EF_Felicia_insideMerriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the staycation as “a vacation spent at home or nearby”. And that’s exactly what my daughter Felicia and I did this summer. Living in a quiet small town in Northeastern Connecticut can have some disadvantages (think quiet and small), but during times like this when the staycation is top of mind (I couldn’t go a day without hearing this term!) it’s the perfect location to be. We are only 1.5-3 hours away from the best and most notable tourist spots in the Northeast so we were able to visit NYC, Boston, Providence and Southern Vermont … all in a one-week vacation span, with time spent in between for errands and those pesky household chores that working moms, like me, often ignore.

We launched the staycation with a weekend in New York City … all girls, all shopping all of the time (of course!). Felicia and I spent time at American Girl Place, World of Disney and FAO Schwartz (don’t fret, in between the main activity we were able to take in bits of Central Park, Bryant Park and Broadway) and it’s no wonder she had a ball. In fact on the train ride home, she looked at me surrounded by her bags of loot and said, “Mama, even though it’s loud, smelly and crowded, I sure do love New York”. And, I couldn’t agree more.

Another wonderful city that we are just a car ride away from is Boston. Our time there was spent pretending to be mermaids under the sea at the New England Aquarium. Don’t under estimate the power of fish and a little girl’s imagination. I have to be honest this big girl had a ball too. After the aquarium, we ventured over to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall for lunch and shopping (of course!). We topped off the day at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park and a run through the fountains. A true mermaid can’t resist dancing water and the opportunity to get wet on a hot summer day.

EF_Felicia2_insideAny notable exploration through the Northeast has to include a trip to the smallest state, Rhode Island, which is big on fun. Our day trip to Roger Williams Park and Zoo was a great addition to our summer travels. This park is a jewel in the center of Providence and we explored every nook and cranny of it. From the “Flutterby: Butterflies in Bloom” exhibit to painting Felicia’s face like a butterfly and rides on the carousel at the Carousel Village, this was a most excellent day and a place we wouldn’t normally venture to without the free time to explore our sister states.

All in all, I have to say this staycation was a success and included all of the elements of the perfect family vacation … time off from work, enjoying time together, excitement, adventures and shopping (of course!). And it didn’t include the typical travel stressors like packing, airports, lost luggage and botched reservations. I think I may need another staycation!