I really don't like the word "staycation." It's a cutesy, made-up word, but despite my dislike of it, it's completely accurate for what my family is going to do next week.
We'd originally planned to go to the beach for Barrow's spring break, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that it's spring. As long as the wind keeps blowing and we're still wearing jackets, the Atlantic Ocean doesn't seem as inviting.
And since we're like most people and we're cutting costs at the McCullough household, staying at home seems a lot more economical.
But also a lot more frightening.
Don't get me wrong - I love my kids. But cooped up in the house for a week with them bored out of their skulls? I'd rather go play leapfrog over the rusty barbed-wire fence in the woods behind my house.
So, if we're going to stay home - as in staying in Georgia - we can't necessarily stay at home. We need stuff to do. And I have to tell you, we came up with a vacation that sounds like a lot more fun than a few days at a cruddy hotel on a windy beach. And I'm not just saying that because it's not going to empty my bank account.
It starts out with a birthday lunch today for my wife (happy birthday, honey). She has informed me that she has a coupon for the restaurant.
Saving money already.
Saturday is set aside for going to buy her birthday gift.
But then we make up for it on Sunday, which has one of my favorite items on our itinerary: Do nothing. (Although I may add "watch sports and drink a beer" to that.)
Then Monday, it's off to Egypt. Well, not really. But the King Tut exhibit in Atlanta is probably as close as I'll ever get, kind of like when I got my picture made with a hunk of the Great Wall of China at the 1982 World's Fair. And since it only costs $44, the saving continues.
Tuesday, we join my mother's Golden Girls club at Ippolito's in Suwanee for dinner. That my stepson and I are neither golden nor girls is not stopping us from enjoying the best garlic rolls, manicotti and chocolate chip cheesecake in the universe.
It goes on from there: the zoo, a Gwinnett Braves game for my stepson and his friend, a trip to Duluth to pick up some records a very kind reader offered to give me (you can't beat free) - all within driving distance, all relatively affordable, plus I get to sleep in my own bed and there's very little chance of sand getting in places it shouldn't be.
But now I must pause to quote Wikipedia:
"As staycationers are close to their places of employment, they may be tempted to go to work at least part of the time."
Not just tempted for me, but scheduled. Yes, I'm coming back to work. On Friday.
For the life of me, I can't figure out why. I guess my thinking - if you can call it that - was "I'll just take a few days to go to the beach (the original plan) and then come back to work, saving plenty of vacation days for later."
Yeah. Sounds dumb to me, too.
I wonder if it's too late to book that cruddy beach hotel.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.