Iceland-photo courtesy of imgur
We just came back from a one night staycation in Calgary. The hotel was set in the barren colourless landscape that represents the NE of Calgary in the throws of winter. The hotel was on the first floor and had no views besides a highway and the airport in the background. But we both claimed, “who cares?” We can pretend we are on our way to a tropical paradise, or maybe we have already arrived in Iceland or Alaska. That giant black snow pile outside the window could be a crater of sorts.
The salt water pool was ours to enjoy and played pleasant 1960s music. It was clean and large and we giggled from enjoying a glass of Layer Cake Malbec that we just had earlier in our room. The hot tub was our own too and the bright green and orange chairs were cheery to the lunar landscape outside.
We enjoyed the free soup and salad and then shared a very expensive burger in the lounge, but by sharing a twenty dollar burger- the cost didn’t seem so bad . I went for a late-night forage for a slice of twelve-dollar cheesecake which was fun to eat in our underthings in bed.
And although this small holiday may seem expensive, really it was not. If you consider that we didn’t have to pay for a flight to a warm destination, or pay for more than one night of a hotel with food costs etc. One night in the bland cold world of the Hilton suites was fun and allowed us to escape from our life for a brief time. It was enough to rekindle our love. To listen to each other talk of what we dreamed the night before as we ate the bad free breakfast of fake scrambled eggs and triangles of deep fried potatoes with plastic bags of Louisiana hot sauce that we squeezed onto for flavour. Because spending one on one time with the one you love is what really matters. It was our Valentine’s getaway and his birthday mixed in to boot.
We marvelled that over the years our favourite holidays involved a tent and very little money. We often only traveled less than an hour or two away from our home to save on gas. But that didn’t matter. It never does. You can be happy wherever you go. It is who you go with. I have seen unhappy people on exotic vacations.
One year when our kids were both away for the weekend, we decided to pretend it was our anniversary/honeymoon. This was when we lived on a small Gulf Island. It was a heatwave and we joined the droves of tourists on the small strip of sand at Whalebone beach. We pretended that we were in Hawaii, cause why not? We had a lovely homemade meal of fresh fish tacos with homemade Pico de Gallo with tomatoes from our garden. We sipped good red wine and treated each other as you would if you had just met, with a sense of amazement that there is someone in the world that you love to talk to and swim with and eat with and be on “vacation” with in your very own house.
For us staycations are often the times that we remember the most. It is making the ordinary into something extraordinary.