Summer Mini Vacations

More than a staycation and less than a long road trip, we have been taking mid-week mini vacations this summer and it’s been great!

I have mentioned before that many of our friends are taking fantastic trips and I am so happy to hear about their travels.

I’ve had a long and iffy time with my back this year.  And a few problems along the way with John’s this and that.  The travails of the retired.  Ugh!

So, around here.  Well, we need to stick our toes in the water first.  Small mini vacations for us. 

My love for the mountains is no secret, so that’s where I want to head. But it turns out other people love the mountains too. It’s so busy!


Checking availability on the cabins and resorts we have visited in the past show nearly full vacancy. Thus the prices are really high. 

It’s amazing to think a rustic cabin in the middle of nowhere (no cell service!) goes for up to $600 a night with a two-night stay minimum.  And again, they are full!

Okay, maybe we could try camping. Maybe that would be less money.

So we went to the local Camper World (or some such place) and the conversion van I liked is $148,000.  Yes, more than a house would cost in some parts of the world.

Since you know I love math, let’s do some here.  We could buy that van, fill it with gas at around $5 a gallon, pay to park it at a campground, etc.  OR we could stay at the Ritz Carlton every week for the rest of our lives. 

Got it. Lucky I took that college calculus class.

Trouble is there are not many Ritzes in the places I like to go.

So, we’ve been “glamping.” Or our version of it. 

Mid-Week Travel

Keeping off the highways during the week and finding lodging is so much better since we are in a position to travel during the week.

Our plan that has worked best is to leave noonish on a Tuesday (after our regular activities such as barre and pickleball) and arrive at our mountain destination mid-afternoon.

Maybe a picnic on the road or a cocktail on a café patio.  We are open to all sorts of adventures.


Since this is our version of camping, we like to pack a lot of supplies to take with us.

After our first trip, we made a list of items nice to have and put them in a bin in the garage.  Now when we’re ready to go, the bin is ready too.

A small hiking backpack has been our go-to for years and years.  It’s the perfect size and we keep a few necessaries like tissue, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen and a first aid kit always stocked.  When we hike, we can add a few bottles of cold water and we’re off.

It seems like the day before we leave we are busy getting packed up and the day we get back we’re busy doing laundry and the clean-up chores.

Keeping busy mixed with downtime has been a nice break in our routine.

Day Trips

Working around appointments can be challenging, but we are totally flexible.  We are comfortable leaving the cats alone overnight and they don’t seem to mind a bit.  In fact, I’m suspicious they spend the entire time napping.

If an overnight stay doesn’t work, we are still taking off and hitting the road to see the beautiful Arizona sights.

I’ll write more about it on another post, but in Prescott we stayed at the Motor Lodge and it was in town.  So we got a small town afternoon walkabout and the next day a mountain hike.  Perfect.

It turns out Prescott hosts concerts in the park around the Court House on Tuesday evenings.  It was such a nice surprise!

In Payson we spent the night in a lodge right on the national forest loop, so about 15-20 miles out of town and on Cristopher Creek.

A totally different and more rugged experience (with many more bug bites!).


Getting back to hiking is my dream, but honestly both times we have hiked have really stretched my limits. 

Climbing over huge granite boulders or slipping on rough decomposed rock are not things my back or my knee any longer appreciate.

My poles are helpful, but checking the trail difficulty levels before we head out is going to have to become a new necessity. 

That’s okay, I’m so happy being out in the sunshine, I’ll take what I can get.


Shasta daisies, yellow columbines, jasmine, salvia.  Whether growing wild along a creek or potted on a charming patio, it seems I’m always stopping and taking pics of the flowers.

Our back patio plants have stayed in pretty good shape this summer, but nothing like the summer flowers I see in the mountains.


Wrap Up

We do have a couple of bigger road trips planned where we will be visiting our families.  Praise God!  I’ll try not to overshare here, but I will post some pointers along the way for successful road trips.

If you’re home now or if you’re on the road, blessings for a wonderful week ahead!

1 Comment

  1. I so miss traveling on mini staycations with my hubby during the week now that I’m working f/t. We loved Prescott and Payson too. Miss you, friend!

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