staycation
Adventures,  Life in General

Our Unexpected Staycation

I made a reference in one of my last posts about a trip in early July.  Our plan was to leave on July 1 and drive to the Black Hills in South Dakota.  We were scheduled to return on July 4.  Tim had our schedule all figured out and we were excited about going.  We even had our catsitter all ready to go (thanks, Mary).

Then, on June 30, I had a “twinge”.  Not vertigo, but that funny feeling in my head, the hot flash in my chest and the need to lay down for a while.  I’m always grateful when this is all I have to deal with.

But when Tim got home from work and I told him about it, he suggested we not go.  Neither of us was sure how I would do in a long car ride.  I was willing to give it a try but he seemed ready to call it off.  So, he set out to see if we could cancel our hotel without a charge.  (Fortunately, we were able to.)

I was very disappointed; I have never been to the Black Hills and we’d been planning this for months.

Tim was combining one day of vacation with the July 4 holiday, his day off, and Sunday.  We decided he should still take the time off.  With his physical job, he needs longer breaks now and then.  Especially when he’s out in this heat all day.  (Did you hear about the postal carrier who recently died in California due to the heat?  Scary stuff.)

So, we decided we would enjoy our staycation just as much.  Aside from a few errands and small jobs around the house, we acted like we were on vacation, which primarily meant no cooking.

You know, I thought I would remember every detail about our days, but I’m realizing I MUST write things down if I want to write about them later.  😬

Day 0

After we made the decision not to go on our trip, we settled in for the night and watched a movie on Netflix.  It was a good thing, because we lost our satellite connection due to the rain.  Our family room is downstairs, and not until our movie was over and we were back to live TV did we realize how much rain we’d gotten and how bad it was across the Des Moines metro.   We knew it was raining and I’d even gone upstairs once to look outside, but I couldn’t see much other than a lot of rain coming down.

Around 10:00, Tim checked our rain gauge and it had overflowed.  The last measurement on it is 5 inches, but it holds at least another inch beyond that.  So, we figured we’d had over 6 inches of rain in just a few hours.  Fortunately, no water in the basement.  👌  Others weren’t so lucky.

Day 1

I was glad we weren’t going when I got up on Sunday.  I didn’t feel bad but I also didn’t feel “right”.  Tim said this would be a day at home; we didn’t even go to church.  (I did watch it online, though.  😉)

I was pretty much a bum.  We heard Grimes Sweet Corn was out selling, so later in the day, we went to their usual spot and bought six ears of corn.  We also stopped at HyVee to get bacon and tomatoes, so we could have BLTs to go with it.  (I eat BLs, as I’m not a raw tomato fan.)

I did make our dinner that night, which wasn’t that much of an effort.   The corn had good flavor but you could tell it was still a little early for the best corn.  Some of the ears were quite small. When we picked it up, the girl selling the corn had said it would be the best in two weeks.  Hmmm.  Maybe that means we should get some more this weekend?  Who can resist Iowa sweet corn? 🌽🌽

By the way, I started cooking bacon in the oven recently.  It’s the only way I cook it now.  It’s easy and creates much less of a mess.  Plus, it comes out nice and crispy, the way I like it. And I don’t have to mess with it.  Just put it in the oven and let it go.  If you don’t cook your bacon that way, consider trying it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Day 2

I didn’t feel too bad on Monday.  We bummed around the house and Tim picked Jason’s Deli for lunch.  I had never been there so it was a new experience.  Tim had a sandwich called Reuben the Great and I had a Caprese Panini.  They came with chips.  Our sandwiches were great!!  We will definitely go back some time.

While in the area, we checked out Penzey’s Spices.  I am an AllSpice shopper, but we drive by Penzey’s all the time and I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like. Much like AllSpice, they had lots of spices.  They don’t have the oils and vinegars that AllSpice has, however.

I wanted to check on the price of their vanilla paste, but they didn’t seem to have any.  They did have vanilla and it was expensive.  The last time I bought mine at AllSpice they told me it was harder to get, which was driving up the price.  It’s pretty high at AllSpice too, so I told Tim I was going to save it for special baking and use grocery store vanilla extract for everything else.

After Penzey’s, we went to Urbandale to water my friend Angie’s flowers, since she was vacationing in Great Britain (and got to attend Wimbledon).  And on the way home, we did our big HyVee shopping for the week.

After relaxing at home for a while, which includes Tim playing his newest albums, we went to Red Rossa for dinner.  We hadn’t been there for a while, even though we like that place a lot.  They have wood fired pizza that cooks in minutes.  We also like their salads.  So, we usually each get half a salad and a pizza.  The pizzas are 11 inches and when we each get one, we generally have slices to bring home, which we did.

I can’t remember what we did the rest of the evening.  Probably just watched our usual Monday night TV – “Love it or List It” and “Elementary”.

Day 3

I felt pretty good when I got up.  Tim had the great idea of going to the Outlets of Des Moines in the afternoon and then The Big Steer for dinner so we planned our day around that.

