Monday, August 4, 2008
A sustainable vacation
While "staycationing" is all the rage right now, T. and I chose to vacation this year...here are some reasons why, some tips for keeping it somewhat low-impact, and some pictorial highlights.
1--Sustaining our relationship--Right after our commitment ceremony (11 years ago this month!), we took a two-week honeymoon. That was our last solo two-week vacation, and with DD in Europe and DS on his own, it was high time to do it again.
2--Keep it in context--I must admit that, at one time, we were quite the weekend getaway'ers. Those getaways helped us cement our relationship in the early days, and kept us sane through crazy job stress. At the moment the relationship is fully bonded, the job stress is minimal, and life is goooood. So, we've pledged to keep our weekend trips to a minimum, and when we do take them, we'll go to places within a 1-2 hour drive. Thus, we feel that a once-a-year trip to a distance of 5oo miles is justifiable within that context. (Not to mention our regular bike commuting to work and errands.)
3--Keep it rustic--We camped all but three nights of the vacation. You can't beat that for low-cost and sustainable. And rather than stay at a hotel those three nights, we stayed at the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn, an inn owned by a rail trail advocate, where they support their local food co-op,farms,and bicycle-powered soap company. Here's their front yard.
4--Try the local cuisine--We also made most of our own meals, focusing on produce we found along our journey, at farmstands and cooperative foodstores. We always try to hit up farmers' markets as well. You can find farmers' market and other local food sources for anywhere in the U.S. with a quick google search. For Massachusetts, I used FarmFresh.org. Although I'm a vegetarian 99.99% of the time, I even tried a fish sandwich in Provincetown at Townsend's Fish Market, because seafood is such a vital part of the foodshed in that region.
5--Limit the driving--Obvious, right? Well, we realized that we could limit our driving while we're on vacation much more than we had in the past. If you've visited Cape Cod or the Berkshires, you know that it's hard to get anywhere without getting in your car. Previously we just decided what we wanted to do and drove there when we wanted to be there. This time we were much more intentional about clustering our activities in one general region, rather than driving all over the place. Not only did we save gas, we realized that we were much more relaxed without having to do so much driving.
And even Zoe had a great time in the great outdoors!
You can see all the pictures at my Flickr page .