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stay·ca·tion/ˌstāˈkāSHən/

A vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home involving day trips and local attractions. 

I’m afraid to say that I originally began writing this piece a couple of months ago, and like many of my blogs, it falls a little by the wayside whilst I ponder its worth. After nearly a year in NYC, and several months of travelling previous to that my husband and I didn’t feel an overseas trip was either necessary or deserved. I have spent the past few notable holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc… watching newfound friends jet off to Mexico, Canada, London and Puerto Rico…. Not me. I stayed. Settling into life in the Big Apple.

As soon as I began to research this subject, TimeOut NYC was dropped into our letterbox, and the word smeared all the way across the cover? Staycation.  So this piece went into the folder with all the other piles of as yet unpublished blogs, to sit and fester for a while. I’d missed my chance.

The thing I noticed, however, about all other articles on this subject; is that they are not only a little obvious, but are also full of activities I would not want to do. Queue at a tourist attraction, flock to an underwhelming city beach, or perhaps visit an aquarium? How unimaginative.

For me, Staycation actually means really pretending that you are on holiday for one full day or more in your own city. Relaxing, breathing in the air, enjoying a day by the pool and indulging in a sunset cocktail.  Imaging you could be anywhere at all. Now, that’s a mini-break.

In honour of actually finishing this little snippet I decided to plan a day off, and take a mini – break at home in NYC –  and in pure Appleketchup style.  My day began with a morning stroll around Prospect Park, (I know, I do this every day, but I was getting myself into holiday mode so I walked more slowly and with the conviction of a holiday maker, without the dog).  Sometimes, very early morning Prospect Park is so green and dewy, it feels like the lush pastures of good old England.

Once gentle morning exercise was completed, I decided to book myself a day spot at the King & Grove outdoor pool in Williamsburg. I packed my sunscreen, hat, iPad, and set off.

The King and Grove is a boutique design hotel, opposite McKarren Park on North 12th, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  It’s not cheap to be a day visitor, but more cost effective Monday to Thursday. $35 from 11am until 6pm.  Upon arrival, your name is ticked off and you are given towels and shown to any area that is either free or takes your fancy. There are four-person day beds, sun loungers, bleachers and tables and chairs. There are waiting staff in white polo shirts and shorts, there is a saltwater outdoor pool and poolside table service. To me, this screams vacation, and as I popped down my belongings, stripped of down to my Seafolly bikini and lay out on my bleacher in the mid – morning sun, I was taken to anywhere but Brooklyn. Miami, Ibiza, Thailand, didn’t matter – I was holiday for one day!

I indulged in all the things you ‘treat yourself’ to whilst on holiday, a prawn salad and a savvy blanc for lunch. An afternoon nap, a diet coke, a few dips and a read of my book. Wonderful, and Ididn’t have to fly anywhere. This is how you ‘staycate’  by the way, TimeOut NY.

After my day of lazing by the pool, amongst a mixture of hipsters, rich businessmen who choose to drink champagne all day, and young Mums opting for a quick break, I decided not to just go home, and sit in front of the TV, but to meet friends at Celebrate Brooklyn for a picnic and an outdoor movie.

You know that unmatchable feeling you get, only when on holiday… during the shower intermission between the beach, and the evening cocktail time? When you check out your tan lines, sigh with delight at your natural tightness of skin and tiredness from the sun, then decide what to pop on for an evening of al fresco dining? Well, I managed to get myself that wonderful feeling, right  in my claw foot tub in Brooklyn!

Celebrate Brooklyn was showing Saturday Night Fever, this particular night, and as the sun began to set, and the fireflies buzzed around our heads, I mused at how lucky I was to have visited England, Miami and Sydney, all in one day! No flying necessary.

Granted, I might live in one of the more interesting cities in the world in which to ‘staycate’, but I tell you, no matter where in the world you might live, I bet there is still a gallery worth visiting, a walk worth walking, a pool worth swimming in, or a drink, worth drinking. You all might enjoy a staycation once in a while – I challenge you to it. I would love to hear some stories.

PS…now I’m really on vacation… in the Costa Brava…. can’t beat the real thing, I’m off to the beach.

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Claire Young #

    Love it as always!

    September 6, 2012

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