Sasha and Sid had well-laid summer plans including exploring Canada from West to East and a multigenerational beach vacation. It was a quick goodbye to all of that when Covid-19 struck. Find out what Plan B Sasha has come up with to make this summer special for their five-year-old daughter during a family staycation in their North Carolina home. Join us here as we continue to explore in “Making Lemonade Out of Lemons” series focusing on how our global community of families is summering with its characteristic spirit of fun and adventure. Also, discover the amazing family-friendly attractions that await you in the Charlotte area.
Please tell us about your family.
My husband Sid, who moved to the U.S. from New Delhi, India, my five-year-old daughter, and I live with my mom in the Matthews/Ballantyne section of Charlotte, NC. We’ve moved 11 times within Charlotte since we since we got married 14 years ago.
Did you have plans for this summer that you had to cancel or reschedule because of Covid-19?
Yes, so many plans to cancel! This was our year to explore different regions of Canada. We had a June adventure organized in the Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, a July road trip through Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, and a September long weekend in Quebec City. We usually do one week at the beach with my parents as well, but didn’t have that scheduled before Covid-19 hit. We typically go to a Wrightsville Beach, NC, Charleston/Folly Beach or Hilton Head Island, SC a few times a year. As a hotel developer and operator, my husband gets hotel privileges at several brands of hotels. We go wherever the deals are!
This year, we canceled all of our travel plans and we don’t plan to reschedule until the risk seems a lot lower.
How has your locality dealt with Covid-19 and what restrictions are you currently facing?
In North Carolina, we were issued stay-at-home orders in March and mandatory shutdowns for all non-essential businesses. In May, the government issued a three phase plan to re-open businesses. We are currently in Phase 2. For 11 weeks, I did not leave the house except to get curb-side pickup grocery orders. Most businesses are requesting patrons to wear masks upon entering the newly reopened stores. Many people here are refusing to wear masks or maintain social distancing recommendations. Since businesses started reopening, I entered two stores, both of which the majority of people were not wearing masks. Because of this, I do plan to be out in public as little as possible until the Covid-19 threat decreases.
At this stage, what is your alternative vacation or family staycation plan? Please describe them and tell us what you are doing to make the summer special for your daughter.
We are so lucky to have a pool in our backyard and mostly good weather since the pandemic hit. We have been biting the bullet and heating our pool so our daughter can have swimming entertainment. I’m trying to decorate our pool area to be happy and festive. I’m working on refinishing all of our furniture, putting up umbrellas and string lights, and collecting fun (unicorn and doughnut) pool floats. I added a few plants and a fairy house. We also redecorated her dollhouse to make it beach (mermaid) themed to inspire more home fun!
We have no plans to go anywhere this summer but are hoping our family will come and stay with us for a staycation.
Covid-19 restrictions permitting, are there any sights, itineraries, etc. in your locality that you can recommend to fellow BBV members who are in your area (or who have access to it)?
The Lazy 5 Ranch is an open safari-style drive-through zoo just north of Charlotte. You can either ride a trailer or drive your car through it, seeing and feeding the animals. There are water buffalo, giraffes, lots of gazelles and goats, and many others. It’s always a good time, but beware of damage to your car if you sit still long enough for the goats to stand up on your car door!
You can check out Hiking Crowder’s Mountain, a local favorite. The trail is moderate with only a few somewhat steep portions. It’s not stroller friendly, but my five-year-old can hike it.
Another local attraction is Carowinds, an amusement park on the southern edge of Charlotte on the South Carolina border. It has a water park as well as plenty of high-speed thrill rides for the older kids.
Last but not least, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is a great place for multigenerational fun. There is a restaurant and outdoor music venue for relaxation, water sports including stand up paddleboarding and kayaking, and easy walking trails for those looking for moderate activity, and rock climbing walls, zip lines, and whitewater rafting for adventure junkies.
[BBV Editorial Note: Please check attraction websites for the latest Covid-19-related updates.]
Please tell us about any plans you may have for a multigenerational vacation.
We typically do one multigenerational international trip each year with my husband’s family and an annual beach trip with my parents. But this year, we are not making any plans yet.
This is the second in a series of Bébé Voyage articles on Summer 2020 Plan B. The BBV team wants to hear about your summer plans–whether it’s a staycation, a summer house rental, a road trip, or even chartering your own boat. Have you been thinking of a multigenerational vacation? What about farming your kids out to your parents?
Let your plans be an inspiration for our community. Please contact [email protected]
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