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It's another July Tuesday and the topic of vacations comes to mind.  In our household, Mr. eJ has long advocated the concept of the "staycation", partly to save money, but also because we live in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, well within reach of some fabulous destinations, all quite do-able in day trips.  
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Itzl AlertingAs you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!
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OK, we do have a diary schedule. But, when you are ready to write that diary, either post in thread or send FloridaSNMOM a Kosmail with the date. If you need someone to fill in, ditto. FloridaSNMOM is here on and off through the day usually from around 9:30 or 10 am eastern to around 11 pm eastern.
Monday: BadKitties
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As much as I love to explore new and faraway places, I have to admit he's on to something.  Not only the money savings, but the joy of avoiding several things I don't like:

Packing (even after decades of practice, I just obsess over it.)

Boarding the cat.  

Watering and worrying about my large garden (which I just don't fully trust someone else to care for--and in these parts, no summer rain to speak of.)

The Dreaded Airport Experience

Packing, again

Etc.

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Even given the allure of Northern California day trips, just staying home can be relaxing, especially compared to going to work.
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Here's a linky to one of many sites on how to have a successful staycation, at any "price point".

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/...

But IAN peeps, what are YOUR suggestions??

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Comment Preferences

  •  My favorite staycations... (12+ / 0-)

    I live near Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, and people actually pay good money to travel here for vacation, so I figure there's no point in leaving.  Trips I like:

    **Motorcycle tour of Whidbey Island and the San Juans, starting from the ferry terminal at Port Townsend.  You disembark on the island at Fort Casey State Park, and then wander up highway 20 through farms and little towns until you reach Deception Pass State Park.  This would be a good place to just stop--especially in August when the salmon are running.  Otherwise, continue to Anacortes, catch the ferry, and tour the San Juan Islands.  I'd say "go check out Vancouver, BC but that would be cheating and this is a staycation, so don't.

    **Throw a dart at a map of Olympic National Park, and go to where the dart lands.  Pretty hard to screw this up.  My favorite trips are Heart Lakes Basin and Lost Basin, but they take a few tough hiking days to reach.  Cedar Lake is also nice and the walk is slightly less arduous.  Easy-but-good is Rock Brook Falls, up the Duckabush.

    For the predatory, there is summer crabbing near the charter boat docks in Westport.  The crabs here get a steady diet of fish guts, so they're big and plentiful.

    I could go on forever, but I better stop here.

    If atheism is a religion, then "off" is a TV channel.

    by DaveinBremerton on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:19:01 PM PDT

    •  Great suggestions/examples. I love the (11+ / 0-)

      Olympic Peninsula.
      Hoh rainforest.
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      Port Townsend, Lake Crescent,  and for us name freaks: Humptulips, WA.
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      "Why you sockdologizing ol' mantrap, you!"

      by ejoanna on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:35:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I LOL'd at Humptulips... (8+ / 0-)

        Then again, I live in south-central PA. Near towns with names like Paradise, Intercourse, and Virginville. Not to mention Blue Ball (note the singular).

        In fact, a few years ago, there was a little kid who collects fire dept. t-shirts, whose uncle (I think: maybe grandpa: definitely a relative) was in Intercourse and sent him the Intercourse Fire Dept. tee, and he wore it to school...and was sent home to change.

        Made the local paper. Front page, iirc.

        Some outrage here (not really, but we know what that term meant, and it meant a place where you do business). (Not THAT kind of business -- get your mind out of the gutter. It was probably a bunch of Amish & Mennonites & a farmer's market.)

        My personal favorite, though, is Farmersville. Where you meet the intersection of two roads, both named Farmersville. One runs east-west; the other runs north-south. FSM protect the driver who doesn't know where they are! After about an hour we found our way to someplace Dad knew, and later I drove through often enough to negotiate any Farmersville Road, no matter which direction -- but that first time? Confusing as all hell.

        Oh, god, how can I forget Bareville? Or Lititz? (The latter is NOT pronounced the way you think it is.)

        I'm probably omitting a few, but those are the ones this area is mostly known for.

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 12:04:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are the north fork and south fork Hoh Rivers (7+ / 0-)

        Thus, it is possible to vacation with a couple of Hohs.

        The "Mispronunciation  Derby" is always fun: hang around some Peninsula tourist destination and listen to out-of-staters struggle with Sequim, Kamilche, Quilcene, Tshletshy, and Dosewallips.

        Speaking of the Dosewallips River, it's a river with two upper forks--one glacial fed and one fed by snow melt.  The glacial fork runs gray with rock powder from the glacier, while the other fork runs clear.  Where the forks merge, half the stream can be clear while the other half is clouded with glacial silt.

        If atheism is a religion, then "off" is a TV channel.

        by DaveinBremerton on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:47:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm your neighbor in the SF East Bay (12+ / 0-)

    I love to take day trips.

    Golden Gate Bridge Quilt

    Golden  at the Gate~ Quilt by Patricia Bagdon

  •  g'day all; can't sleep due to worry (10+ / 0-)

    Grandkids' biological father's sister called my daughter yesterday to report now that he is through with parole, he intended to become a part of the kids' lives.

