For weeks I had been asking Pat what he wanted for his birthday. His usual response is "nothing". I don't approve of this. I am a celebrator, and I expect others to be as well. So, because his birthday is the week before MEA break, I thought we could go up north for a long weekend. I found the website vrbo.com through craigslist. It's vacation rentals by owner. It's pretty neato. I searched all the dog-friendly cabins available, trying to find one that was a) reasonably priced, b) not too big (some available can sleep over 20!), c) on a lake, and d) near some activities. After much searching, we found one near Lake Itasca, with a pontoon and a hot tub. The nice old widower who owns it was going to give us a great deal, since it was October and all. We were very excited.
We were planning on leaving Thursday morning around 9. Wednesday night at about 6, the guy called. He double-booked the cabin. The other folks got there on Wednesday, so he couldn't ask them to leave. He offered us his house for free (he felt reallllly bad), but it didn't have any of the things we wanted: no hot tub, no boat, not on the lake. We figured it would be like being here, but four hours away. So, we decided to stay home.
So, even though I abhor the term, we had ourselves a stayacation.
Because our goal was to go hiking and such up north, we decided to do it from here. We went to a different park from out "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles" book each day. It rained most of the time, but that just meant we had the trails mostly to ourselves. One day we were out at Wild River State Park, walking over 8 miles, and it started to hail! We also went to the Wildlife Reserve and Bass Lake near highway 77, the Coon Rapids dam, and the Miesville Ravine Park Reserve. All were very fun. We probably walked over 20 miles that weekend.
We also went to a movie and got a few things done around the house. I would go so far as to say our staycation was better than our vacation was supposed to be. And we were never upset about it. Things are either meant to be or they're not. Sometimes it's that simple.