A Family Staycation Instead of a Vacation!

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Joan Lunden

Family Activities /

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My husband and I discussed a lot of vacation possibilities for our family over the long Labor Day weekend. We thought about doing a little vacation to Florida or somewhere else tropical, but a hurricane headed that way nixed those plans. We thought about a more local trip to Nantucket or Cape Cod, but it turned out that some resorts were still reeling from the effect of the last hurricane Irene.  So after some thought, we ended up deciding to take a vacation right in our own hometown otherwise known as a staycation! And let me tell you, it was the best decision!

We only live a few miles from the Atlantic ocean, but we had never taken the kids to the beach.  I know it sounds crazy since we live right there, but we hadn't ever ventured to our local beaches - probably because we spend our summers in Maine where my husband runs children's summer camps.

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Off to town hall we went to get ourselves a handful of beach passes for the gaggle, and packed up the car with beach chairs, buckets, and shovels.  We spent the first day of our staycation at a well known local beach making sand castles, collecting shells and frolicking in the waves. The weather was perfect, far better than any of the "usual vacation destinations." Our buckets loaded with shells, we headed home where we could raid our own fridge with no call necessary to room service and where we had a good nights sleep in our own comfy beds. 

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The second day we took a ferry (again only a few miles from our home and our children didn't even know it existed) out to "island beach" which is a small island with a beautiful beach that local residents can enjoy.  The kids loved the ferry ride out into the ocean and again we staked our claim to a small plot on the beach and this time the "take-home prize" was a bucket of hermit crabs!  We made them a new home in an aquarium we had and everyone was fascinated watching them.

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Day three we arranged to go out into the Greenwich Harbor on a 45 foot fishing boat.  They dropped our anchor and threw a load of chum into the water and the kids delighted in casting out their rods and reeling in the fish.  When they were tired of fishing everyone jumped off the boat into the ocean and enjoyed a swim like they've never had before.  Back inland, we went home and showered and got dressed up and went out to dinner for steak and lobster to a restaurant that we don't usually take the kids to, so it was a special treat. 

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I emailed just as many terrific photos of our stay cation activities to friends as I would have if we had travelled hundreds or thousands of miles to some exotic vacation destination. It cost a whole lot less, it didn't require a body pat down or x-ray scan where an airport employee could view you in your birthday suit.  We didn't have to take a plane or a train or a long drive and best of all, we had a fabulous time and my family learned about the highlights of the area where we live.  We now appreciate our hometown in a whole new way!  I highly recommend exploring the area where you live, the parks, the shores, the mountains, the restaurants you haven't tried, it's a great way to learn more about your hometown and enjoy the areas highlights that others come to see! 

Categories: Family, Family Activities
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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