How to salvage this train wreck of a vacation.

I’ve already moaned about the fact that I’m supposed to be in Italy right now. There’s no sense in dwelling on something over which I have absolutely no control. So now it’s time to salvage this train wreck of a vacation.

Originally, I had planned to take 11 days off of work. So combining that with weekends, I was expecting 17 days of Italian bliss. In light of current circumstances, and due to the fact that we’re down several bridgetenders due to their medical vulnerability, I plan to work 6 of the 11 days I was going to take off. That leaves me with 5 days off, with a weekend on either end, so a total of 9 days to fill up with… what?

Back before the pandemic was even called that, we thought of maybe going to Iceland instead of Italy. More isolated, we thought. Surely Iceland would be safe. And then they started reporting cases. So then we thought, okay, we’ll stay in the US. How about Hawaii? Uh, not so much. It will be a long time before I’m comfortable flying again.

Then we thought, well, maybe we can rent a motor home and go camping. But none of the state or national parks are open yet, for anything other than day use. So that’s out.

So now we’ve decided on a few mini trips. One to the Olympic Peninsula, to wave at a friend from across her yard. Another to Whidbey Island to drive around. We are, however, very aware that we should not be exposing vulnerable communities to our cooties. So we’ll gas up here at home. We’ll pack our own food. We won’t be shopping or dining in these communities. Mostly we’ll stay in our car and maybe hop out for views and the like if no one else is around. And if human encounters can’t be avoided, we’ll wear masks. That should limit our impact.

We’re also considering two overnight trips. One to enjoy the scenic North Cascades Highway (and wave at yet another friend from across the yard), and another to stay in an uninhabited cabin that a relative of ours has generously offered to let us use. Again, we’ll be bringing our own food and not going into shops of any kind.

In between all these comings and goings, there will be quite a few at-home days and evenings, so I’ve come up with a list of things I might do to pass the time. I have to be careful, though, to not turn these into “must do” lists. A vacation is supposed to relieve stress, not add to it. This is more of an “if the spirit moves me” list.

This list has two basic categoires:

Fun stuff:

  • Read.

  • Visit a friend across her yard.

  • Do a puzzle.

  • Paint some terracotta pots and put plants in them.

  • Make moss paste. (Take moss, put it in a blender with a bit of water, then smear the thick paste on a rock that you actually WANT to be mossy. Keep it wet until it establishes itself.)

  • Do some adult coloring.

  • Do some other crafts.

  • Figure out how to edit a video I made about blowing my bridge horn to thank frontline workers.

  • Take naps.

  • Learn more Pokemon Go skills so that I can compete with the 8 year olds.

  • Be my usual social media, Netflix watching, couch potato self.

Stuff that will give me a sense of accomplishment:

  • Work on my second book.

  • Remove the ugly wallpaper in the bathroom.

  • Organize my Little Free Library books so they’re ready to go when I’m able to reopen.

  • Organize my digital photos and documents, deleting some and consolidating others.

  • Get rid of stuff that has been sitting in the attic for years.

So yeah. That’s my staycation. It sure isn’t Italy, but I’m trying to make the best of it, and I really am looking forward to getting more artsy. So we’ll see how it goes. I suspect this will generate several blog posts, so watch this space!


An attitude of gratitude is what you need to get along. Read my book!


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

One thought on “Staycation”

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