Fake It ‘Til You Make It

My husband teaches at a University that has no Spring Break. Can you believe that? Every year, the kids and I find something to do (usually around town or visiting grandparents) without him, which is sad because he’s the fun one. We all know he’s the fun one. 

This year, by some miracle, he had an actual Spring Break – ONE WHOLE DAY OFF – which coincided with a day off of school for our kids. Since this was such a rare opportunity, we decided to make the most of it. We had some things preventing us from going on an actual vacation so I planned a family fake-cation instead.

I don’t usually exert myself to make something cutesy and centered around a theme, but we wanted to make this short break memorable. You may wonder how a fake-cation is different from the already existing “staycation”. Maybe it isn’t.

We’ve done a really great staycation in the past, using the cool Salt Lake Connect Pass. We stayed at home but visited lots of great tourist spots within an hour of our home. It turned out to be one of our favorite vacations.

For our fake-cation (or “fakay”, as Fritz started calling it), we still stayed at home and visited attractions near our home, but we pretended we were on an actual vacation. Our house became an Airbnb, our van became a shuttle, and the rec center pool we visit all the time became a hotel pool (which we all know is so much more fun than other pools). When we visited a town right next to ours, our kids pretended to have trouble getting the pronunciation just right:“Santaquin? Santaquin?”

When the boys got home from school on Thursday, I handed them each an itinerary. Fritz thought it was so cool he asked if he could take it to school on Monday to show his class. Any time we discussed straying from the itinerary in any way, he stubbornly insisted that we follow the plan. It was a change from our usual way of doing things to stick to a schedule, but we found we were pretty good at it. Here’s the itinerary:

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And here we are enacting the itinerary, first by making Fruit Sushi in our cooking class (very sweet but quite tasty):

Playing games,

Inhaling Waffle Luv for breakfast,

Hiking Rock Canyon,

Swimming (my husband and I even swam laps, if you can believe it),

Enjoying J Dawgs for lunch,

Making our own soap at The Soap Factory (a first for us – lots of fun!)

Going to the movies together-ish. They saw Lego Batman while I watched Beauty and the Beast all by myself. We were all satisfied with our decisions. Plus, I saw Belle in real life!

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Dining at Galilee Grill (our new favorite, thanks to our neighbors for introducing us),

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And getting our Broadway on with Frank Wildhorn and Friends.

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The next day, we stayed closer to home. We had breakfast at Santaquin’s haunted Family Tree Diner (as seen on TV), home of French bread loaf-sized scones,


We went to the temple with Grub,


And we ended the party at The Best Taco Truck In Town (they really are the best, as advertised). Thanks to the same neighbors for recommending this place as well!

It may look like we spent a lot of our fake-cation eating out, but isn’t that what you do when you’re on a real vacation? And with what we saved by staying at our own personal Airbnb, it only seemed right.

I originally thought the boys would roll their eyes at the weekend’s plan so I was surprised every time I heard them say, “Ok, what’s next? Where’s the itinerary?” I guess a few minutes of planning doesn’t hurt. And I’m pretty sure this fake-cation was a success, for real.


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