It’s that time of year when we can’t help but dream of pristine beaches and exotic locales. Nevertheless, the idea of a “stay-cation” is gaining popularity, and perhaps there is no place quite like home, after all, to be rejuvenated.
This summer, my friend Jan (actually my first best friend ever) tells me that she’s going to stay right in her own backyard and enjoy every minute of it. A couple of years ago, she bravely decided not to move when she needed more room for her constantly expanding family to enjoy holidays and visits together. She loved her neighbors and her neighborhood. So what did Jan do? She tore down her old house and a new one rose in its place–perfect for spending more time at home.
• Vacationing at home is certainly not meant to have folks thinking they’d rather be someplace else. And if they do, why not create some of the drama and intrigue of travel right across your own threshold? It can be a whole family enterprise–and just think of the places you can go–everywhere from Madagascar to Montana (unless, of course, you already live there).
• Dreaming, I pick Italy. It’s a country where you can be blindfolded and pin any spot on the map. First, assemble the videos and films you’d like to show at your very own film festival. Since we’re dealing with houses here, I recommend Under the Tuscan Sun for the way the author rebuilt an old villa into a magical place.
• You can also stack the shelves with picture books–and what about acquiring some postcards you can send to friends–Wish you were here… Then, why not come just down the road for the best penne in cream sauce in town? Salad makings from the kitchen garden.
• One just might forget that the evening paper is from your hometown when mandolins fill the air–it’s the Italian music I love best, and a simmering sauce makes you hum It’s Amore. If you serve on the terrace, fill vases or flowerpots with fragrant flowers and plants and set your table with the little touches used in Italian trattorias–maybe a small pitcher of wine at each place.
Ahh, Italy. Wake up in the morning without jetlag–and perhaps a new appreciation for all the comforts of home.