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26/08/2009 – The Travel Staycation : Can My Kitchen Be Vegas? Not Likely
For more than a year travel and tourism marketing firms have been pitching the concept of a ‘Staycation’ in the United States as an alternative to a traditional vacation.
What is a staycation? Essentially a staycation is when you stay home and take day trips from your house to local attraction as a way to curtain spending during a holiday period. In my house we generally refer to a ‘staycation’ as some lazy day of the weekend the kids get tossed in the car and we drive anywhere from a few minutes (The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut) to 2hrs (Boston, New York City, Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley). I look outside my window and the beach is roughly a 45 second walk down the street; I grab a tourist map of the area and two major New England tourist spots are 15 minutes up the road (Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport); looking at ‘Staycations In New England’ the Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods casinos are in the top 10…we eat dinner 15 min up the road at Mohegan Sun often and Foxwoods is just 5 minutes further away.
In fact… the small town I live in is a summer town, people come to my town to vacation because of the beaches and local attractions. Looking at where I live based on tourism literature it would seem a little odd that I’d toss my kids in the car and drive 2.5hrs to take them to the beach in New York.
Some of the staycation concepts I have heard are interesting; others are a bit strange. On the strange side is the suggestion of making up a guest bedroom, spending the day out, dining out then coming home to the guest bedroom and pretending you’re in a hotel. I know someone who tried this, it seems they knew they were in their home, not a hotel, and they decided that this staycation concept really wasn’t the best of ideas.
So, since my family has exhausted pretty much everything in the tourism guide for my local staycation experience just through unplanned weekend afternoon outings from Newport Rhode Island to New York City…one night I decided to try and replicate the Staycation Dining Experience for my family.
What was the Staycation dining experience? For me it was to try and do a nice dinner in Las Vegas without ever leaving my kitchen. I came up with this after reading the concept “Staycation dining, treat your family to restaurant dinning at home.” OK I thought, I like to cook (we’ll use that term loosely) and everyone likes ordering their own meal, sides and appetizer when we go out. Why not give it a try.
So, for dinner one night I stood at the stove and cooked up multiple appetizers four different entrees, five different types of drinks, served my family of four at the table individually (we’re a family of five, but I just ate over the stove as I cooked). All in all it didn’t seem that much different than the other four nights a week I make dinner for my family, except for the neon Las Vegas sign glowing in the corner of the kitchen between the mixer and the toaster.
My family might have enjoyed the four different entrees consisting of stir fried tofu with a rice pilaf & diced veggies; baked chicken breast with a side of corn; baby back ribs with a side salad & corn & chicken nuggets with a side of rice and veggies…however as I made dinner, cleaned off the table, cleaned the dishes and the pan I glanced over at the glowing neon “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign in the corner and thought to myself “Where was my relaxation in this?”
Overall the consensus from my family is we really prefer a long weekend in Las Vegas than trying the staycation dinner concept of transforming the kitchen into dinner at a restaurant in a city we like.
…and really can anything beat a long weekend in Vegas to leave the world behind?
Below is a photo of the Vegas sign lighting up the corner of my kitchen after I was done cleaning up.
(Anyone have five spare airline tickets to Las Vegas?)