Getting ourselves around

Child on bike  ©Janet Allen
Our 3-year-old grandson on a bike with a handle for an adult

We live in the suburbs, so to some extent we're stuck with transportation by car.

Still, John commutes by bicycle frequently, and we both walk to some destinations to the extent that we can.

Mass transit isn't much of an option for us since there's only spotty bus service.

This isn't likely to change in our area since Onondaga County continues to sprawl outward from Syracuse with very low population density. Unfortunately, we're becoming known for having "sprawl without growth" as our population continues to decline.

Traveling less

Our third grandson  ©Greg Allen
Our 6-week-old grandson with Joey, a doll that was his mother's when she was little

Instead of trying to choose low-impact transportation, though, we just travel less than most people. Our main travel is one or two car trips a year to Durham, NC to visit our children and grandchildren.

Other than that, we don't travel far to shop, and we don't have to travel to "visit nature." Our habitat garden and our edible garden are soul-satisfying and endless sources of discovery and learning. (Do people who travel frequently know much about what's in their own yards or communities?)

We're fortunate to live in a city with a few universities and other amenities, so there is always something going on close by.

Basically, we're very content to be at home.

A stay-cation

Camping trip  ©Janet Allen
One of our camping trips

One of our best vacations in the past was an unexpected one. We had planned to go camping in a state park a good distance away from home and had our reservations all set. We had cleared our calendars, and just were waiting for the end of our son's week at camp before we could take off.

But on the last day of camp, our son sprained his ankle. Why bother going on a camping trip only to sit in the tent all week? We canceled our trip.

That week turned out to one of the most relaxing vacations we ever had. Because no one knew we were at home, there were no phone calls or other obligations for the week. Our children had time to play with their friends. We could, without guilt, just sit in our backyard and enjoy the peace and quiet.

And we wasted no time or hassle traveling. It was all vacation time. And, of course, no expense!

We enjoyed our camping trips, but staying home one year was an unexpected pleasure that's worth repeating, though it's a bit more difficult now that we travel to North Carolina. The key to such a vacation, though, is to block out the time as if you were going out of town and tell people you're going on vacation!