Vacation Plans (Thwarted)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a text, followed up with several links titled “Cottage Please” from my wife. She had a few days off and thought it would be nice to rent a cottage for a week for the two of us to hang out at.

I like vacation days as much as anyone – I get 23 days a year (over a month’s worth, for those wondering why I have stayed with the same company for over 10 years). Most years, I use these days to golf, see family and friends, canoe or just relax at home – a rented cottage is something completely different for us. The cottage would cost about $1,000 for a week, which I agreed with my wife was reasonable – for a cottage rental in the first week of July.

Where I kind of questioned the whole thing was why we would be going to a cottage. Neither of us are what you could call “water people” – we don’t spend our days seeking out new and exciting places to float on pool noodles or anything. We also aren’t touristy, seeking out picture-taking opportunities or other day-events in the areas we travel to. Our main interests are sitting around, reading, with some sort of cool beverage in our hand and then eating good food.

At the time of the “Cottage Plan”, my wife was on a heavily restricted diet, in her attempt to rid herself of severe food allergies – she couldn’t really eat anything you would call convenience food. We would have essentially been moving all of our food and stuff from our cupboards and freezer to a different place to cook it.

So, I was generally just not keen on the whole idea. What I did like about it was taking a few days off together to relax, which is what we did. We hung out on our newly renovated patio  (we are no longer “those guys with the bad backyard” in our condo complex), read our books and had a nice extra-long weekend, which saved a considerable amount of driving time, rental on a cottage and was probably equally as relaxing.

On one hand, I’m kind of a grinch for just not agreeing to do what my wife wanted me to do – it wasn’t super expensive (we do have money set aside for vacations and other fun stuff) and probably would have been a good time. I’m not sure how to measure “$1,000 of fun”, but I don’t think that on the margin, we had a significantly less relaxing weekend at home (well, there was one trip to our favourite bar to watch a world cup game), than there would have been somewhere by a lake or river. I would like to think that I simply asked – what would we be doing there (in this case), that we couldn’t do for almost free at home?

11 thoughts on “Vacation Plans (Thwarted)”

  1. Two parts stuck out at me:

    1) “my wife… had a few days off and thought it would be nice to rent a cottage for a week for the two of us to hang out at.”

    So your wife has less vacation than you, and wanted to do something. You have lots of vacation, and didn’t. And it wasn’t the cost, it was just:

    2) “Our main interests are sitting around, reading, with some sort of cool beverage in our hand and then eating good food.”

    If it was my wife, this wouldn’t go over well. I might be accused of being lazy or selfish. Or perhaps not in tune with my wife’s subtle hints that we’re in a rut, or she’s bored – and BTW she just wasted her vacation because her husband couldn’t be bothered to step outside his comfort zone do something (for once).

  2. I agree with the author,why waste $1,000 on something that you could do just as happily at home?

  3. There’s a difference between relaxing at home and relaxing at a cottage (or camping, or somewhere not at home). There’s no nagging thoughts in the back of my head about how I should be reorganizing the basement, or perhaps going through a closet, or giving those blinds the deep clean they’ve needed for a while, or any of the thousand of other tasks on the ‘yeah, I should someday’ list.

    In theory, relax at home, relax at cottage.. same thing, cheaper, no problem! In practice? Relax at home = not relax at all, just feel guilty for not doing something productive.

    Yep, it’s dumb, but its the reality of it all.

    Just my own two cents worth.

  4. I dunno. I just don’t see the point of cottages. I guess I’m not a cottage person…

    To Jazmin’s point, I never feel guilty about staying at home and not getting stuff done. It’s on my list. I’ll get to it.. some day.

  5. I’m eternally jealous of those who can stay home guilt free, my husband’s the same way. If I could rewire my brain that way, I would!

  6. My Dad owns a cottage that we all frequent frequently! We love it and feel quite blessed to have this abode to go to on the weekends or for a week or two in the summer. There’s no phone or internet, in fact we just got cell phone service for Bell only this year. No indoor toilet (outhouse and composting toilet in the shed), but has a shower and hot water and electricity. 1 hr 45 mins drive and well worth it. You either love it or you don’t. But then again, we’ve grown up there and so now we really appreciate it. A lot of work though, but I think I hate my home maintenance more!

  7. I’d be curious to know what your wife thinks about the decision and the outcome, since it was her idea.

  8. What the…? OK, here’s some info: Pretty much EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD likes “sitting around, reading, with some sort of cool beverage in our hand and then eating good food,” at home. Yeah, almost 98% of all of us. However, I’m not sure what level of valid reason this is for staying home and not trying something new. If you don’t go cottaging with your wife how will you know if you don’t maybe like that better? You should at least go through a thought process of, “OK, $1K is a lot of dough. Maybe we can find a cottage to rent for a long-weekend and cut the price down to $500.”

  9. I agree with the author. In fact I could have seen myself writing this article almost identically. We have no kids, and the wife and I are hardly water people. $1000 is a lot of money that could be better put to use on another more extravagant vacation come wintertime..

    I see some folks points about not being able to shut the brain off on things to do around the house, and for some escaping the home may be worthwhile. For others, maybe not so much.

  10. Yep, definitely had similar debates. I like getting away from my home and relaxing in a different place, as I don’t think about chores or anything. My husband isn’t really the same. But on the other hand I don’t know if I need a full week away in the summer. We were just debating whether we should get a cabin for 1 or 2 nights. I just want to not have to drive 2 hours twice in the same day. I don’t know if twice the cost (for the second night) equals twice as much fun. However in the winter totally different – the longer I can stay in Arizona or California the better.

  11. @ Jazmin – neither my wife or I are overly responsible “adults”….besides keeping the kitchen clean so I could cook more food, the rest of the “chores” waited.

    @ Kate – We had a nice, (cheaper) weekend at home. We bought a firepot that burns alcohol gel, and enjoyed sitting outside in the evening, until the mosquitoes forced us inside. I cooked a lot of good food for us as well.

    @ Edward – We’ve been to cottages before – I don’t find much of a difference between sitting on my own patio for free, and paying $1,000 to sit on someone else’s, for a relaxing time.

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