Planning the Perfect Mini-Vacation

 

20171007_175451We 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

20171007_17300120171007_2047356) 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.

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The key word here is “together”.  It was a perfect vacation.  I hope you will plan one for your own people soon.

A Weekend Away From the Farm (Nederland and Boulder)

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A weekend away is always a welcome respite.  Once babies are being born and farmer’s markets begin we will be busy on our farm so we welcome these few winter weekends when we can get away.  This time we went to Boulder and Nederland with our daughter, Emily, her boyfriend, Bret, and our granddaughter, Maryjane.

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We met the kids in Boulder for lunch on Pearl Street Mall.  This strip of shops doesn’t have cars on it, just people walking, musicians playing, as well as jugglers, acrobats, and unique talents.  We went to a deli for a quick lunch before heading to our hotel.

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We barter herbal medicines for stays at this historic and lovely bed and breakfast in the Boulder canyon.  The Alps is owned by a very nice couple, Jeannine and John.  We are lucky to have made friends with these fine folks and that we have had the opportunity to stay here several times over the years.  The rooms have large tubs, fireplaces, and delicious breakfast.

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Is there anything more precious than time with loved ones?

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Saturday we headed to Nederland where a gentleman named Grandpa is cryogenically frozen waiting for new technology to bring him back.  They have a dead guy festival in the spring.

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We visited fun stores and walked across a fabulous bridge to get to the Carousel of Happiness.

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Upstairs there is a do-it-yourself puppet show.

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There were many great offerings of restaurants in Nederland and we decided to try Katmandu, a Tibetan restaurant.  We really enjoyed the fare there.

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We drove up the mountain roads in an attempt to get the baby asleep.  This allowed us to find some amazing scenery of the city at dusk.

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It was getting colder as a storm came in so our activities were limited to indoors.  We ate at great restaurants and visited the book store where Maryjane met new friends.

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It’s always nice to have a change of scenery now and again.  This lifestyle allows us the freedom to take some time away to just relax and make new memories with our family in the winter.

Wishing you are restful winter and wonderful memories.