My husband and I would love to whisk our family off on a wonderful 5 star vacation, but with another child to put through college and the restraints of our adult children’s own work schedules it was simply not possible this year. So we, along with our kids, decided that a staycation was the way to go. Everyone would come stay at our house for a weekend and we’d have a our own little makeshift vacation. I originally wanted to do it in the summer, but before we knew it our summer was over and the first fall weekend our schedules would allow for an entire weekend with all of us together was in November.
So when the weekend finally arrived I got the guest rooms ready….
One for Ryan and Katie…
And one for Daniel and Melissa….
I decided to have fun with it and put a welcome basket in each of their rooms with a couple of small bottles of wine, some wine glasses……
And a little notecard…..
Just for a little fun.
(And I made a basket with water instead of wine for Alyssa, who’s only 18.)
For dinner the first night I set my table up for a buffet style meal……
And dressed it up so it would look a bit like a restaurant buffet for a pizza and salad bar.
Then laid out all the fixins
I placed the weekend itinerary on the center of the table….
As well as instructions for the pizza bar…
After each pizza was personally “decorated” each family member took a parchment paper flag (that I had pre-cut earlier) and wrote their initials on it, then marked their slice by adhering it with a toothpick so we could bake them all together. That way there was no wondering who’s pizza was who’s.
I had the salad bar instructions on the table as well (not that I needed it)…
The nice thing about a Pizza/Salad Bar is that most of the toppings could be used for both the pizza and the salad…….the perfect Martin family meal.
For dessert I decided we’d have a DIY Martini cake contest.
Each “kid” would create their own martini cake and decorate it with their own unique style….
They chose their own food coloring for the batter and also for the icing….
I admit this was something the girl’s were more interested in doing than the boys, but they were sweet and humored me…..
They played along.
Turns out they actually had a little fun with it…
And they made some very impressive martini cakes! (Find the recipe here)
I wanted to create a little game room of sorts in the garage and since I don’t have a ping pong table I bought a portable table tennis set and created one myself.
This is the table top I use on top of my marble dining room table when I need to expand it which is simply two pieces of hinged particle boards. We keep it stored in the garage so it came in very handy for a ping pong table. It was even regulation length – just a little more narrow. But, it worked like a charm.
We all played, but Ryan remained the overall winner and we (I) dubbed him the King Kong of Ping Pong.
I also bought this three game set…..
And set up the bean bag toss – and, we just sort of hung out and had some no frills fun in our garage turned game room….
Even our youngest little Martin man hung out…..
Then it was time for the big “treasure hunt”.
This is a fun little game my own kids grew up doing every Easter and Christmas. I write out clues and they have to follow the clues to the grand prize. Since this was my granddaughter, Kaisley’s (aka KK), first “hunt” I explained the game to her…..
And, the hunt was on….
The first clue led to her bookshelves……
Then the back of her rocking chair…..
Which lead her to one of my pumpkins……
And, finally the grand prize – her goody bag. One for her…..
And, one for her baby brother, Elijah.
Once the kids were snuggled up in bed…..
It was time for the adult treasure hunt…..
The funny thing is…..even as adults they still have fun with this long standing Martin tradition….
They took turns reading the clues until they made their way to the big surprise….
Their “grand prize” was individual envelopes of money for each one of them. The only rule was they all had to go shopping together on Saturday and all the money had to be spent on something fun for them not for anyone else. (Mimi and Doogie would babysit the grandkiddo’s and take them to the park to feed the ducks between naps)
After shopping it was church together, then dinner (Pasta Fagioli by Doogie) – which we’ve nicknamed Pasta Fa-Doogie – and, lastly a movie. (An oldie, but goodie by the way – “Spy Games” with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. Great flick!) Dessert was Cookies & Cream ice cream with chocolate syrup.
The next morning we had a piñata for Kaisley…..
Which required a little help from Daddy and Doogie.
And, although she was happy with the goodies that poured out of it….she was none too happy she wasn’t allowed to eat it all at that moment.
Next it was time to bury our family time capsule….yes, a time capsule.
Inside the capsule I put a picture of Doogie and I…..
And a picture of our kids and grandkids.
I typed up a little “document” with our names, the year, some current events and a little bit about our family. We each signed it – including KK. Then I rolled it all up with our pictures and put it in a jar…..
And then in this plastic container. At Ryan’s suggestion I taped it up with red duct tape and marked it so that if someone comes across it years and years from now they won’t mistake it for trash and just throw it away.
We pitched in and took turns digging the hole….
Had a little “photo op” as a record of the event……(early in the morning before makeup…..so don’t judge us!)
Then Doug (Doogie) buried it.
Hopefully it won’t be discovered for twenty to thirty years or more! Regardless…..it was just a fun little adventure…..
As was the rest of the weekend. It wasn’t lavish, just simple fun….
We hung out…..
Had lots of laughs….
Enjoyed some family bonding….
And, ultimately isn’t that what it’s all about?
We weren’t on a beach somewhere…..or at a mountain chalet……but, fortunately for Doug and I our family doesn’t require all that to enjoy each other’s company and have fun…..
We just enjoy being together….no matter where we are!
And, they’ve all announced they want to do the staycation weekend at least once a year now. And, that makes this little Mimi very happy!