Sunday, May 27, 2012

Staycation-Say It Like It's a Good Thing

Today is the second day of a long Memorial Day weekend.  It's obvious to me that many folks have headed to the hills, or the woods-they certainly are not in town (or at least that's my perspective after driving to and from church this morning). It's officially the first day of summer, and folks are looking to relax, play, and hit the open road.

This weekend, I am doing none of that. I'll say upfront that frugality is not the only reason for my mini staycation over these three days. The advantage of not have to answer to a regular nine to five job means that trips and vacations can be scheduled when others are not on the road.

Still, I am a big believer in treating weekends as weekends and holidays as just that even though (or perhaps especially because) I'm "retired".  My weekend needs to be frugal because I have a gulf coast mini vacation planned for July and I recently had a large lump remove from a canine arm/leg pit.  Nevertheless, my weekend has been filled with fun and relaxation in equal parts. In other words, I've found plenty of ways to celebrate without spending money. I've also taken a day time nap or two, just on principle.

Everyone enjoys different pursuits, but I suspect most of us have access to lots of free fun. Many of us have to look harder, especially those in smaller towns, I suspect. Finding fun that's free is doable, even if you have to create some of that fun yourself. One thing's for sure, by creating your own fun (especially if it's close to home), you've not only saved money and time, you've eliminated that bumper to bumper traffic Monday night that brings reality back with a jolt.

This weekend, am (or have)
  • Going to the movies. What can I say, it's May in Texas and already in the nineties. I make it frugal by going to the early show and forgoing the munchies. The Avengers was the perfect kind of mindless Memorial Day weekend movie (my last film was the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)). I'll also confess here that my next film will not be frugal. You'll see me at midnight, paying full price, in a week or so when the film Prometheus opens-how could I miss an Alien Prequel.
  • Viewing a local blues festival from the "outside". Our town is holding it's first annual blues festival with Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan as the headliners. While they have an indoor concert (not cheap), they also have a beer garden with local blues guitarists, a display from the Texas Musician's museum that includes guitars and Roy Orbison's clothing, and all kinds of other events (note that part of the reason I am not going to the concert is my inability to sit for hours without offending others in a standing room only concert venue. I save my concert going for places like Denver's Red Rocks these days).
  • Attending an evening symphony put on by our local town philharmonic orchestra in a large city park. I will take my own wicker garden style chair, arrive an hour or so early, and perhaps even take picnic lunch.
  • Taking advantage of the local pool party at my homeowners association pool.
  • Grilling traditional picnic food including steak and ribs (gotten at loss leader prices of course) and fresh corn, and yes, smores (I'm a sucker for a melted marshmallow)
  • Finally, I'm enjoying my patio in full. The pots are blooming, the cover provides shade, and my margarita glass and an uninterrupted book make it the perfect weekend respite.
What about you. How are you celebrating or remembering this Memorial Day weekend?


  1. Wow it sounds like you are having a wonderful stay-cation!! We like to stay home on the holidays as well--too many people out on the roads in a hurry to get to their destination. I'd rather relax at home!

  2. I loved this post...we just like being at home so the farthest we have gone is to the local Home Depot. I guess we are habitually frugal and don't do it on purpose.

    Staycation is a good thing! Really.


  3. Barb - I appreciate the way you continue to live big! There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy life if we simply keep seeking them out!

    This Memorial Day weekend we are out with our RV in California wine country. Yes, even though we are retired we continue to go out over holiday weekends because our children and most of our friends are NOT retired :-)

    Our retirement advantage is that we don't have to depart today and face holiday traffic. We are lingering for another week.

  4. I so agree that weekends should be treated like weekends. I have so many friends who say every day is the same now that they are retired. I still like that "hooray, it's Friday" feeling!

  5. I love staycations, If we ever get caught up around here we will be having one for ourselves!! Ha

  6. When I was working I had to go away; otherwise, it never seemed like a real vacation.

    Now that I'm retired (or mostly so) I'm happy to stay home -- I don't feel the need to get away from a job and my house and my responsibilities.

    Another way to save money when you're retired.

  7. Hi Barb,
    Love all the plans and ideas for your staycation. We are out and about right now. Left on Memorial Day - very little traffic on the road from Florida to Mississippi so I expect a lot of folks are taking your lead.
    Gas prices in Alabama are considerably lower than in our state, so that has been nice. Also, our hotel at $58 per night is a great bargain. Most of our budget will go towards entertainment.
    We spent 4 hours enjoying Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile Alabama today and at $20 per ticket felt that it was a good deal.
    The days all seem to run together - week day to weekend. It makes no difference to us.


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