30/30 Vision: 30 hours away, 30 miles from home, the doable Weekend Getaway

The magazine cover screamed at me as I stood in the supermarket checkout line on Friday night.  “52 fabulous Weekend Getaways!” I grabbed the magazine and dumped it onto the conveyor belt. As it disappeared into the bag of groceries I thought, “That is just the ticket. I could really use some time away and a dreary day in January was the perfect time to plan a weekend escape.
Before kids (BK) weekend getaway possibilities were endless. With little planning I could exit  work on Friday,  go some place interesting, and not return until Sunday night – or even Monday morning if I really pushed it. There was no-pre-planning required. No kid’s soccer or basketball games to consider, no homework and social events to calendar, not even a family pet to make arrangements for.
Now it’s a whole different story.  Non-essential weekend events (i.e. getting away) seem even harder to accommodate with the flurry of family activity. Friday night, Saturday and Sunday itineraries are jam-packed.  This weekend was no exception, the only solace was that all my ‘bleacher time” this weekend was indoors. I pitied the poor parents I passed standing on an “all-weather” soccer field  covered with ice …brrr.
Although a couples weekend away for my husband and I is nearly impossible with no family nearby, we have managed to salvage our sanity by taking short breaks separately. He can go with the guys and I can get away with girlfriends. And, by going for 30 hours, the parent left in charge also has a very doable weekend.  I am fortunate to live in Seattle where 30 miles can get me to loads of great places – the mountains, a lake, the salt water or to an island. But I have lived in other cities and rural areas with less dramatic scenery change opportunities and it still works. The altering of your routine is more important than where you go. Last January Linda and I went on a writer’s retreat to Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie, a simple 25 minute drive from home.
So here are 5 simple steps to follow to ensure a successful 30/30 getaway. I call this “Stop, Drop and Go!”
1.       Give yourself permission to go no matter how impossibly busy it seems.
2.       Find a place within 30 miles that includes a change of scenery. (Rural to city, flat to mountain, beach to inland etc.)
3.       Leave a message on your phone/electronic device that you can only be reached for emergencies.
4.       Plan a dinner or activity that will happen soon after your arrival so that you transition quickly by signaling your mind and body that you are away.
5.       Leave your “to do” list behind – your goal is a “ta da” list!
We want to hear about our reader’s favorite weekend getaways. Please tell us your favorite spot within 30 miles of your home. You can leave comments on this page or write to us at permissionslips1@gmail.com. Be sure to include your home town and the getaway destination spot.
Carol Lewis Gullstad January 10, 2011

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