Hey, guess where our family is going this summer? That’s right. Nowhere! We’ll be doing a staycation.
Most staycations involve merely remaining close to home. But we’re kicking it up a notch. Our family of four is actually going to stay put right in our apartment in Queens. Yes! It’s still rated as our favorite travel destination. Come join us!
Naturally, we’ve laid out an ambitious itinerary. First stop will be the living room-dining room. It’s a must-see, centrally located and easily reached from the front-door hallway. Our TV is cleverly positioned against a wall. That enables anyone who sits on the sofa opposite it to watch it. My wife thinks of everything!
Curious about local history, you say? Then our closets are just the place for you. There, you can trace our family back as far as two generations. If birth certificates and insurance policies galore are your idea of cultural enrichment, look no farther. But it gets better. Our relationship with the Internal Revenue Service and numerous good-for-nothing lawyers can be traced in these dusty archives. How fun!
Transportation between rooms is a breeze. You just put one foot in front of the other until you achieve walking! Think of it as following a hiking trail. And stop worrying about rumors you may have heard. All the panhandlers who used to hang out here are long gone. Just remember to step aside as tour buses come by every few hours.
If you’re tempted to venture outside, say hello to our terrace. From here, you have an unobstructed view of another apartment building. Two, in fact. You can hear, as if from a London Philharmonic Orchestra symphony, all the drivers honking on Queens Boulevard. Leisure activities abound, too, the terrace doubling as fitness center and playground. Though it’s barely 12 feet long and 8 feet wide, you can squeeze in some tag, hide-and-seek and monkey-in-the-middle. But beware: Our comfy chaise lounges could spoil you for life. They got five stars on Yelp.
As for the bathrooms, well, let’s just say they represent a new standard in world-class luxury. Water runs hot and cold. The toilets flush instantly at your bidding. The bathtubs and showers can be used for either a bath or a shower. That’s right! It’s a one-stop shop! Plus, my wife has a collection of cosmetics that would be the envy of any museum curator. Whether lipstick or blush, classics are juxtaposed with the modern.
Eventually, you’ll be ready for some refreshments. Can you spell “kitchen”? It comes equipped with its own refrigerator, not to mention a stove and an oven. Here we engage in what passes in our family for the culinary arts. We carry out acts of alchemy as uncanny as boiling water for tea. Why, just the other day, my son toasted a bagel. Without even peeking at a recipe!
Amply entertained and lavishly fed — and fooled into feeling every inch an out-of-towner — you’ll be ready for the ultimate reward of any staycation. The bedroom. Here at last, away from the kids — who are currently bowling with dustballs found under a radiator to amuse themselves — you and your spouse can shed your inhibitions. And yes, I mean sleep.
So forget what all those travel experts say about getting a change of scene. Join us here, instead. You can travel really light. Everyone speaks the same language and we share the same gene pool. The absence of any extra expense will meet your budget perfectly.
Believe me, it’s so much better than any stupid safari with tigers and giraffes and zebras. Besides, if you go on vacation hoping to find a place where you can feel at home, you might as well just stay home. Duh! It’s still the only place around where you can literally make yourself at home without anyone having to invite you to do so.
Bob Brody, an executive and essayist in Forest Hills, is the author of the memoir “Playing Catch With Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes Of Age.”