We started doing mini-vacations years ago while on a farm because it was easier to find someone to watch animals for one or two nights than for a week or more. Longer vacations require time off of work, loss of pay, and are often quite exhausting. Now don’t get me wrong, I will take a week long vacation if it’s offered! A weekend away is often perfect to refresh the spirit, spend time with loved ones, and to relax. It doesn’t have to be terribly expensive either to get the crew together.
1) First, choose who you want to share your mini-vacation with. We could have spent a weekend at Ojo Caliente, a lovely hot springs spa in New Mexico. We could have jumped on a plane and visited one of our friends out of state. But what I really wanted was a family vacation.
2) Look at schedules. We typically like to go on trips during the week. The prices are often cheaper and there are less crowds. But, Doug’s job is an hourly paying one these days and we can’t afford to miss that much. Don’t wait too long though. Just book the time and everyone will figure out what they can do.
3) Book a place using Air B&B or a place similar if you need multiple rooms. Go to a Dude Ranch. There are many fun things you can do. I booked a four bedroom house in the mountains only a few minutes out of town. It was pretty central for all of us. We were able to bring one of our granddogs. There was a stocked kitchen and plenty of towels and comfy seating. It had amazing views, porches, and was a beautiful respite. Everyone came when they could Friday.
4) Drop all expectations. Some folks won’t be able to make it. I know I tend to micromanage everything but this time I was going to let everything unfold! Have a basic plan. Looking at the weather we decided that visiting the North Pole in Cascade would be best on Saturday. We all brought up different games, books, and things to do. My son, Andy, and his girlfriend couldn’t get off work and then had a wedding to go to Saturday. In the end the only thing they could do was meet us for lunch in Manitou Sunday. And it was great. It was fun having all nine of us.
5) Prepare meals. Each couple chose a meal they would prepare. This saves a lot of money and time not having to find restaurants three times a day. Doug and I made breakfasts. Shyanne and Jacob made a mouthwatering linguine alfredo with breadsticks. Emily and Reed made a comforting cheesy broccoli soup and croissants. We all brought up plenty of drinks. Shyanne surprised us all with caramel apple fixings.
6) Be in the moment. We laughed while we played games. We took turns snuggling the puppy. Took little walks. Drank coffee together on the balcony. Did some yoga. Listened to music. Talked. Caught up. Walked the row of stores. Played together.
The key word here is “together”. It was a perfect vacation. I hope you will plan one for your own people soon.