This story originally appeared in the May/June 2011 issue of from house to HOME magazine.
I was fortunate when I was growing up that we got to travel a lot in the summers. My dad was a school teacher and my mom stayed home, so we had the entire summer to plan trips.
Some years we visited my grandparents in New York, where the humidity would make it nearly impossible to sleep; the beaches were full of people hoping to catch a little relief from the heat, and the black tar on the pavement was wavy all the time.
Some years we went West to visit my mom’s side of the family. One year, we rented a big Winnebago and took off for the coast. It was a spectacular way to travel from my perspective. I still remember the giant redwoods in California, the cool, salty air of the Pacific and the mountains of Montana and Wyoming.
Now that I am the trip planner, I still enjoy taking trips over the summer, but I actually find that I am more inclined to want to stay home and enjoy my own back yard and sunroom. Those of us who live in the Midwest really “earn” our summers, and I kind of hate to lose even a minute of them by being somewhere else.
Summer means open windows with fresh air moving throughout the house; waking up to light instead of dark. Barbecues and iced tea on the porch, gardening, home projects and enjoying a slowed down pace.
This summer, as you think about taking a break from it all, consider taking that vacation in your own back yard. A few tiki candles, some comfortable lawn furniture, a book or a good game of croquet, a grill, some fresh veggie and meat kabobs, and a cold glass of sun-tea and you’re all set. That sounds like the perfect trip to me.