    Only problem is that six months ago his parental rights were permanently severed and my daughter's husband adopted the girls and their names were legally changed and new birth certificates issued.  The restraining orders remain in place from his death threats.

    Daughter is beside herself as she told his sister, "it's over; the kids are happy and we are done".  Sister replied, " He lives ten miles away and says you cannot keep him from seeing them.  They are still his blood"

    I told daughter guy is only trying to jerk her around.  Her husband is not a guy to mess with and there is nothing that can be done now that the court has ruled.  I think the time for any appeal is past now and the guy did not even show up for the initial hearing but sent word to the judge to f**k off.

    OTOH the guy is now on my radar.

    •  entlord, so sorry to hear this. That guy sounds (8+ / 0-)

      like a real jerk (or worse.) Do you live close to your daughter?  Always seems like the night is when the worries grab ahold of us the worst.  IAN folks are out here for you!  (Even those that are asleep.  We're just that sensitive and talented!)

      "Why you sockdologizing ol' mantrap, you!"

      by ejoanna on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 01:40:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Daughter lives next door (8+ / 0-)

        She reads enough news to know if this guy ever decides to kill her, that he would be able to pick the time and place and she would be helpless.

        I told her to go ahead and live her life so he will not win.  He does not like prison and does not wish to go back.  (with his record, it would be life and no parole this time)
        I think the problem is that he and his family just realized if something happened to my daughter and her husband, that the kids would go live with my other daughter.  I think they were confused as to the difference between custody and adoption and did not realize it severed all legal relationships with his family and established legal ties with my daughter's husband's family.  They have always viewed the kids as a type of money train.

  •  If she has a restraining order (7+ / 0-)

    against him, then she needs to talk to the police about the phone call.  Non emergency line works at this point. He didn't make it but they need to be aware that he threatened to come around the kids. She may also be able to get one against his sister/rest of the family. The police can get a record of the phone call from the company if they need evidence he called.They may not do anything, but then if he does show up, they will be ready and know a threat exists.

    Also, talk to the kids, make sure they have a 'password' before they go with anyone, even someone they recognize (like an Aunt or Uncle on that side) in case he sends someone else to pick them up. They don't get in ANY car without that password. Also notify schools, in case he or someone shows up there. Usually there's an 'ok' list put in by the parents for them to go with, but if they know he's their biological father, some dimwitted administrator at the school could let him take them not realizing his rights have been severed. It's time to remind them.

    I have a stalker as well (though no kids with him) and when threats are made, it's time to be proactive.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 03:30:05 AM PDT

  •  Staycations.. .yes, I guess you could say (7+ / 0-)

    we do that. Of course they look an awful lot like every other day LOL. We do intend to go up to the local history museum at some point this summer, just need to find the right day to go. There's stairs, it's in an old historical house and I don't know if they put an elevator in, so I'll have to wait for my ankle to be better at this point. Plus in February we go to the Olustee festival. No car, so anything has to be in walking distance at this point. If we can ever afford to rent a car I'd like to take them over to St. Augustine for a day, see things there.

    Right now I'm trying to wake up enough to write. I was woken up by a dog being sick next to the bed and decided to just get up early and not risk her being sick ON the bed. So Morgaine and I are in the computer room. She went back to sleep.

    Right now it's 71 out, and it's only supposed to go up to 84 today, which is a nice change. It's also supposed to storm this afternoon. This is Bit's last week of her library groups for the summer so I'm not going to let a little thunder get in our way of going.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 03:35:55 AM PDT

  •  Well, I'm here... (9+ / 0-)

    Our five-hour car ride was only 4 so that was good.  Even so, just getting out of the truck was an effort after sitting for so long.  We'll stop twice instead of once on the way home.  :-)

    My first workshop of the convention was interesting but way too deep for someone who had spent the morning traveling.  The presenter is a Jesuit who must have mistaken us for kids in one of his theology courses - waaaay too deep.  It's a two-parter, so I'll go back today and see if he makes any more sense in the morning.  ;-)

    We have located a little place for breakfast that's only five (short) blocks away.  I asked the hotel employees where they would eat and got recs for this place from three of them.  We'll see.  Roommate and I are early risers, so it may be a while before we eat.  We never made firm arrangements with the other two people.

    It is unusually cool in St. Louis this a.m.,  cool as in I was almost cold when I ducked outside for a smoke.  I have never been here in summer when it was anything less than miserable and I'm happy.

    That's it.  If I don't check in on a day this week, assume I'm fine.  There is free wi-fi here but we'll be busy once we settle into a routine.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:48:54 AM PDT

  •  Staycations (7+ / 0-)

    Gee. I'm doing the absolute opposite of that this summer. There was the June trip, which showed me two NEW places  (and people) I'd like to visit again. I just printed out my boarding passes for Trip 2 (to Netroots Nation and then to NW Pennsylvania for a total of 8 days) which begins tonight, and trip 3, which will begin August 8, will be to at least one of the places where you staycation (and points north) and it will be a staycation for at least one of the people I visit.

