Theme Thursday: What I Did Not Do On My Summer Vacation

Theme ThursdayTheme Thursday is a weekly party where women get together and write their takes on a particular topic.  It is non fattening, good for your heart, and may actually reduce your bad cholesterol, kind of like Honey Nut Cheerios.

Today’s theme is summer vacation.

*Ahem*  This is my report on what I did on my summer vacation… nothing.

I remember when I was a kid-we always seemed to do something cool when we were on vacation.  Now that I am an adult, I am the queen of the Nonvacation Summer Vacation.  I long to go somewhere and do something without us getting seriously behind on our bills and then having to play catch up for the next year.  When you’re living on the edge, and not in the fun Aerosmith song way, then taking a vacation isn’t always an option.  Evil Genius and I have been married thirteen years and together almost fifteen.  We’ve never really taken a REAL vacation, though we both would like to very much.  I see different places that people go, and just wondering how the heck they can do it.  And EVERY year, even!  A little of it’s Facebook envy, a lot of it is just wanting to go somewhere, anywhere.

For example, where did I go for my honeymoon?  Nowhere.  I was teaching school at the time.  A job that I got after we planned our wedding, booked the church and so forth.  I got to have one day off, the day of my wedding rehearsal.  I had to be back the following Monday.  I believe I called in sick.  I remember one of my coworkers remarking “What kind of teacher gets married in September?”  Me.  Because our church was booked every weekend clear through midsummer, and we didn’t want to get married in 100 degree Iowa heat.  So there.  I WOULD have got married over my summer vacation, but I couldn’t.

As close as we have come to an actual vacation in the summer was the year we went to the zoo.  We took my adorable two year old son to the Omaha Zoo.  We had to drive over and back because we didn’t think we’d be able to foot the bill to stay over.  It was fun, but upon planning it I overlooked one very important detail: The Collegiate World Series happened to be that very day, and it was right across the street from the zoo.  We spent a lot of time waiting in traffic.  We did have a good time, though a good piece of advice for anyone thinking about doing this is to BRING YOUR OWN FOOD.  You are allowed to bring you own stuff in, which is pretty much a must considering a sandwich costs eight dollars.


He was so little in this picture! So was I.

Speaking of expensive sandwiches, two years ago my husband took me to the Iowa State Fair so we could see Def Leppard and Heart live.  We camped overnight and my sister in law watched the kids so that we could make that happen (and even get some grown-up time together).  It was awesome-one of only two rock concerts I have ever attended.  What’s the expensive part?  If you have ever been to a State Fair, it is one gigantic money suck.  A corn dog is at least four dollars.  And it gets worse-often they jack the prices of stuff up later a night:  a beer after the concert cost eleven dollars.  I’m not kidding.  That beer my husband had afterwards will live in infamy, at least as long as I’m alive and can bring it up.


Proof I was there, double chin and all.

This was also the famous weekend that my husband’s sister swore she’d never watch our children overnight again.  They weren’t bad, just needy.  They also needed to pee 50,000 times.

Our one and only time where we have really gone anywhere and stayed overnight as a family wasn’t technically over the summer.  A year ago this weekend we went to Kansas and attended the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Kansas Speedway.  It was fun but COLD.


The world’s coldest NASCAR race. Except for maybe the one where Kurt Busch did a snow angel.

I worried a little about writing this post because I didn’t want to come off as whiny.  I’m not complaining.  I love my children and my husband, and I wouldn’t trade them for any old vacation.  I’m just talking as well as dreaming. Summer vacation the last few years has consisted of two kids resisting the outdoors and very hot weather.

So what do I WANT to do?  Drive somewhere.  I’d love to go to Chicago or Minneapolis or St Louis for a couple of days.  See mountains.  Go to the Grand Canyon.  See some ocean again.  Go to Seattle.  Go back to Maine. I’d go with my whole family, or even just a couple of days with Evil Genius (he won’t have his laptop, he’ll HAVE to pay attention to me).

Nothing expensive, nothing fancy, just something that isn’t the same old surroundings.  Are you one of the lucky ones that actually gets to travel over summer vacation or do you have to stick close to home?

