Through the What's Up Wednesday link I've discovered a new blogger, Holly who blogs at Pink Lady. When Holly mentioned on Monday that she was hosting a link up for today, AND it was a post to answer questions AND the questions were about vacations/staycations -- well, if you know anything about me, you know I was all in! Also hosting this link up is Patty who blogs at Good Better Best.
1) Top 5 items you pack when headed on vacation?
I really struggled with this question. I had my family helping me and everything. I was trying to think of things that I take no matter what -- if I'm going on a warm weather vacation, going to my parents' house for Christmas, or going away overnight. Maybe I limited myself too much :) Sam was also very disappointed that I refused to add "clothes" to my list because I felt like that was a given. So here are five things I pack, no matter what, that other people might not place as much importance on:
1) Books to read, or now my Kobo, I guess. Although to be honest, we're flying to my
parents' tonight and I have my Kobo and some books. I just don't want to run out :)
2) My camera. We bought a digital SLR about seven years ago and it goes everywhere
with me. I don't take my phone with me all the time, but my camera will get packed.
3) Lots of shoes! I realize everyone takes shoes but I always over pack on shoes. I can
go light on everything else but let me take my shoes!!!
4) Slippers or indoor flipflops, depending on the season. I HATE going barefoot so I
always have a separate pair of footwear for inside.
5) Necklaces. I am addicted to necklaces so I always have quite a few with me.
If you want to read more about how I pack, I did a post on that here for our packing process for our cruise this past January. (Although I don't write too much about what I pack.)
2) Packing cubes? Yes or no?
I haven't bought any yet. I was going to buy some as my birthday present in May but the pandemic hit in March and it felt unnecessary to buy travel items. However, I really do want to get some at some point. Maybe for Christmas???
3) Do you prefer warm or cold destinations?
I had to think about this for a bit but then I realized I love heading somewhere warm in the middle of our winter. Of course, I also love heading somewhere slightly cooler in the heat of our summer. So it really depends! We've had two warm weather cruises in January and have gone to Mexico in February. However, we've also gone to Iceland and the Yukon and Alaska in July!
from our Southern Caribbean cruise, January 2020
in The Yukon, July 2019
4) Favourite vacation location of all time?
I struggled with this one a little bit but then my husband reminded me how much I LOVE New York City. And I am not a big city person! However, my love for New York knows no bounds. I'm thankful that Dave has family just north of the city so we have an excuse to visit every year (or so).
However, if I had to pick a vacation to do over again, I would definitely choose our trip to Kenya to visit friends in July 2017. We chose to go to Kenya because our friends lived there, otherwise it would not have been on our radar. And we would have missed visiting an amazing country.
Pictures from our safari, when we also visited a Maasai village.
5) Given our state of affairs, what are your staycation tips?
We have done a couple of staycations. My tips are to say "Yes!" as much as possible -- ice cream for breakfast - Yes!, three rounds of mini golf in a row - Yes!, stay up past bedtime to watch movies - Yes! Saying "yes!" makes it fun for everyone.
We also eat out to keep food simple. After all, I want a break too. We also get input from everyone in the family but we have a few special surprises up our sleeves. Having some unexpected fun makes it special too.
If you want to read about our staycations you can see one from December 2013 here, and one from February 2016 here and here. You can see that we combine simple things with special things. We also had a staycation in August 2018 but I didn't blog about it. I think we might need to plan another staycation for the fall...
6) Camping? Glamping? Or uh...no!
Glamping, but only if it's in my parents backyard! We sleep out in the tent, have a weiner roast and marshmallows at the fire pit, and we're only steps from indoor plumbing. Plus all the food stays in the kitchen so we don't have to pack it. It's a win for everyone!!!
7) How many states have you been to?
I did a Q&A post recently and this was one of the questions. Thus I figured out I have been to 27 states and all ten Canadian provinces and one of its three territories. (Since I'm Canadian, I had to throw that in there!) Also, as I explained in that post, I don't count states where I've only been to the airport.
Visiting Alaska last summer
8) Have you ever traveled by RV?
Yes, when I was in Grade 9 I traveled with my grandparents to visit my aunt in Kansas for spring break. We took their RV and I really enjoyed it.
9) Most random place you have been to?
I don't even know how to answer this one but I'm choosing "The biggest ball of twine in Minnesota." We were planning a road trip, through the States, to visit my parents in 2016. I was reading a Pinterest article about "the most bizarre things to visit in each state" or something like that. I said, "Hey, we could go to the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota."
Dave perked up, "That actually exists?!?!?" Weird Al Yankovic has a song about it (which you can listen to here) and Dave thought it was a made up thing. When he found out we would only have to drive an extra 45 minutes (on a 72 hour road trip) to see it, well... you can read about that detour here! Lesson learned: Don't share random things you find on Pinterest with your husband! Hahaha!!!
Dave made a road trip CD for that trip, and that song was on it, and we listened to it about a thousand times. By the end of the trip, we had the song memorized and even sang it for a coffeehouse at our church later that year.
10) What is the first place you are traveling to when the pandemic is over?
Well, we're flying to my parents' tonight but I don't know if that counts. It feels more like visiting my parents than traveling somewhere. I'm hoping we'll get to travel to Los Angeles for my husband's cousin's wedding next spring. They had to postpone it from this past May :( I'd also really like to get to Europe with our kids. We were just starting to dream about how to do that in the next couple of years when the pandemic hit...
Thank you Holly and Patty for hosting this fun link up! If you decide to answer these questions, let me know. I love reading about other people's vacations almost much as I enjoy taking them!