Monday, January 24, 2011


When Dustin and I first moved to Pittsburgh, we didn’t really think there was going to be much of a climate shift. It’s a couple hours east of Columbus, but that shouldn’t really affect the weather, right? Well- let me tell you. It’s cold here. Like fridgid cold. But that’s not really the worst of it. The real problem? The sun- or rather, the lack of it. You see- everywhere else we’ve lived has been cold in the winter, but we at least had sunshine. So even when the thermometer seemed to be stuck on 17, the blue sky, and rays of sunshine pouring through frozen windowpanes at least gave you hope that Spring would indeed come again. In Pittsburgh? Not so much. The sun packs its bags around December, and doesn’t bother returning until late March (I heard it has a nice place in Boca).

(Notice the weather on my phone- if you can't tell from the camera phone pic of a camera phone...the forcast for the day says N/A over a picture of a grey'd out sun.
As in- the sun literally doesn't apply to Pittsburgh.)

You know people that complain about grey skies in Seattle? Or London? I don’t think they’ve ever been to Pittsburgh, or they’d realize how nice they have it. (then again...I’ve never been either of those places...why bother? I heard it’s so dreary.)

(Word. drawing by artist Wendy MacNaughton.)

So- since we can’t exactly change meterological patterns, we’ve done the next best thing: Every year we make it a point to save some vacation days for January. This way we can bail on the sleet and snow, and head for greener pastures (i.e. the tropics!) (We didn’t have this wisdom in Winter 08, so those few months were when we officially learned this the hard way.) In 2009 we visited Dustin’s parents in Florida, and in 2010 we were blessed beyond all reason with an invite to join friends in St. John. (Never did get around to posting that...but don’t worry, that’s why Golden Oldie posts were invented!)

This year, we were all set to start planning another trip. We had the days racked up, and were kicking around ideas on where to go, and what to do.....Puerto Rico was a strong contender...Belize was mentioned (as it is every year....someday!)...Florida was another possibility. We even got a generous gift of flight miles from Dustin’s step-dad. All we had to do was pull the trigger, and book the trip.

But for some reason, we couldn’t. Though we have certainly grown weary of the winter weather, a big trip right now just didn’t seem right. Maybe it’s because we went on the trip of a lifetime in September? Or because we are trying to save money for our kitchen? Or because planning something major right now makes me more stressed than not taking a vacation? I think it’s all of those. So we decided to stay put this year, and muddle (puddle) through the winter slush....

But just because we’re not flying anywhere exotic, it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of our vacation days! Enter.....the Stay-cation!

Dustin and I decided that we are still taking our week off (well 4 days....schedules got a little complicated), and we’ll be spending it in the winter paradise that is Pittsburgh (at a nice little bed & breakfast known as Chez Bowden...maybe you’ve heard of it?) It may sound a little lame, but we’re actually quite excited to have an extended time off together.

And what will we be doing on this Stay-cation? So glad you asked. Because we’ve made an itinerary:

We made a rule that just because we’ll be at home, it doesn’t mean we’ll act like we’re at home. So as much as possible, we’ll only be doing things you’d typically do on a vacation. This means no doctor’s appointments, no bill paying, no sitting on the couch watching The View in pj’s while folding laundry (I mean, unless that’s what you typically do on vacation....). Sure, it’d be nice to take advantage of this time at home with some big time productivity, checking off projects and getting to those boring tasks that never quite seem to get done during the work week. But that’s no fun! And vacations (and stay-cations!) are all about FUN! Yes- we included some things that seem a little like work- like painting, but we’re only doing those if we feel like pressure. (And getting the car fixed doesn’t count as work because we don’t actually have to do anything, other than drive together for a few days.)

And you may have noticed that museums, zoos, botanical gardens and other typical vacation “attractions” are conspicuously missing from our list....But that’s because we decided we just don’t like that stuff all that much. But we do like to shop...and eat...and play games...and eat. So that’s what we’ll be doing! We depart tomorrow, (destinations: Lazy Town, and Fun Village). I’m so very excited!

P.S. If you’re wondering what “Find the BEEP” means, it refers to the random, completely aggravating chirping noise that seems to be coming from some place in our house. It’s not the TV. It’s not the smoke alarms. The refrigerator is suspect...but only because everything is a suspect at this point. It’s driving me bonkers, and it has to stop.


  1. Awesome, so fun! Have a great stay-cation!

  2. I was worried when I saw Lindsey had commented because I thought she was gonna steal my comment about the beep. Now that I see she hasn't, I have nothing creative to say. It just reminded me of the Modern Family episode with the beeping smoke detectors in the attic. The same thing happened to me. When you find it, you will know it was the best stay-cation ever!

  3. Enjoy Bowdens! What a great idea!

    I've lived in Pgh all my life and I'm always saying, "I can't take another Pgh winter." They're indeed quite, blah.

    Hope the sun makes a surprise appearance for your stay-cation, but I wouldn't bet on it...

  4. Love the new look!!! Good thing Maddie is buried out back and can't hear your "beep"