In Libris Libertas

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

My Top 5 Staycation Destination Spots of Summer 2013

[Our last writing unit of the year was “Play, Passion, Purpose.” Students chose topics that were fun, personal, and meaningful. They were then encouraged to explore a new genre or push their writing in a new and exciting direction. They wrote dystopian stories, personal essays, lists, comics, blogs, and even made videos. Most importantly, they took chances and were proud of their writing work. Here’s my contribution – a take on the ubiquitous “Top 5 Vacation Destinations” that appear every summer. Enjoy!]

It’s June – almost time for summer vacation. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t hear the word vacation without thinking of the Go-Go’s song from the 1980’s. If you’re currently in seventh grade and therefore too young to know what I’m talking about, check it out here:

Looks like fun, doesn’t it? Well, I love the idea of vacation. In fact, my wife and I purposely bought a small house that was easy for us to afford so that we’d have money to travel and take vacations all over the world. We’ve been to England, Scotland, Ireland (North and South), and all over the Northeastern United States. Next year, we plan to go to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

This summer, however, there will be no vacation. We’ve decided to save some money and do some work around the house. It’s going to be a “staycation” holiday instead. That’s ok though. In fact, I’m looking forward to a couple of months at home with my family.

So, I don’t have a fancy list of destinations this summer. What I do have (in no particular order) is my…

Top 5 “Staycation” Destination Spots of Summer 2013

#1) Royal Park  

sign pic

This was my childhood park. It’s where I played baseball, tennis, and, for a couple of summers, even went to day camp. I had forgotten all about it until one day last summer. Will and I were looking for a place to play baseball, and all of the diamonds at the park near us had games going on. We drove to Royal Park, and had three diamonds all to ourselves. We’ve been going ever since. It’s become our “home field.”

It’s been raining so much lately that we haven’t been able to go too many times yet this year. But I’m sure we’ll be there quite a bit this summer – playing catch, batting, playing hockey in the tennis court. I think it’s neat that Will and I will both have childhood memories of the same park.

#2) Our Basement “Music Room”


Music has always been a big part of my life. I love listening to music, learning about music, and creating music with other people. The finished room in our basement is the newest addition to our house, and it’s where I keep my guitars and a small drum set. It’s a great place to relax, play some music, watch a little TV – and it’s the coolest room in the house in the summer! It’s not quite Daryl’s House yet, but I love it.

#3) My Backyard


I love the outdoors – not so much in a camping sort of way. I’m more of a backyard patio person. Our backyard is the perfect place to hang out in the summer mainly because there’s lots of shade. Our street is filled with enormous silver maples, and there’s one right in the center of our yard. It can be a nuisance sometimes, but I’m always thankful for it in the summer when the sun is too hot.

Also, I don’t know if you can see it from the photo, but my wife is an incredible gardener. The garden grows a bit every year. She plans everything out to look its best and even chooses flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in our  backyard on a quiet morning with some coffee and a good book. Speaking of books, that brings me to spot #4…

#4) The Reading Chair in Our Study

study pic

This chair is easily the most comfortable chair in the world. Our good friends have a chair just like this in their house, and after using it once when we stayed there, I knew we had to get one. It’s not a very expensive piece of furniture, but it’s designed perfectly. Those Ikea furniture makers know what they’re doing!

The study is also one of my favorite rooms in our house. There’s something about being surrounded by books that comforts me. When I look over the shelves, I remember the story behind almost every one of my books – when I read it, where I bought it, who recommended it to me… I love reading on my iPad, but browsing my digital library isn’t quite the same. 🙂

And finally…

#5) The Gym

gymI put this one last, not just because it’s like the “vegetables” portion of my summer destination spots (which I always eat last), but because it seemed fitting for this writing project. In my experience, exercise is a lot like writing. It takes discipline. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes (rarely) you hit your stride and it seems like the easiest thing in the world. You always feel good when you finish.

~Enjoy your summer vacation!

Mr. Kelly


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