This weekend officially kicks off the summer travel season.  The highways and skyways are full of beach, mountain and Vegas-bound folks ready to get their summer started. 
I had a shot at spending the next four days in paradise.  Two weeks ago my friend, Julie Paddison, asked me if I wanted to head to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  She needed a roommate for four nights at an adult-only all-inclusive Club Med.  Visions of pure white sugar cane sand and exotic cocktails adorned with colorful umbrellas danced in my head.  A new destination that I could cross off my bucket list was just on the horizon.  Every cell in my body said YES!  I had two days to make a decision.  That’s when the over-analyzing started.  A foreign dose of pragmatism hijacked my brain.  I was challenging the package price and making excuses instead of allowing my naturally adventurous and spontaneous nature to take control.  My final decision would seal Julie’s fate as well.  If I go, she can go….if not, we’re both out.  Sorry Julie!  I’ve been kicking myself all day!
So, instead of boarding a plane bound for paradise Friday morning I took my own advice from last week’s column and started to purge my piles.  I filed a stack of recipes and culled through 2008 Holiday cards.  Exciting stuff, eh?!  But what better to do on a rainy day!  My goal this weekend is to continue the cleansing process with closet piles and bulging files.  Hopefully I’ll get to a movie and maybe even a day trip to the coast.
You’re probably packing or possibly already on the road for your own weekend adventure.  Staying home?  You’re not alone.  And it’s not the end of the world.  Here’s a list of ideas to fill your time—some constructive, some purely for fun.
  • Clean, organize, purge.  It might be the garage, office files, photo albums or your wardrobe.  For inspiration and steps on closet cleansing refer to last week’s column.  Once you finish a project you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
  • Sale shopping.  Now that you’ve lightened the load around the house and purged some items, you have permission to shop again.  Take advantage of the holiday weekend sales and update your summer wardrobe with a pair of new white skinny jeans or shorts.   Add some summer accessories like a colorful straw tote or a stylish hat to look and stay cool. Remember the rule.  One new item in means one item out.  
  • Pamper yourself.  You’ve saved money by not traveling this weekend, so at least treat yourself to a spa day with a manicure, pedicure or massage.  Grab a friend or your mate for twice the fun.
  • Read.  Dust off the stack of unread books by your nightstand and get lost.  This is the perfect escape without going anywhere.   
  • Video chat.  It’s the next best thing to being there.  Imagine connecting live with friends and family across the globe.  Not technologically savvy, you say?  Think again.  Your laptop likely has a built-in webcam.  If not, you can pick up an inexpensive external webcam at your local electronics store.  Follow the simple directions to install.  Then sign up for an account on Skype ( for free.  It only takes a couple of minutes to enroll.  Soon you will be talking face-to-face with your grandkids in Texas or your cousin stationed in Japan.  The wonders of modern technology are just a few steps away!
I’ve barely scratched the surface with what you can do at home and around the Triangle this weekend.  Find a festival, join a wine tasting or host an impromptu Memorial Day potluck.  Start your summer exercise program with a walk around the neighborhood and some much needed yard work.  Tackle that endless To-Do-List.  Come Monday, give yourself a break and reflect on what this weekend is all about.  I salute you!     

These are my thoughts on a holiday weekend at home.  Share your ideas below.