Sunday, July 13, 2008


Oh summer in Boston--the subways crowded with boisterous Red Sox fans, the Common swarming with nocturnal creatures, humidity fogging up sidewalks and street corners from downtown to the 'burbs. Don't get me wrong--Summer is my favorite time of year. I've already begun to dread the winter as each deliciously simmering summer afternoon slides into night. Summer is the time for sundresses, the beach, ice cream, cookouts, and outdoor concerts.

Though I'm happy to bask in the Boston sunshine in the tiny park behind my apartment, I've got a serious case of wanderlust, and it's not helping that every time I check my Facebook account, I'm bombarded with notifications that so-and-so has added pictures from their vacation to Paris, or Rome, or Greece, or Mexico. Several of my good friends are having wild summer adventures--one is interning in Ghana, another is writing about the Olympics in Beijing, one is getting married and honeymooning in Tahiti, another is traveling the country doing lord knows what. I love getting caught up on their travels. I love seeing their pictures. I enjoy the postcards. But it's hard not to feel even more pent-up than I do during the rough New England winters.

I picked up The Weekly Dig the other night on my way home from work, intrigued by the banner on the cover--STAYCATION it beckoned in bright colors. The article made the promise to offer alternatives to a great summer vacation, for us poor schleps stuck in Boston. I was underwhelmed. First of all, the options were narrowed to our neighboring New England states: Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. Suggestions included heading to Fenway, taking the commuter rail to gawk at big houses in Wellesley, going to the beach, eating pizza at Pizzeria Regina, and taking a "hike" around the Freedom Trail. I'm sorry, but even a trip to one of our neighbors doesn't classify as a vacation. I'm from Rhode Island, and I go down at least twice a month. It's no big treat.

The last several "vacations" I've taken have been 2 or 3 day affairs to major American cities to visit friends--of course, I always have fun, but I can't really say any of these jaunts can be classified as a true vacation. In August, I am flying to San Francisco to attend a week-long conference for work, and then taking a 3-day extension trip to Seattle to see a friend. I'm thrilled, since I've never been out wes before, but really? 3 days on a friend's couch and a week spent running around making photocopies and grabbing coffee for the higher-ups? Sorry, still not a vacation.

I'm ready for a real, leisurely, sun-laden, get-me-a-daquiri kind of vacation. And since it's clear I won't be getting one of those for quite a while, I am taking suggestions on how I can equate a similar feeling of relaxed bliss here in Boston. Anyone have any suggestions?


Busy all the time. said...

well you could take public transportation out to crane's beach, scituate beach, or newport beach. gawk at the sailors in newport, take a ferry to rhode island's block island and bike around, get lost in maine's arcadia or nh's white mountains. you could get to nyc very cheaply. spend an afternoon reading and writing in the inner courtyard at the bpl, or an afternoon at the isabella stewart gardiner museum and pretend you're in rome. go whale watching or fishing, hit up roadside clam shacks for chowder, fried clams and locate yourself some del's lemonade. go carribbean themed and eat at east coast grille or green st. grille, head to turkey and eat at oleana, wander through barbara lynch's south end food empire. sounds like the dig people needed to do a lil more research.

nancyr said...

So, I looked up some hotel pools in Boston...because if you were in some exotic locale that's how people usually spend their down time. The Collanade hotel seems like the best bet (pina colada instead of a daquiri), but it's $30/per person/day!!?

Maybe the suggestions in the previous post--although seriously lacking a tropical feel--would be best. Happy staycation! :)

Robot Man said...

woo sun dresses! Thats funny reading about recommendations of what to do locally when you're a local. We obviously now what to do and we all know it's the same old simple stuff; especially when there are handfuls of tourists already doing the same thing.

I haven't even considered traveling, I've been so busy with work it hasn't even caught my mind, minus that small NY trip. The worst part is that this summer will be over in one and a half months and it will be back to school. I have enjoyed a lot of the local scenes though, working and being with new friends has kept me happy.

So I guess even though traveling and being in some luxurious new peaceful or exciting setting is nice, being home and discovering new people and events to be a part of is just as awesome.

Julie Ann Shahin said...

Maybe you need to join our staycation blogshop to get inspired! Every Friday through September at

Hope to see you there!