As summer vacations become Sacramento staycations, here are ideas for taking a break

Torri Donley

Now that we’re clearly in this for the long haul and many of us have had to cancel trips we were looking forward to, it’s time to think about “staycations.” For those unfamiliar with the made up word, the idea is to make a vacation out of staying home or […]

Now that we’re clearly in this for the long haul and many of us have had to cancel trips we were looking forward to, it’s time to think about “staycations.” For those unfamiliar with the made up word, the idea is to make a vacation out of staying home or at least locally. You could make some incredible vacation memories just being a tourist in your own town! And really, how lucky are we to have Sacramento to staycation in?

The other night my husband and I had enough of staying home and being with our kids all the time. We picked up some dinner, found a nice river spot, and had a date night just eating in the car. It was so delightful. We sat there for over an hour, just staring at the view. When you’ve been looking at the walls inside your house forever, it makes a huge difference just to get out a little bit and remind yourself of the gorgeous places in your backyard. But not in your actual backyard. You’ve seen plenty of that.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people are spending their quarantine time camping. Plenty of local camping spots are operational. Cindy Albrecht, of Sacramento, has been getting out to camp with her husband and two teenage daughters. Since they have their own camping gear, they are able to load everything up and go.

“We have really found that even at the campgrounds between hanging out at our campsite and doing hikes or going to the lakes nearby, we’re able to situate ourselves in such a way that we’re not around a lot of people,” said Albrecht. “We really don’t interact with other people beyond waving hello.”

Try a theme night or day

If you’ve had enough of the heat, try a movie theme night. Get your hair poufed up, grab those acid-washed jeans, and watch “The Breakfast Club” while eating breakfast. Order Gunther’s Ice Cream online for curbside pickup, and watch “Lady Bird.” Afterward, you could take a driving tour of spots in the movie, while you channel your angsty inner teen.

If the popcorn’s good and air conditioning is running, nobody is going to complain about a good movie night. I mean, you could probably convince me to watch “Hamilton” one more time. I guess.

Try a technology-free day. Give yourself a whole day off, where you are not glued to your phone or tablet all day. Take a walk or read a book.

I’m going to be real honest here, the movie “What About Bob?” is one of my favorites, and part of it is that it’s just full of some good advice. Bill Murray plays Bob, who has … problems. At one point, Richard Dreyfus’ character hands him a prescription that says, “Take a vacation from your problems.” It’s in the spirit of Bob that I tell you we could all use a day away from the internet. Just a little vacation from our problems. A day without having to know 2020’s latest craziness just as the news is breaking. Take a break, and give it a fresh go tomorrow. The world will keep spinning.

Take a virtual trip to Yellowstone

Have a day based on your favorite place to visit. For me, it’s Yellowstone National Park. Find that vacation T-shirt, and hop online to experience it virtually. They have live feed cameras on the geysers. There are all manner of Yellowstone shows available on your favorite streaming services. Grab your usual road trip snacks, and pretend you’re there. Only now there are no lines, and you don’t have to panic while watching someone step too close to a bison (seriously, friends, 100 yards is your bison social distancing). There are endless options of places to “go” right from the comfort of your home.

Or you could spend some time researching and listing things you want to go see locally when they’re open again. For me, it’s like when the plumber shuts off the water, suddenly you are more thirsty and in need of the bathroom than ever. When something is shut down, that’s where I want to go.

Currently on my list to visit when it’s available are the Crocker Art Museum, the State Capitol Museum and I want to wander around Old Sacramento. Remember wandering? I hope it makes a comeback.

For now we can explore the Crocker online — their website has a link right at the top to experience their digital programs and resources.

“Art takes us outside ourselves, and that’s really important when things are more turbulent,” says Karen Christian, a Crocker spokeswoman.

The website gives you access to many different collections, and they even have Spotify playlists to listen to while you browse. They have some live online programs you can participate in, or you can even peruse the gift shop and pick up your purchase curbside.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gets you started. I’ve watched a couple canceled vacation slots roll by and it was far more discouraging not to have something else going on in its place. We all need some little pick-me-ups and a change of focus. If we get creative, we can make some great quarantine memories and keep ourselves sane in the process. Find what works best for you and find something new to enjoy.

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