I can’t remember, but I think Tim ran each day of our staycation, which is a treat for him.  He prefers running in the morning rather than after work so he has fresh legs.  He also had a short visit to the dentist to fix his bite after getting a filling a few weeks ago.

I didn’t do any walking.  I didn’t trust how I felt, plus Wimbledon started on that Monday and I watched it as much as I could.

Tim’s gotten into washing our cars in the driveway, so he took care of that.

We ate our leftover pizza, bummed around some more, and then headed out for the Outlets around 2:45.  We knew Big Steer opened at 5:00 and we weren’t sure how much time to allow for shopping.

There were very few people at the Outlets.  It was a hot day but it was the day before a holiday so we assumed it might be busier.  The biggest crowd we saw was in the Auntie Anne’s pretzel store!!

We first went to the Nike store, as Tim wanted to look for running shorts.  We didn’t find any shorts but he did find his favorite running shoes at a greatly reduced price.  I told him he needed to buy two pairs then, while he had the chance.  So he did!!

Then we went to my favorite store out there – Le Creuset.  I LOVE their cookware even though I have very few pieces.  I’ve only made my purchases at outlet stores, so I’ve typically been able to get a great price.  (If you’re familiar with Le Creuset, you know it’s not cheap.)

I have a 10-inch skillet that I love but it’s not always big enough.  So, I was looking for a 12 inch one.  My smaller skillet is in a special offer color – aubergine – so it’s not available anymore.  I also have a large dutch oven in that color.  I was all ready to pick out a color and get the skillet when the salesperson mentioned they had 50% off what I think is another special color.  How could I resist a deal like that?  And the color was a dark grey, so it looks great with the aubergine and in my kitchen!!  As if that matters, right??  I didn’t even have to think about it – that was the one.  I also bought a silicone handle holder and we were done!!  Note:  I spent less here than Tim did at Nike.  😍

We stopped in a few more stores but there really isn’t much there.  That’s too bad.  I hope they can get some more stores in the future.

We finished our shopping early and had to sit in the Big Steer parking lot for a while.  We were not the only ones!!  There was quite a crowd by the time they opened the doors.  Who would have thought it would be that busy on a Tuesday night?

We had our usual fantastic meal.  I always get a 6 oz. filet; Tim likes prime rib and fried shrimp.  My filet melts in my mouth.  And Tim says they have the best shrimp in town.   They have great salads and we always get the house dressing.  I used to be able to get asparagus with mine, but they’ve made that a “premium” side, so I got a baked potato.  Tim likes their sweet potato casserole.  We never leave there hungry.

Our special treat was getting two desserts to go.  About the only time we do that is when we go to Cheesecake Factory.  If I remember correctly, we had a Reese’s cheesecake and a Heath bar chocolate cake.  The piece of cake was HUGE.  (We ate it over two days.)

Later in the evening, my head started feeling funny again so I was ready for bed, knowing that always helps.  It made me happy I was home, too, and not in some hotel with a long drive coming up the next day.

Day 4

I woke up still feeling a little off.  I watched tennis but otherwise, didn’t do much.  Tim had gone to Kue’d the day before and bought a pound of turkey for his sandwiches that week, so we ate some of it for lunch along with potato salad left over from Sunday.

We had plans to go to my sister’s that evening and I needed to make my appetizer.   As the day wore on, I started feeling better and that evening, I actually felt pretty good.  Tim had to go to work the next day, so we didn’t stay too late, but we still didn’t have much time to wind down before bedtime.

It’s over so fast

Our staycation wasn’t very long but we had a good time, despite the fact I didn’t feel 100% every day.  I think Tim actually enjoyed having some time at home.  With his lack of vacation time, he doesn’t have the luxury of using vacation days just to stay home.  I know when I was working, these kinds of vacations were some of my favorites.  (I guess that’s why I like retirement so much.)

PS.  I had a chiropractor appointment on Thursday and I was curious to see how she thought I was doing.  Not surprising, I was out of alignment.  It made me feel as if I had a fixable reason for the feelings I’d been having.  I hadn’t been adjusted since last November, so that’s pretty good.  She took care of me and I’ve been feeling great ever since.

So, who knows what makes me feel bad and what makes me feel good?  All I know is, I’m going to keep doing everything just like I am because lately, I’ve been doing great. 🤗

2 Comments

  • AnNyce

    Glad to hear you got adjusted and are feeling better. Growing older is definitely NOT for sissies! We have to rejoice when we have really good days! I hope we all feel great when we get together in a few weeks! Can’t wait!

    • retired introvert

      Yes, much better. I’ll go back to see her the day before we head up to Okoboji, so hopefully, she’ll tell me I’m holding my alignment. I do try to appreciate the good days and I’m grateful for them. Fortunately, I have way more good days than bad. 🤞 I can’t WAIT to see everyone!!! Our time together means so much to me. 💖

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