Ways to spend the rest of your summer vacation

Once the Fourth of July is behind us, it’s just a hot, slow descent to the first day of school. I can’t let the summer slip away without offering some tips to make it a little more relaxing, organized, fun, and appetizing.

Camping on the go-go

I just spent a hot, windy weekend at Yuba Lake in central Utah. If it wasn’t the 40 mile an hour winds (I’m not exaggerating), keeping me awake, it was the constant hum of the generator of the mansion on wheels, parked at the neighboring campsite. I told the owners,
“I would have brought my mansion too, but I was told we were supposed to be camping.”

Anyhow, I came away from our weekend with an excellent tip from some seasoned campers.

Store and transport everything you need for camping in big plastic bins: the tent, sleeping bags, flash lights, cookware, etc all in one box. Just toss the containers in the back of your vehicle, fill your coolers full of ice and food and go. When you return the bins go back into storage until the next trip. No unpacking required.

Rootie-Tootie Frozen Fruitie

It seems like the Payne kitchen is open 24/7 during the summer months. My kids would rather graze all day than sit down and eat three square meals.

Cut down on low nutritional value snacks by having frozen fruit on hand. Pineapple and cherries are a favorite around here. Frozen fruit is refreshing and takes longer to eat.

Everything is better with a theme

Summer allows some flexibility in a family schedule, but the predictability of a routine keeps the family from getting too loosey-goosey.

Giving each day a theme infuses fun into the long, hot days of summer.

For instance, make Monday “Family Game Night.” Lately, the Paynes have been enjoying a couple of “old school” board games; Mastermind and Racko. Perhaps your kids and grandkids would enjoy some of the board games you used to play. A quick search on the internet would easily turn them up.

Tuesday could be “Library Day.” Check your libraries schedule for special events or for community book clubs.

Wednesday is “Swim Day.” We take advantage of Wednesday Dollar Day at the Palisade pool. I enjoy the cool grass to set my lawn chair up in and the kids like the inexpensive snack bar.

Thursday is “Hike Night.” We are fortunate to live in an area where trails are abundant. I often refer to the website, gjhikes.com. Here you can find pictures, directions, distances, and tips for trails in and around our valley.

Friday is “Kid’s Choice” that’s self explanatory and Saturday is “Date Night.” Sorry, no kids allowed.

Another unpaid product endorsement

Perpetual flip-flop wearing can lead to dry feet. My sister-in-law swears by Gold Bond Extra Strength in the green bottle. Not only does it quickly and effectively heal and alleviate dry feet, she says it also works great to relieve the itch of mosquito bites. I love it when one product can do double duty.

Leave it at the office

We all have to multi-task in our life, the trick is to not let our life multi-task us. When you are at home, be home. Avoid the urge to bring work home with you, check e-mails, and make business-related calls. Especially if a week-long vacation is not a part of your summer plans, make sure that you have downtime in your day to rejuvenate and refresh. This will make you a better employee and make you easier to live with at home.

Enjoy the second half of your summer vacation!

About the Author...
Annie Payne
Watch Annie Payne weekdays on NBC11!

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