Monthly Archives: August 2012

Vacation Appreciation – Join the Fun!

Have you taken a vacation (or two) this year?  How do you best enjoy spending your vacation time – and why?

Our family seems to do quite a bit of traveling.  The bulk of it is spent just shuttling back and forth between our home in northern Michigan and our relatives’ homes in Ohio, Indiana, and sometimes Washington, D.C..  But we’d much rather go and do something new and interesting.  Sometimes.  LOL!

We have towed pop-ups, a camper trailer, and driven an old Class A motorhome to Maine, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and of course many places closer to home.  My favorite is the camper trailer.  The pop-up can’t be adequately heated for someone as chilly as I am so often.  The Class A broke down on just about every single trip we took it on – notably our trip out west to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone, where we finally left it, completely dead, in Montana on our return trip.  We could have stayed in all first class accomodations for what we spent on repairs.  The camper is a much better fit.  Lots less maintainence, we can sleep all six of us plus a guest or two.  We can cook instead of eating out all the time.  And all our gear fits inside.  No stuffing of luggage into people’s seats and laps.  The pop-up is like a sardine can with six of us.

Of course, we’ve also driven to various destinations and stayed in hotels.  I strongly dislike hotels, actually.  The beds are always painful to sleep in and we have no privacy from the children.  There are not fun places (as there are in a campground) to send them off to if we crave a little alone time, and we are eating every meal “out.”  This adds up so fast for such a large family.  And I’m not into packing cooler food though we have certainly done it.

We’ve tent-camped (oh, the pain!), we’ve flown and stayed in hotels.  We’ve rented other people’s cottages.  This is a nice option because it is similar in benefits to the camper.  More privacy, cooking meals right there.  But I truly dislike the difficulty in finding and booking one.  There’s no such thing as “spontaneity” there in just taking off when the urge strikes you.

We’ve also tried “staycations,” but I’ll admit that, as a task-oriented farmer and homeowner, it is pretty much impossible for me to actually just sit and “vacate” when I am at home.  I see what needs to be done around the place and, well, I can’t help myself.  I get to work.  And admittedly, we have never had a great, memorable “staycation.”  I know we’ve done it, but we have no good, lasting family memories from any of them.

I like the idea of leasing a cottage long-term, although that doesn’t satisfy our wanderlust, and you know that, when all is said and done, we would spend time at the cottage *and* still travel other places.

Every vacation has its pros and cons.  What are your favorites and why?

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It’s been a busy summer here at Aspendale Farm.  It seems like we always do a fair amount of traveling, having guests, and enjoying some of the summer fun – tubing down the river, swimming, camping.  It’s hard to keep on top of the garden sometimes, but always worth it.

I went out this morning to pick some yellow squash and zucchini to grill with onions for dinner tonight.  I only meant to grab two or three of each.  I didn’t intend to pick two varieties of lettuce, some tomatoes, close to a dozen cucumbers and several zucchini who had definitely gotten larger than I intended!  But there they were, ready to come in and bless us with their deliciousness!

The corn will soon be ripe and our electrified fence is keeping those raccoons at bay so far! The onions are ready to come in, but they will keep for a little while.  There are pumpkins and melons on the vine, winter squash and even a handful of peppers growing, which I didn’t think I’d get any of at all.

My prayers for a bountiful garden are being answered every day!

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