To wrap up this first full week of Vegan Mofo 2009, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the family vacation and what it means to me. Now I know times are tight and for many vegans the concept of finding vegan food for an entire family while traveling is a bit daunting so let me just share with you how we have managed to do it for most of my married life...and that will be 12 years this month!.
To begin with, I am a social worker and until last spring my husband was a professor at a community college so we have never been making the big bucks. In many ways this recession is more of the same for those of us who receive more personal than financial reward for our labors. But my husband was laid off and is now one of the many receiving unemployment in this country. We have vacated on a single income before and I am sure we will do it again.
How do we do it?
My definition of vacation means spending time together in a place we don't usually live doing things we don't necessarily do everyday. So it doesn't have to be Disney World or a Cruise or Europe. It can be the local state park, a family member's home, camping or an unassuming cabin in the woods. We tend to seek out places where we can be together yet each have our own space. We do require running water, electricity and indoor plumbing but not all need that. Ideally we have a full kitchen at our disposal to make eating out optional rather than a requirement. And we spend a significant amount of time doing things that are free or relatively inexpensive: swimming, hiking, sledding, paddle boats, reading, playing outdoor games or board games and generally reconnecting as a family. When times are tight...we save and pay for the entire rental price before we go. Then our only mandatory expenses are the same groceries we would be spending for at home with just a little extra gas for driving. On those trips we have spent the majority of our time at local state parks on day passes, swimming, picnicing and enjoying the view. If we are flush then maybe a museum, bookstore shopping spree or movie come into the picture. That's when we choose to eat out.
Having a kitchen available is wonderful both as a savings and to accomodate dietary needs. No need to scramble around for a vegan breakfast...make your own tofu scramble! Kids like to eat at the crack of dawn or snack before dinner...Keep cereal and popcorn on hand. The past week has shown pictures of our last vacation in Vermont this summer. We paid for the cabin from my husband's severance package. Life is too short to not make memories with your family. I wouldn't trade my times with my kids for anything in the world. So go ahead and roll down a hill! It's free! I would be happy to share links with anyone for some of the inexpensive, family friendly places we have visited. Just post a comment.
So what's coming up next? Sunday will be the return of Football Food with Tempeh Wingz and Veganized Blue Cheese Dressing. My Iron Chef Submission using Okra and Horseradish will appear here Monday...and on the official sight Sunday Night. The rest of the week will be my COOP Challenge: I will create and post recipes using the vegetables and fruit that I received in my basket on Thursday....so keep checking this out all MOFO long!