2018 Staycation Checklist

Yesterday on Instagram, I shared about how two of our favorite couple friends came back for a Philly visit! (Remember when I talked about when great friends move away?) When we found out one of the couples was coming into town, Devin and I decided to make it a full on reunion and invite our first married friends, Courtney & Isaac, to come stay with us so we could all hang out. There ended up being only one night of overlap (where I got this group picture), and the rest of the extended weekend was the best mini-vacation...here at our place! 

Here's what we did: 

1. Invite friends that live far away to come stay with you. We only have about 1,000 square feet in our house, but we made it work! Courtney & Isaac are SUCH gracious friends and didn't mind sleeping on an air mattress in Aiden's room (while he camped out in Emma's crib a.k.a. "special fort" and she got the pack-and-play in the dining room!). That way, no one pays for a hotel/airbnb!

2. Plan big, easy breakfasts. And then prep them ahead of time. I planned to make this 3-step breakfast casserole (and baked french toast casserole), but I SHOULD have actually prepped the casserole and put it in the fridge ahead of time. Poor everyone woke up early and then had to wait like an hour and a half while I prepped and then baked the actual dish. (Sorry guys!) For the baked French toast, Courtney and I made it the night before and stuck it in the fridge to bake the next morning. 

3. Have a bonfire. Just as with everyyy bonfire we've ever had, Friday night we burned the most redneck fire you've ever heard of. This time, we burned an old (unpainted) door and scrap lumber laying around the basement. (Courtney & Isaac know we've burned our old couch, kitchen cabinets, and old staircase, and for some reason they still love us.) 

4. Explore new parks/gardens/trails/greenhouses/farmer's markets during the day and bring a picnic lunch. Courtney and I (plus Aiden and Emma!) walked through a nature reserve, ate outside until biting flies made us RUN away, and let Aiden play with a random wagon at a local plant sale. (There will absolutely be more pictures shared from that fun day because Courtney takes the best photos!!) Meanwhile, our husbands went shooting and fixed Devin's truck's radio. All the manly things, of course!

5. Serve tacos one night because who doesn't like tacos. (Communists, that's who.) I was calling it a "taco bar" but really it was just a ton of ingredients on our table and lots of "can you pass me the...." which was insanely easy. I made this shredded crockpot chicken (also easy) and then set out other fixings (easy) so everyone could make their own tacos just the way they liked. 

6. Get competitive with yard games. We played cornhole guys vs. girls and couple vs. couple, and then Isaac and Devin started doing "trick shots" (see my Instagram stories for "Harlem Cornhole Trotters" haha) and then they were trying to get the beanbags into the corn hole from 50 feet away....which then turned into them LAUNCHING the beanbags into the bed of Devin's pickup truck from like 100 feet away. It was hilarious to watch! 

7. Eat dinner at a local restaurant with outdoor seating. (Bonus points if you've never been there before.) My parents babysat for us so we could do a real double date, and it was amazing to eat a whole meal without coaching a toddler to keep eating (Aiden or explaining the answer to the 500th "why" question. 

This list might not sound like a super wild time, but it was the most refreshing, life-giving, fun "vacation" we could have asked for. There were friends to help entertain Aiden & Emma and who genuinely love them, and Devin and I got to hang out with best friends and do all our favorite things! Like I've mentioned before, our beach vacation last year wasn't really restful, and it was soooo much cheaper and more fun to stay at home and do fun things with friends!

Can we talk about how you can ONLY see Emma's foot in the second picture?!

Have you ever done a "staycation"? What fun things are you up to this summer?

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