HOW CAN I FEEL LIKE I'M ON VACATION IN MY BACKYARD IF I DON'T EVEN HAVE A POOL?
AHHHH...IF ONLY I HAD A POOL....
It's easy to feel like you're on vacation if you have a pool in your yard. I would imagine, anyway.
Swimming in shimmery sparkly blue water never fails to give me that "vacationy feeling." But alas...we have no pool. And no money to have one put in - or to even plan a vacation to a destination WITH a nice pool.
So what's a person like me (and perhaps you?) to do?
Is it possible for people like us to feel like we're on vacation in OUR pool-challenged, non-vacationy backyards?
Absolutely! And I'm going to show you how! It won't cost you much....
Ready? Ready to feel like you're at a fancy shmancy exotic resort - right in your own back yard (even if it's a smalll square of mud and weeds)?
Well, go ahead, BOOK your vacation, and follow me!
Some essential elements of the "vacation outfit" include tropically odorned sunglasses, brightly colored clothes and accessories, proper footwear, and a nice hat to wear to the "beach."
But the most ESSENTIAL element of all, is the PLASTIC LEI! If you really want to be fancy, you might get some of those pretty "flowery" ones. You can pick up these fun vacationy adornments at any party store - for next to nothing! Truthfully, the plastic lei really IS like magic. Even if you are wearing a business suit, this cheap colorful tourist accessory will instantly put you in the vacation mood!
The next thing you need to do, is get yourself a pool! Now listen, because this is important. You can go out and buy a pool for under twelve bucks! Yes, it's true! So there's no reason why you can't have a pool just becauses you're a little short on cash.
Okay, so it won't be a very big pool. That's okay. Just PRETEND it is. You can dress it up with a nice plastic orange crab, to make it look tropical.
But remember, this is your ADULT VACATION pool...for now, anyway. The kids and the dog can use it when you're "back from your vacation," if they want. (Or buy them their own)!
If you have absolutely NO money at all right now to spare, you can improvise. Be creative! Use a storage bin filled with water as your resort pool. What the heck; dress it up with a few flowers from your garden..
No storage bin? Don't give up..... use a cake pan filled with water. At least you can put your feet in! If you're feeling really fancy, turn your hose on mist and just lay it down in the pan, so you can pretend you have a nice water feature.
You can actually SIT in your resort pool, if you want. You can sort of pretend it's a fancy Jacuzzi or hot tub while you're in there.
Okay? With me so far? Good! Because now, It's time to set up your "area."
Of course you need a good comfy beach chair - again, you can get one really cheap, if you don't already have one. Now just spread some Polynesian type accessories around...a few bobble headed hula girls; some plastic Palm trees; a fake totem pole; anything with bamboo.
Again, you can pick up these cool decorations at any party store, for next to nothing.
Also, a radio playing some cool tropical music will really help create the vacation atmosphere you seek.
Set up some lawn games! Darts, croquet, badmitton...horse-shoes, anyone? You can purchase cheap lawn games at many stores, including the local dollar store and Wal-Mart.
Oh, dear! Can't even afford the Dollar store? It happens. Don't fret! Improvise! That's what this whole article is about, when you get right down to it.
Make your own lawn games! Toss old golf balls into a box, for points.
See? It's all about the fun mind-set - and THAT doesn't cost you anything.
Don't scoff at the cheesiness of these games. They provide old fashioned vacation type fun.
Buy yourself a checkered towel with big plastic waterproof checkers. You'll need a playmate for a lot of these games. Any handy relative, neighbor, friend, or spouse will do. Just don't resort to playing Scrabble on your Smart phone. It's not the same.
If you are more the "relaxing by the pool and not doing much of anything" vacation-type person, get yourself a stack of glossy new magazines to thumb through.
Next, you need to get your refreshments ready. Fresh fruit is ALWAYS cool and tropical...especially if it's pineapple pieces, mangos, maybe even some banana slices - make yourself a nice refreshing fruit salad...or just serve the pineapple pieces to yourself on toothpicks. Toothpicks make anything fancy! Besides being vacationy, this snack is also super healthy.
You can pick up some fresh produce for not-too-much money, before hand. Or...if you don't even feel like cutting up any fruit...buy some tropical fruit in a can. (Whip up a tropical fruit smoothie, for an even fancier treat).
If you want to switch things around a bit (Ole!) and pretend you are on a beach in Mexico, simply substitute the fruit for chips and salsa. Serve yourself this zippy snack on a cheerful colorful plastic serving tray (available at any Dollar store).
Of course, sucking slowly on a delicious, refreshing fruit popsicle is always fun and yummy, too. You can buy those "real fruit" pops in flavors like coconut, banana, and mango. They even have bits of real fruit in them.
Or...why not an settle in with an old fashioned Italian Ice? The good thing about this summer-time treat, besides the fact it will COOOOL you way down? It takes a LOOONG time to eat!
What about drinks? A Margarita or a Pina Colada would be perfect...if you have a blender handy and some ice...make the FROZEN version...much more tropical, fun, and refreshing!
But no matter what you drink, even if it's Coke or Kool-aide,it will always seem more vacationy when served up in a plastic COCONUT....or other fun novelty type cup (again, available at your local party store)!
Plastic coconuts are not your thing? That's okay...you can purchase some bright colorful durable plastic glasses from your local dollar store or Walmart! Buy them in your favorite color! Now, don't forget to top your drink off with a paper umbrella. Everything, including tap water, is more exciting with a paper umbrella on top... and maybe some of those pineapple pieces on a toothpick!
Now you are ready to sit in your chair "poolside" and just kick back and relax! Enjoy your snack. Perfect your snobby "I'm at a fancy resort" expression!
Don't forget to take pictures, so you can show all your friends what a great time you had!
As the sun is setting on your perfect backyard vacation, you can now get the kids involved! Encourage them to put on a show. They'll love it! Get some grass skirts or other fun costumes, and let them entertain you with a some hula, for your very own version of a luau.
More photo ops!
Another fun thing you can do, is have a HULA CONTEST, after the show (if you haven't had too many Pina Coladas, that is)! See who can hula the longest.
Why, a bobble-head hula girl, of course!
And for dinner? CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE SHISHKABOB! It's so easy to make....and so good...and sooo tropical.
Can't you just feel the warm island breezes blowing through your hair as you eat?
Now aren't you glad you can go on vacation any time, right in your own backyard?
I realize this is all sort of "tongue and cheek" fun..but seriously, you can take ideas from this article and incorporate them into your back yard this summer to make you feel as though you are "on vacation." The simple act of putting on a sun hat and some bright flowery clothes, while sipping a cool drink out of plastic coconut can do the trick.
It's all about having a particular "mindset" even if you don't have the perfect back yard or lots of money to dash off to the exotic locale of your choice.
In your mind....(with just a few cheap plastic accessories and some tropical fruit) ...you can go anywhere!
CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE SHISKA-BOB
YOU WILL NEED:
1/2 C. Pineapple
1/4 C. Oil
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
1 TBSP. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/2 C. Soy Sauce
Boneless chicken breasts, cut up
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Combine first seven ingredients and boil in saucepan for 5 minutes. Marinate chicken in this mixture in refrigerator for 2 hours. Put chicken and pineapple chunks on skewers and cook on grill. Baste with remaining marinade. Enjoy!