Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Sara and Melissa talk about...Vacations

We've been running a column series to get more personal with our readers. This month, we're talking about vacations! 

We're always open to topic suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share those in the comments. We'd also love to know if you can relate to anything we've said or hear your own thoughts on the topic. So don't be shy. :) We look forward to getting to know you as much as we're letting you get to know us. You can find our previous columns here, in case you missed them.

Sara Steven: 

So much of what I’ve wanted to do this year in terms of vacation plans has been completely eroded. We planned a family vacation to Oregon this summer, yet we had to cancel due to Covid. I wanted to attend a friend’s wedding this month, but I had to cancel due to Covid. There are talks of a possible vacation later this year to make up for the missed trip to Oregon, provided it’s safe. But I know there are no guarantees and we really can’t plan ahead right now. Nothing is concrete.

In order to find some way to escape the humdrum of the same stucco walls we’ve been encased in since March, a plan was put into place for a staycation, of sorts. A decision was made to head up north to Sedona, Arizona, a town known for its beautiful red-rock buttes and nicknamed “the most beautiful place on Earth.”

The drive there felt like a much safer option than taking a plane with my two sons. I’d checked in with the owner of the rental I’d reserved through, confirming that additional measures had been taken to ensure the home was clean and safe, but I still stepped it up when we arrived by airing out the house, wiping down hot spots with disinfectant wipes and airing out the blankets on the beds in the warm Arizona sunshine. It sounds like a lot, but it really didn’t take much time, and with my younger son’s asthma, it at least provided me with peace of mind.

Other than the trip to the local Bashas’, masks included, we spent the rest of our time outdoors. We brought our bikes and went for an amazing bike ride through the Sunrise trail by Posse Grounds Park, hiked the Sugar Loaf trailhead and went swimming in Oak Creek. We went for a run and made sure our end point would be the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, a quiet and peaceful experience. We went sightseeing through town, driving through one end of Sedona to the other, and spent time at Crescent Moon next to Red Rock State Park. Along the way we found wildlife that we never get to see out by our Phoenix suburb, like baby toads and crawdads, javelina that resided behind our rental home, and the fastest lizards that my sons tried desperately hard to catch.

For the most part, we steered clear of large groups of people. When a lot of people showed up to the swimming hole we’d found, we moved on to another spot. That was the only time we had to do that. If we met up with someone on the trail or on the road, it was met with friendly smiles and hellos, providing one another a wide berth in order to respect social distancing.

I fell in love with Sedona this summer. I want to move there someday. Its nature, the views, the outdoor activities, even the smell of the cypress trees- this will definitely be a welcome respite for my family from here on out!

Melissa Amster:

We haven't been on a family vacation since last August, thanks to Covid and a few other situations that occurred in the past year. So I would like to talk about our trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, from August 2019. I never blogged about this at my personal blog, so it seems fitting for this column.

We arrived in Rehoboth on a Sunday afternoon, hoping to have a pleasant picnic on the beach. That wasn't meant to be, as it was so windy out that the sand was whipping all over the place and the ocean was spraying foam near where we were sitting. My husband and younger son were more tolerant of these conditions than the rest of us were and they were having all sorts of fun trying to build a sandcastle. We eventually gave up on the beach and went swimming in the hotel pool. Later, we played mini golf, even though it was still a bit windy and chilly out.

The next day, we planned around not going to the beach at all. Instead, we first went Go-Karting. It was fun overall, except my daughter almost lost one of her cochlear implants. Thankfully, my husband was able to grab it before someone ran over it. She was a speed demon too!

After a wild morning on the race tracks, we then went to this science place called The Great STEMporium. It looks like a restaurant, but you order science activities off a menu instead. The server brings them to your table and you can play with them for as long as you want. This definitely was up my younger son's alley, as he loves all things science.

When we finished at the STEMporium, we went to the boardwalk area of Rehoboth, where they have shops, ice cream parlors, candy stores, and arcades. The best thing there was Funland! It's set up like a carnival, but the tickets are super cheap compared to a traveling carnival or state fair. We went on rides and played games for a while and had a blast! My daughter wouldn't stop playing Skee-Ball until she won a stuffed animal. Afterward, we went to Kilwin's for ice cream because we love it there. It's so hard to choose from so many great flavors though! We also walked around some of the souvenir shops. 

The rest of the day was just resting and dinner. The following day, before heading back, we went back to the boardwalk to look at more shops, play at the arcade, and stop at Kilwin's again. They had a Zoltar machine on the boardwalk, so we just had to take a picture of it, being fans of Big and all.

Overall, it was a short and sweet trip. Aside from the beach issue, we had a great time together as a family. I look forward to the next time we can travel again. Maybe we'll do a day trip someplace in the meantime...

Please share your vacation stories with us!

1 comment:

cindy r said...

We haven't traveled since we returned from Hawaii in May. Our summer trips are put off because of this pandemic. We're grateful to have an amazingly beautiful pool at our condo..... And it's usually empty. Yay!