fun and creative.

We went back and forth with the idea of actually going on a mini-Vacation for Labor Day weekend, but everywhere we looked we just couldn't justify the cost of travel with the travel restrictions that would be in place when we got there. Mid-August I planned a Staycation "Cruise" for Ian for his Birthday. Every activity was themed to match a particular country and/or culture. I figured why not do the same thing but encompassing the theme of rest and relaxation.

The day started slow. We slept in, enjoyed some time just talking in bed and when we were hungry we decided it was time for brunch. One of our best travel memories is a Sunday brunch we had at the JW Marriott Palm Desert. If you ever get the chance to try it, we highly recommend it! Instead of spending $45 per person and the long drive out there, we recreated it at home. Sans crab legs, of course. Nevertheless, it was wonderful. I can't remember the last time we sat at brunch for over a two hours, just talking. To be honest, it was probably the JW Marriott brunch in 2018.

We made sure to keep it simple enough in the kitchen, but yummy enough that it would be exactly what we needed to start off a full day of relaxation. We found a couple of frozen breakfast staples from Trader Joe's that I would HIGHLY recommend. Then I made our favorite egg and soy-chorizo scramble with some fruit on the side. Of course there were mimosas... Overall it was very tasty and we managed to get it all in for less than the price of 1 person at the JW Marriott brunch.

After brunch we had meant to make Macarons, but we were enjoying sitting so much that we just kept hanging out, enjoying each other's company until it was time to get ready for the pool. We made reservations to go to our favorite pool at 2pm and sat together in a cozy cabana while we read. This is easily one of our favorite pastimes. It gives us a chance to get fresh air, all while enjoying some of our favorite books together. Of course, we have widely different reading styles, but at least we're doing it together!

When we made it back to the apartment we were actually fairly tired and resorted to watch one of our favorite shows together until it was time to cook dinner. We grilled some SUPER tasty chicken kabobs with an incredible marinade made by Ian. I forgot how calming it was to sit on a porch early in the evening and just talk. All the while, glorious smells emanating from the grill and a glass of wine in hand. It truly was perfect.

The key is to make it low-key. Before the day I made a list of things I wanted us to do and made sure we had everything we needed to do those things. That way, on the day of all we had to do was enjoy each other's company. Did we do everything on my list? No. But in a way that's the point. The list was just there to give us ideas and to help us prepare so we wouldn't feel like we were working during our staycation. If this is something you'd like to try at home that is my biggest and only tip. Plan it then make sure you're doing exactly what feels right on the day of, even if that doesn't match the plan.