    As luckylizard said, if I don't check in for a while, assume I'm fine.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 05:20:23 AM PDT

  •  Good morning. (6+ / 0-)

    I guess the polar vortex is back.   It is chilly this morning, but it's supposed to go up to 71.   My kind of weather.

    Living in the Chicago area we could take day trips, but driving through corn country is not all that exciting.   I would much rather travel to the northeast, or northwest.   Next life I want to live in either one.

    My beading group is cancelled because the leader's grandchild has hand and foot disease, it's contagious and the child spent time at the grandparents house.   Never heard of hand and foot disease so I looked it up, and I don't want to catch it.

    Meeting a friend for lunch.   A new gluten free restaurant opened near me, and the reviews are very good, so we'll try it.

    Going with another friend to a quilt guild tonight.

    Have a good day.

    I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

    by broths on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 05:25:40 AM PDT

  •  Staycation: easy to do if you live in Oregon (7+ / 0-)

    I grew up and lived in the Bay Area most of my life but finally left when I figured I'd done everything there at least 10 times, some things---like walking in Sausalito-- dozens and dozens of times. You really have to look to find a place not over run with tourists in the summer.
    Still and all, if I had to live in CA again, I'd live in the Bay area, probably Sonoma County.
    A secret place on a hot day in the Bay Area: Tennessee Valley Beach. only real Bay Areans know this one.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 05:26:00 AM PDT

  •  Mornin'! It's been a while since I dropped by.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ejoanna, FloridaSNMOM, carolanne, broths, weck

    but that doesn't mean I've forgotten....I'm just easily distracted by.....squirrel!!!....stuff. ;-)

    Since I live in a tourist destination, it's kinda silly to go elsewhere in fine weather.  There are days when I get impatient with the (youknow) people who come to a full stop before making a right hand turn!

    I love the ocean...living here sustains my spirit.  So a little time spent watching its moods and whimsies is more than good.  Our tourist season is only a few months, so I get to have it to myself the rest of the year...kinda nice, innit?

    Hope everyone has a simply splendid day!

    :-)

    "Live with no excuses and Love with no regrets."

    by The Marti on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:27:07 AM PDT

  •  living in so cal (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ejoanna, FloridaSNMOM, carolanne, broths, weck

    is like being on vacation all the time!  sometimes, in a foreign country right around the corner.  

    i love portland, oregon for all the great things you can do locally.  i walk the entire time i am there except when we go to the gorgeous gorge.  its a wonderful place for a staycation if you live there.

    the sf bay area is also a staycation wonderland.  day trips can take you to so many fun places.  i have a friend who owns a bed and breakfast in calistoga and i go stay there occasionally.  its not a day trip, i stay overnight and go to the roman mud baths.  that is the best!

    i also consider catalina island a staycation.  as the song goes, "26 miles across the sea, santa catalina is a waiting for me."  that is a day trip if i can't afford to stay overnight.  lovely little island.  like sarah "i quit" palin, i can see it from my backyard.

    it is cool and a little humid this morning.  it rained a bit but just enough to make it sticky.  i like it better than the blazing sun though.  have a good day and cya tomorrow.

    "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

    by art ah zen on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:44:26 AM PDT

  •  There are so many places within a few hours drive (5+ / 0-)

    in the western Finger Lakes. To the north is the big Lake Ontario, and a little west of that Niagara Falls.  If you love the touristy stuff, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada is for you!

    To the south are fabulous state parks, notably Letchworth State Park, the Grand Canyon of the East.  Farther east are all the Finger Lakes and wine country.

    Rochester and Buffalo are cities that cherish the arts and we have glorious architecture.  Darien Lake Theme Park and the Strong Museum of play appeal to youth.

    For my staycations, I prefer to go fishing and there is plenty of that here.  I certainly don't need to catch fish to enjoy the serenity of dropping a line in the water and waiting for some interest from below.  Being on or near the water is enough.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:07:39 AM PDT

  •  Anybody still here? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ejoanna

    Probably not, but I'll blather anyway. Been a #$@&%y day, full of not-so-pleasant distractions.

    Well. I'm in NY's beautiful Hudson Valley. 15 minutes from the river, about 45 minutes from a state park where I can hike part of the Appalachian Trail and ride an antique carousel, not much farther from the Catskills, visit historic and really fun hamlets and towns up and down the river, not to mention the proximity of NYC (but that's a destination that requires, for me, anyway, plenty of stamina and money. Unless I'm going to the Cloisters).

    One of my favorite fairly nearby places is the town of Cold Spring. I can drive or take the train. I like the train. Its main street is lined with antique shops and leads down to the river. It has some wonderful houses and inns. Boscobel, a historic house and museum whose grounds are home to a summer Shakespeare Festival, is not 5 minutes away from Cold Spring. The plays are performed under a tent, and it's wonderful to see the light change as the night goes on. In the distance, you can see the hills and the river. West Point, too - another place to visit.

    Okay, I feel better :) Here's a view of the Hudson and the hills that soothe my eyes and spirit.

  •  All the beautiful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ejoanna

    photos. I used to live in the Bay Area. All the greenery posted today makes me thirsty.So hot in the desert and love the beautiful pic's....makes want to move to greener pastures.

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