This post has been brought to you courtesy of a cold cold Spring and cabin fever.

If you went on an a three month tour of Europe, took a long cruise through exotic locales, or bathed topless along the Riviera, just shut up already and DON’T comment.  Post your pictures on Facebook and then I can be plenty jealous. 

Be sure to check out all of the other Theme Thursday posts by clicking on the Theme Thursday icon at the top of this post.  Thanks for playing. 

47 thoughts on “Theme Thursday: What I Did Not Do On My Summer Vacation

  1. We don’t travel much, either. We totally scored on our honeymoon, because we booked the resort before they built it, and got a full 50% off! Other than that, we’ve had two family vacations- one overnight in Connecticut, and a two-night stay in New Hampshire. But you better believe we crammed a week’s worth of vacation into each of those. Seriously, when I reminisce about them, they feel like they were way longer.

  2. Money is always tight in our family also and I’m not sure where you live but do you have lakes, big parks things like that are free and you can bring your own food to save money. My husband and I try to take vacations but it’s not always possible so many summers we spend going to the lake, beach or parks. The kids have a great time and it’s cheap for us.

    • Things have been so weird since my husband finished school. Last year he was just an intern so he couldn’t really take time off, and before that he was always in school. This year will be the first year in a very long time that he actually has any vacation time. We have a couple of lakes nearby-I’d like to think I can coax them out of the house this summer!

  3. Aaaaaah……vacation. What must that be like? I actually can’t complain too much. Before my husband and I got married, we went to Florida and the Bahamas (that was almost 20 years ago). When the older kids were little (my teen was 1) we did go to Disney and Universal because we could stay with my in-laws. And we did go to the Dells a couple times for baseball tournaments, but that has been years ago. Since we’ve been paying for college, helping older kids with cars and rent, and furnishing braces and glasses for the youngest, there is simply NO money for vacation. Hubs made the mistake of telling our teen that he wanted to go see Mt. Rushmore this summer. Of course that translated into we ARE going to see Mt. Rushmore. This oughtta be interesting!!

  4. Sounds similar to us. We actually got to go away for a few days last summer for a few days and nights, because my husband’s cousin rented a beach house. The plus it was free, but the negatives I had to spend days on end with my husband’s family. Not that they are bad people, but they are so not my own family and just a lot of drama at times. But we like you guys mostly do day trips and such. So I could very much relate to your vacation post and no you don’t sound whiny one bit to me 🙂

  5. I can totally relate to the vacation envy. We too choose not to play the catch up game all year to get a vacation in. We live close to lots of awesome stuff so it’s not too hard to get some fun in. I for see many camping trips in my sons future…

  6. We’re trying to decide whether or not to go to the beach again this year ourselves. We love it and need the break, but money is the big stumbling block. We only get so much time with our kids though, so we should try to make memories where we can, right?

    You guys should get your butts up here to St. Louis at the very least. Our zoo is free, if you can find a place to park! And it’s the best zoo this side of San Diego. There are lots of things to do, and I’d be glad to make suggestions should you make it here.

    • Is it? That’s one I never hear of. We’ve talked about going to the on in Chicago and seeing what they have in Minneapolis. We live three hours from Minneapolis and Omaha, and quite a ways from everything else. I have had several friends take trips to St Louis recently-isn’t there a great kids museum there?

      • The City Museum is pretty popular, yes. So is the Magic House, Six Flags, we have a nice botanical garden…all kinds of stuff. Come when the Cardinals are in town to catch some of the best baseball in the world as well! You can take a tour of Anheuser-Busch. That’s free. Grant’s Farm used to be free, but you may have to pay to park now, I’m not sure. The point is that there’s lots to do without having to spend too much money.

      • I’ve been there once with Evil Genius, but it was before we had kids! He has been down there with friends and family a few times to see motocross races. He got to tour the brewery one of the last times he went and said it was awesome!

