Three Low-Cost Ways to Reward Yourself This Summer

It’s been a challenging year for all of us. Unwind and relax this summer with these ideas from ELA teacher Heidi Speece.

Congratulations!  You made it to the end of another school year, and now it’s time to relax and reward yourself. If you’re like me, you enjoy a bit of solitude when the phones stop ringing, the students stop chattering, and the deadlines stop approaching.  Here are three of my favorite low-cost ways to unwind after a busy year.

  1. A Hike and a Visit to a Vineyard

Take it from Thoreau.  Escaping into nature is a perfect way to reflect on the past year and reconnect with yourself.  The Wintergreen Resort’s Nature Foundation offers excellent programs, guided hikes, and craft workshops.  If you prefer to spend some time alone in the woods, grab one of their hiking maps and enjoy the scenic vistas surrounding the resort.  Afterward, grab a delicious meal and a glass of wine at the Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards.

  1. A Paddleboat Ride and an Ice Cream

Tucked away in Irvington, Virginia, is the delightful Tides Inn.  You can spend the day exploring the resort and the charming town.  I love taking my dog with me.  We sit on the patio overlooking the Rappahannock River and enjoy a moment of quiet. On the way home, we stop at Short Lane Ice Cream Company for a scoop of homemade ice cream.  Personally, I love the salted caramel with chocolate-covered pretzels. Yum!

  1. Pick Your Own Lavender Bouquet

Tucked away on the outskirts of Williamsburg is a family-run farm that offers a slice of French tranquility and old-fashioned charm. Sweethaven Lavender is a Hampton Roads treasure that is sure to delight.  Take a walk through the lavender and wildflower fields.  Stop and say “hello” to the baby lambs, and finish the day with a delicious glass of lavender lemonade.

Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure you take a moment to give yourself a chance to breathe.  This was a challenging year for everyone in education, and you deserve the break!

Heidi Speece is an ELA teacher at Virtual Virginia and an eMediaVA Ambassador.

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