"We need to go somewhere," DW said, "if we just hang around the house, we'll do nothing. Or, worse, we'll go shopping and spend more money than we would if we went away."
True. When we travel for a vacation, while the initial cost for the transportation and accommodation can be high, we tend to spend thriftily. We tend to stay in places where we can buy groceries, and we'll prepare breakfast and dinner in wherever it is that we're staying. We will have an inexpensive lunch and may go out only a couple of times for a nice dinner, but we often do that at home, anyway.
Every year, for a great number of years, we have gone on vacation at the end of the summer. Last year, it was along the Bruce Peninsula; two years ago, it was France; three years ago, we paddled the Rideau Canal system from Kingston to Ottawa; before then, Cape Cod and Boston, New York City, Italy, Prince Edward Island... the list goes on. Every summer, we packed up and got out of town.
"I have some chores that have been on my To-Do list for a long time," I said. "I'd like to get them out of the way." Our garage has been gathering things over the years: things, which we almost never use, such as old plant holders, an old trampoline that I've been meaning to put out on the curb, and dozens of beer bottles and growlers that need to be returned.
There's cash to be made from those bottles.
"Fine," she said, "do your chores, but I want to take some time to go somewhere."
We did go somewhere: on the previous weekend, we drove down to Kingston, to watch the final show of The Tragically Hip's tour, in a packed crowd, in their hometown. That was great and it was cheap: we stayed in a Queen's University residence—the same building in which we slept when we did the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, in June. We brought lunch food and ate inexpensively at the Kingston Brew Pub, right around the corner from where we watched the show. The only extravagance was breakfast, the next morning, at Pan Chancho, but it's always worth it.
The El Chancho is the best breakfast I've ever had. Ever.
A couple of days later, we spent an evening in a yurt, along the St.Lawrence seaway. DW called it "glamping." I called it deceptive camping. But it was peaceful, along a beautiful stretch of Ontario shoreline, and I was able to take some photos (still haven't nailed the exposure for starry nights, but I'm getting there).
DW was right: for the rest of our vacation, we hung around the house. But I don't think I can say we did nothing.
I didn't touch the garage. I didn't even mow the lawn. But we did some measurements, some calculations, some planning, and some designs. For years, we've wanted to renovate our 16-and-a-half-year-old kitchen and we decided that this is the year to do it.
I'll probably have more to say about that over the coming weeks, as plans are put into practice, but the first steps were done this past week, during our at-home vacation.
And DW was right: we went shopping and spent more money than we would have, had we gone away. Way more.
But vacations are short-term: this is a long-lasting commitment.