Saturday, May 4, 2013

How to take a "Daycation" without really trying

How to take a “Daycation” without really trying

Last weekend my husband got a rare day away from work, so he and I decided to take a little road trip.  There wasn't time for a true vacation, and I wasn’t in the mood for a “staycation”, so we compromised with a daycation.  We only drove an hour, and the destination wasn’t a new one -- in fact, it was my hometown of Evansville, Indiana -- but we enjoyed spending time together that was uninterrupted by work.  If you, too, are in need of a little R&R without going too far, here are three suggestions:

1.      Find an event that interests you.  When we go on a “real” vacation, I tend to over plan things.  For a week-long trip, I usually take along a binder full of restaurant menus printed from the Internet, directions to famous sites, museum brochures picked up at rest stops, etc., etc…  (As I write this, I realize this may be one reason why my husband hates vacations).  On the other hand, though, I’ve found that if I plan nothing we end up at the movie theater watching something we could have waited for on Netflix. 

Last Saturday I convinced Lee to go out of town by finding the Collectors Carnival at the Vanderburgh 4H Center just north of Evansville (   My husband is an avid collector (translated hoarder) of war weaponry and regalia and a plethora of miscellany that people no longer want.  While he perused the tables for his next great find, I people-watched and came to the realization that my childhood toys are now considered antiques in some circles.  This is disheartening for a thirty-something, but I digressed…  My point here is, the Internet has endless possibilities for finding something somewhere that interests you, and finding an event is the perfect starting point for planning your day.

2.      Eat local.  For me, one of the best parts of vacation is the food.  Maybe because I let myself splurge on calories (ok…even more than usual), but more than that is while on vacation we tend to break away from the chains and try independently-owned and operated places with a local flare.  On Saturday, we ate lunch at the Hilltop Inn, which has been showcased on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”  We thought it smart to skip the brain sandwich, but Lee and I shared the fried chicken and a patty melt.  Both were delicious, and we agreed that the fried chicken is some of the best around.  Hot, crispy, and juicy, made fresh to order!  (Although first place still goes to The Chicken Place in Ireland, Indiana).  For dinner, we hit a Roadfood recommendation, Mr. D’s in Henderson, Kentucky  I let Lee order another round of fried chicken (he did say something about increasing his life insurance policy recently…).  And although I was too full from lunch to eat much of anything, the burger and fried mushrooms I ordered were pretty tasty nuked in the microwave the next day, so I can only imagine how delicious they could have been fresh from the grease!

3.      Get lost.  This goes hand in hand with the step above, trying new places.  Especially when Lee leaves the navigating up to me and my cell phone’s GPS system.  As many times as I have driven the route from Henderson to Calhoun, I have always gone the same, straightforward way on the Pennyrile Parkway.  Last weekend we ended up taking Highway 41 through Robards and Sebree (I blame the phone, not my directionally-challenged self).  These are places I have heard of many times during the local news, usually during tornado watches and warnings, but never had a reason to visit.  I think we’re going to plan another daycation soon to an antique store we passed by in Sebree, Kentucky. 

This weekend, Lee is working again and I’m enjoying a “staycation” sitting in front of the computer in my pajamas, but hopefully we can venture out on another daycation soon.   If you find any great places to go within a few hours’ drive from Western Kentucky I’d love to hear about them -- – whether you took my advice or not!