"The Stay-cation"
Your vacation on a budget

Debbie Palombo

Your newsletter post regarding the effects of the economy on our adventures motivates me to share my latest vacation. I just enjoyed one of my favorite summer vacations of all, last month--AT HOME!

Why GO some place, when you ARE some place?

This was the 8th summer, out of the last 9, that my family stayed at home for vacation! Since my husband, Larry, travels all of the time for work, his idea of the best vacation is to stay at home! Since he eats out all of the time when he travels, his idea of the best meal is one we cook ourselves! No protest on my part regarding that! We love to cook together.

What set this past vacation apart from all of our other vacations, at home, was that this year we made it a no-tech vacation! A no-tech vacation means no phones, no cell-phones, no TV, no computer (i.e. NO FACEBOOK!)...no contact! Just the three of us--Larry, my son Nate, and I! We took advantage of all the wonderful things we love about living here in our fabulous home in Tampa, Florida. I LOVE FLORIDA! People come here for vacation all the time, and we are lucky enough to live here. So we took everything and everyone else out of the picture and enjoyed our own "resort," doing all of the things we love to do at home! That turned our ordinary, everyday-life into heaven!

We cooked all of our own meals and we prepared all of our favorite foods. We did not go out to a restaurant once, even though it was our plan to go out one night, to a new restaurant; we decided against it in the end, and chose to stay at home instead--not wanting to drive back and forth!

We had lobsters shipped in overnight from Maine and had a lobsterfest one day! We made a couple of hauls during the week from our favorite hot spot--Costco--to stock up on "supplies!" We cooked, we steamed, we grilled, we broiled, we deep-fried, we baked; we tried new recipes and we repeated old!

We even spent a day making cordials galore in preparation for the holidays and for "gifts of food" for Christmas presents--Frankie's Vodka Cherries, Grapes in Grappa, Rum Pots, Brandied Cherries, Blueberries in Vodka, Lemon Vodka Cordial, Lime Vodka Cordial, Apricot Brandy and Aquavit--to name a few!

We enjoyed cocktails and drinks out on the deck! Margarita-Time! Martini-Time!

We canoed!

We swam in the pool and/or used the spa daily!

We went out on our pontoon boat "Debbie's Diamond" (which I chose over a "real rock" when I turned 50 four years ago, because it was something we could all enjoy together)! We enjoyed our lake and fished!

We gardened, a favorite hobby I share with my husband. He works, I watch!

We spent hours upon hours doing NYTimes and WSJ crossword puzzles, another past-time we enjoy together.

We read books, especially cookbooks!

We ate, drank and were merry! And smoked cigars! Every night!

We stayed up late, or all night long, and slept-in!

I did what one always does on vacation--I chronicled it all by taking photographs! I shared a few herewith.

Ah-h.....it was the best vacation!

Home Sweet Home! There's no place like home! Especially when you live where we live!