If a beach getaway or a mountain retreat is out of your reach, then there’s no reason to sulk inside. I’m a huge proponent of micro-vacations that fit snugly into your regular schedule. What is a micro-vacation? I’m glad you asked. I’m also glad we are telepathically linked and I can anticipate your questions like that. A micro-vacation, first cousin of the increasingly popular “staycation,” is essentially a day of relaxing and exploring a nearby city. Experience the food, culture, nightlife, etc. of another community without having to give up the comfort of sleeping in your own sheets.
Since we are telepathically linked, I took the liberty of doing some preliminary research for your first micro-vacation. Your destination: Decatur.
Decatur runs on charm. With a quaint neighborhood book store, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and a delicious café every few feet, there is no shortage of entertainment. Grab lunch an epic-sized portion of Mexican food from The Raging Burrito and Taco and wash it down with one of their sixteen craft beer selections. If you’re in the mood to celebrate, swing by the Iberian Pig for some fancy appetizers and cocktails instead. If you’re escorting the family around town, then The Little Shop of Stories is a necessary stop. Aside from a huge selection of new and beloved fiction, the shop boasts celebrity book signings, weekly Thursday and Sunday story time, and a Summer Reading Program with great prizes. Music lovers should plan on spending the evening watching a ticketed show or a songwriter’s open mic night at Eddie’s Attic, a small music venue where the Indigo Girls, The Civil Wars, and John Mayer all performed in their early days.
Check out Decatur’s weekly ghost tour if you crave a spooky outing. This tour requires waiver signing before you embark, so you know they mean business. Get to know the city, both living and dead, on this nighttime walk around the historic square. Experienced tour leaders will regale you with thrilling true tales of murder, betrayal, war, and tragedy.
If you want to keep your evening light-hearted and ghost-free, then maybe you should stick to learning a new skill in a fun and communal environment. The Pinewood’s Alchemy class can have you mixing drinks like a professional in no time. Well, you can learn a few hours’ time, at least. This cocktail workshop helps teach you to stir four popular beverages on your own. Bonus: you get to drink them. In the midst measuring your whiskey and practicing your shaking technique, they’ll be three separate courses of delicious snacks. Oh, and you get a t-shirt. Who doesn’t love a new t-shirt?
Unless you are using an app like Foursquare to navigate downtown, I highly suggest enhancing the quality of your micro-vacation by leaving your phone in the car. Engage with this lively city and its inhabitants without worrying about emails and text messages. You are on an exotic vacation, after all, and exotic locals rarely have cell phone reception. See, I just gave you a solid excuse for why you didn’t respond to that evite for your second cousin’s surprise party yet. Telepathic high five!