This Christmas is going to be a staycation. Daughters #2 and #3 will have two weeks off from school because of the holiday calendar. Daughter #1 is working over the break and then heads off to Sydney for a semester abroad. Needless to say, with social media near at hand, we will be reminded daily of all that we are missing from all points around the globe. Complain? Not a chance! We’ve got plans! Ours will be a staycation that my family will remember for years to come! They might shudder and cross themselves (by the way, we are not Catholic) when they remember it in the future, but by God, they will remember!
So, how to keep everyone happy during our long days ahead, I mean our time together? Remember that fabulous Dinah Washington song What a Difference a Day Makes, Twenty Four Little Hours.. Well heck, just how long ARE 24 little stinkin’ hours x 12? Let’s look at it day by day;
Washington, D.C. is not known for its glorious weather during December. Knowing that my family loves warm weather, we will be “going” to the beach.
Day #1 – Let the tropical vacation begin! The family room will be the “beach hotel”. We will fill up the kiddie pool with water and use kitty litter for our “beach”. Clean up should take days. (I’ll assign that task to daughters #2 and #3. If done properly, clean up should EASILY take 5-7 days.) While at the “beach” we will all put on shorts, or better yet, swim suits and walk around complaining about the horrible service at this “hotel”. For example, ” I asked for a drink an hour ago!” Or “When are they going to bring us more towels?” Or “Why is that waitress looking at me? Hey, is that a mirror?” It will be essential to talk about the weather which is an important part of any vacation. We will remember to say things like, “it gets so chilly by the water at night” or “I should have brought my lightweight knit wrap to this BBQ dinner”. To really be in the vacation mode, you should ALWAYS have a drink in your hand. Fancy glassware is a must. Big ice cubes couldn’t hurt. Adult beverages for you and your love bunny, water or juice for the bambinos. Once a day, they can have a virgin blender drink which of course they have to make themselves. After all, you are on vacation, right?
Day#2 – Pretend that our home is a museum. Comment on the paintings and the sculptures. Point at the refrigerator and say, “That big box is sooooo cool, Jeff Koons has done it again!”
Day#3 – Go to McDonald’s and pretend you are eating cheeseburger royales and pommes frites on the Champs Elysee. Comment on how exotic the staff is. Oh how I long for the good ol’ US of A! Remember Pulp Fiction?
Day #4 – Take a long afternoon nap. You have been on vacation and lord knows, you deserve some time to rest. Ignore children pounding at locked bedroom door. View their attempts to break down the door as exercise.
Day#5 – Send kids to the “pool” for the day. Go “shopping” (no one but you has to know it is to Safeway).
Day#6 – Take a walk and soak up some of the local color! Walk said children by weird neighbor that is always outdoors in weird overall outfit that defies explanation. Stare, point and talk about “native customs”. Explain to said children that some of those customs cannot be explained.
Day#7 – Go to the movies, it is called “On Demand”. Are we having fun yet? Children keep asking “can this staycation please be over?”
Day#8 – Find out if Wienermobile is anywhere nearby . Go to Wienermobile hotline and check. Even if said Wienermobile is not in the area, pack the kids into the car and go on a Wienermobile hunt.
Day#9 – Pretend the garage is an “archeology expedition”. Clean and organize while on the expedition.
Day#10 – Are we there yet? Go to the local “foreign” food market and purchase strange fruits and candies. Try to use foreign currency, act like you don’t speak the language when they won’t accept the “money”.
Day#11 – Perform a “Day of Service” in children’s bedrooms. They might thank you later. Probably not.
Day #12 – Make a very special dinner and truly, truly, be thankful for all of your MULTIPLE BLESSINGS. I know I am. Laugh about staycation even if you are the only one. What a difference a day makes.
Unless you live inside a very thick knit sock, you probably already know that this means Art Basel. The exhibitions are gorgeous, the people are glamorous, being day drunk is okay and everyone would rather get their leg eaten by an alligator than not document every single thing they do which is inevitably — since they are a. in Miami and b. day drinking — a billion times more fun that whatever it is we back home are all doing.
But guess what muchachos?
You should not feel left out. Why? Because I’ve come up with a few handy tips to make it feel like you’re also at Art Basel. Here’s how:
1) Fill up a kiddie pool with sand. Sand can be hard to find unless you live near a Home Depot, so I find that kitty litter actually works just as well. The bonus point here is that your sand smells better than Miami’s sand. You are already winning!
2) Despite the weather of your current locale, walk around in bathrobes, swimsuits, wacky sunglasses and denim shorts. Don’t forget to comment on how “chilly it gets by the water at night” and then declare, “good thing I brought my lightweight knit with me!”
3) Always have a drink in hand. It does not have to be alcoholic but the glass should be in the form of a tumbler with big fat cubes inside or a champagne flute.
4) If you have a friend who owes you a favor (and if you don’t, see if you can save someone’s life today or do a buddy’s homework), get her/him to dress up like a waiter and have them come up to you in public places so they can offer you “Tuna tartar on sliced cucumber,” or “Miniature duck confit with spun maple sugar.” Be sure to wave them away once in a while.
5) Take any and every opportunity to stop at various walls or structures or ferns — anything, really — and loudly note the juxtaposition of light versus dark, or how it’s clearly a social commentary on our sexual nature as human beings. Point out the areas where one can view the artist’s anguish in the lines, and if you’re truly at a loss for words, squint your eyes and slowly nod.
Whatever you do during Pretend It’s Art Basel Weekend, don’t forget to Instagram the crap out of it and, if you feel so inclined, share some of your adventures in the comments below. I may go snorkling in my bathtub between fetes so I’ll be sure to get a neighbor to snap that and post it for you guys regardless.
Now it’s your turn, Picasso Babies. How else can we celebrate Basel-at-home?
– Amelia Diamond