Oh, vacation. How my mentally bankrupt, creatively depleted body needs you. This year has taken a deep toll on me in every sense- financially, emotionally, mentally, physically. I now have wrinkles and cankles and no moolah. I think I might be shorter, too. I was hoping to have a completely different perspective by now, but it now seems I still have some battles to fight. Most unfortunate, but it is what it is.
However (insert cheesy grin here), I am finally taking a glorious, much-needed 11 days off of work at the end of the month. The last time I took time off was for an extended 4-day weekend camping trip in July of last year and it nearly sent me to a funny farm. Forever.
When I originally requested the time off, I thought that I might be hauling the little stinker north for a bit of Christmas celebrating. Apparently that’s not meant to be. I don’t want to “wing it” during my entire time off or I’ll end up wasting days watching HGTV and daydreaming. I might be staying home during my time off, but it’s still my vacation. Yes- I would much rather be swinging in a hammock under a tree with a nice cold beer in my hand, but I’ll have to live out that dream another time. I’m going to treat this as I would any other vacation and plan away, because for me, planning is part of the fun and excitement. It’s all about anticipation.
So, here I sit and sip my hot tea with honey and whiskey (generously donated by the ‘rents because I sound like a dying seal) while Josh shares his fave SXSW songs and Maya blows her Cars birthday blow-outs into my face, and I plan my staycation. Activity requirements: 1) must be free or cheap and 2) must be located near home (Vegas is a maybe), and 3) must be kid friendly.
Let’s see what there is to do in Mesquite, NV.
Gamble. Eat and drink copious amounts of cheap buffet food and alcohol. Listen to lounge music. Play golf. If I were a single, sixty year-old man, it would be an awesome vacation.
We could escape to Zion, but it’s a bit chilly in December as we discovered last year.
Since Maya is uncooperative when it comes to hats and mittens, Zion is out.
The ZOO (zoo? near my dinky town?) would be a world of fun for Maya the animal lover. Kangaroos, monkeys, camels, lemurs… 160 animals to entertain my own darling monkey. On the list! Of course, there’s the Vegas Zoo (and no, I’m not referring to the strip) if for some reason we miss the single day that the Moapa zoo is open.
If I want a million hits on youtube, I could take her to Town Square and let her freak out on Santa’s lap while I capture the beautiful moment on video. Personally, I think that shoving your kid onto a stranger’s lap– an obese, bearded, cartoonish-dressed old man’s lap no less– is just plain cruel, especially if they are leery of people in general in the first place, but that’s my thought on it. Some kids love the fat dude. My girl doesn’t. She refuses to call him “Santa”, opting to use the formal “Mr. Christmas” instead. Fine by me.
So, that kills one day. If I want to torture the child and include the jolly fat man in our staycation dream, two.
We’ll have plenty of time to perfect our games of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Create freakish animals with her new Play-Doh set. Draw pictures and make stunning art projects with her crayons and sparkly markers and washable paints. Because we are talented.
Don’t be jealous. We can teach you for a nominal fee.
Now, what to do with the rest of my time? Catch up on Netflix movies? Write? (Der.) Take long walks and drink a ton of coffee?
I’m open to trying something new, as long as it’s PG-ish. And cheap. Suggestions? I’ll take pictures of us participating in your fantastic activity.