  7. I’ve been to the Omaha Zoo and I loved it. 😉

    We take vacations, always w/the kids, but what I’m oh so jealous of with you is that you have someone you trust close by to watch your kids. We do not, so we’ve had two dates together in 5 years. I’m not kidding.

    I’m visiting today from Thumping Thursdays. 🙂

    • My Mom comes up a couple of times a year to watch the kiddos so we can go out, his and my families live a couple of hours away from us. We’ve also had a couple of people around that have watched them once or twice. I know how you feel-I always hate asking, and it’s hard to find someone when my family isn’t available. I’ve missed out on my fair share of my husband’s work stuff because we couldn’t find a sitter. I’m glad he gets to get out though!

  8. We tend to stay close to home too. Over the last couple of years though I’ve scammed enough extra money over the course of the year to do at leat an overnight thing with the hubby and kids, which is HUGE because we’ve got 4 kids! Loved the post, I totally relate, I’ve got a little vacation envy of my own…

  9. Not summer vacationers here. The Disney trip you saw on FB was saved for the last 14, yes FOURTEEN years, so we could go on ONE Disney trip in their lives. LOL We try to do fun little day-trips in the summer but we live close enough to Indianapolis that we have many fairly inexpensive things to do close-by. I figure their summer break papers would be about the highlights anyway, so 2-3 day-trippy type things are good in my book! 😉

    • That looked so cool when you guys went. That’s a LOT of saving! My aunt goes a couple of times a year-she loves Disney. I’d love to go back sometime. I haven’t been there since high school. I’m hoping to do some day trips this summer!

  10. I needed to get over the $11 beer before I could actually comment (OUCH) I think the non-vacation summer vacation has become more of the norm with the state of our economy. You my friend are not alone. I can tell you though some of my best summer memories from my childhood did not involve going anywhere. I remember riding my bike with my sister and our friends at dusk. Catching fire flies in the backyard while all of our parents sat around the picnic table laughing. I remember swimming all day and saving my allowance for the ice cream man, my dad barbequing hot dogs and hamburgers and listening to the crickets as I fell asleep. These are the memories I cherish the most and I think our kids will be better off for them. We bought a tent and this summer we plan on having a good old fashion camp out in the back yard with fire flies, hot dogs, smores and yes the crickets. 🙂 Perhaps you are on to a trend here. Let’s all enjoy our non-vacation.

  11. We went to the Omaha Zoo last year in the dead of July with another couple and their daughter. It was so so so so hot. We did not bring in our own food because nobody thought of it, I guess. The girls were hungry, hot and tired, but we tried to squeeze everything in. At any point when we thought food might be a good idea, we would smell the greasy yuck that you can buy there and feel sick. We decided to take our crying girls out (but of course stop for one last picture).

  12. I won’t talk about my vacations cause you don’t want to hear about it, I’ll just post those pictures on your FB page, that’s what you said to do, right?
    But only two rock concerts? OMG, If you took away all the time I’ve spent at concerts from my total years lived, I’d be like 2.

  13. I hear you, it’s difficult working without a vacation, especially when you have kids. Don’t worry about sounding whiny (says me, who is constantly worried about the same), I am sure many readers, including myself, can relate.

  14. My husband and I never went on a honeymoon either. He got hired for a new job and was scheduled to start the Monday after we got married. Someday, Someday…. When Bency was a baby we flew to Albuquerque to visit my husband’s family but we haven’t been able to afford to go back. We finally are going back again this summer and….driving! Please pray for me!

  15. We don’t travel much either. I am really big on day trips though. The lake is only about an hour drive and Niagara Falls is about 2 hours. That one can be very expensive if you take the kids. My ultimate vacation would be to get on a motorcycle with a tent on one side and a sleeping bag on the other and ride till half the money is gone. Gotta have enough to get home.
    Hi I’m Dusty Katt from Dustykatt’s Stuff
    stopping by from the More Than Mommies Mixer to say “Hi” and follow your blog.

  16. We don’t really go on vacations either. The only time we get to “take a vacation” is when we drive up north to central Illinois to visit my family. Everyone tells me that we’re crazy for driving 1000 miles with 4 kids lol.

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