Planning a Summer Staycation
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The two most glorious words in the English language have got to be “Summer” and “Vacation.” Of course, “Pepperoni” and “Pizza” come close, as does “Oprah” and “Cancelled,” but I dare say nothing—absolutely nothing—can compare with Summer Vacation!

Nonetheless, due to an extreme case of “Why Is My Wallet So Empty?” I’ll be staying home this summer to enjoy a perfectly sensible, low cost, low calorie Summer STAYcation—which is an attempt to have a good time in your local surroundings without your friends and neighbors knowing you’re too broke to drive to Dairy Queen, much less Orlando.

Staycations do, however, have their advantages. “Staying local” means you don’t have to worry about passports, lost luggage, or wasting your hard-earned cash on luxury hotels, suntan lotion, and after-dinner shows featuring women in skimpy grass skirts (he said with a sigh). But it also means if you don’t have a plan, you’ll fritter away your time doing things (chores) other people (your spouse) want you to do, which totally defeats (crushes) the purpose of a cheap getaway (escape from all responsibilities).

So, here’s my itinerary for my Summer Staycation. Feel free to use or adapt it to your liking:

Day One: Don’t fret about not being able to lounge on white sands or swim in clear blue lagoons. Instead, go to Wal-Mart and look for a poster of a sunny beach (preferably one with a girl wearing a skimpy grass skirt). If you stare at the poster for 20 minutes, you’ll feel like you’ve actually been there, but without having to dig sand out of your shorts.

Eat every meal at The Pitt Grill today. You’ll be surprised at the number of people you’ve never met before. (And you just thought you knew everybody in town.)

Day Two: Since you won’t be climbing the Eiffel Tower this summer, try to find a high vantage point from which to enjoy your surroundings. Go to the city water tower and see if you can sneak your way to the top. It might be better to do it at night, but, then again, you might get arrested. Spending Day Two in jail will give a new meaning to Staycation.

Eat lunch at the Hot Link Palace. Buy a dozen hotlinks, cover them with chili, and pray your arteries don’t explode. Remember: you only live once.

Day Three: Go to the municipal airport and watch the planes come and go. You might get a little depressed, knowing that these people are going somewhere and you’re not, but Day Three on any vacation is somewhat of a downer.

Go home, veg out on the couch, then have some pizza delivered. It’s almost like room service.

Day Four: Do something different today. Get up early, take a shower, change your underwear, and brush your teeth. (Three days without caring about personal hygiene is long enough.) Take your camera down to The Square and act like a tourist. When people stop and say, “You’re not from around here, are you?” pretend you’re from Finland and don’t know much English.

Pack a picnic lunch, complete with blanket, a bottle of wine, and a round of cheese. Eat it on the Courthouse lawn. Somebody is bound to think you’re having a great time and join you. More than likely, you’ll be arrested for drinking in public and taken back to jail. (You really should have studied up on the local laws before heading out on holiday!)

Day Five: Spend the day watching television. No vacation is complete without checking out the local stations, watching a bit of NASCAR, and figuring out how to order a movie without it showing up on your credit card bill.

Don’t worry about eating “right” today. Buy some chips, hot sauce, some Vienna sausages, a bag of pork rinds, a two liter bottle of root beer, and a box of sugar-frosted donuts. And then for lunch...

Day Six: Last day, and time to shop for souvenirs. Don’t settle for the “Wish you were here” T-shirt. Instead, head to your local hardware store and buy a Weber One-Touch Silver Kettle Charcoal Grill for only $69.99. Now that’s a gift that will help you remember all the wonderful times you’ve had.

For supper, grill some hamburgers and invite the neighbors. Regale them on your Staycation adventures, and don’t forget to bring out the pictures. Your neighbors will be so jealous, they won’t know what to say.

Yessirree! Staycations are the way to go. And speaking of going, I think I shall.

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