Ali Landry’s Blog: My Summer Staycation

07/18/2012 at 07:00 PM ET

Thanks for welcoming celebrity blogger Ali Landry!

A former Miss USA, the model and actress, 38, most recently starred in and executive produced Hollywood Girls Night on TV Guide Network.

Landry is also the founder of Spokesmoms, a product review platform for mothers, and is a supporter of SafeKids.org, which works to prevent childhood injuries.

Married to director Alejandro Monteverde since April 2006, the couple are parents to 5-year-old daughter Estela Ines and 9-month-old son Marcelo Alejandro.

You can find Landry on Facebook and on Twitter @alilandry.

Beachin’ it – Courtesy Landry-Monteverde Family


I love those airline commercials, the ones that ask me if I “want to get away”. Although I would love to get away, I already travel so much for work as it is. So sometimes, when I feel like my family and I need a vacation, we settle for a little quality time together at home instead.

You can call it a “daycation” if you want, or even a “staycation.” In fact, there’s probably hundreds of different things to call it, but in the end it’s what can be best for my family when life gets a little too crazy and we need to disconnect from our daily lives — without the travel.

Daycation mornings are spent with Alejandro, Estela, Marcelo and myself all curled up in bed together having our morning coffee (or chocolate milk, for some of us).

While my family cuddles up or plays around, I’m usually on my computer, figuring out what fun adventures we can go on for the day. It’s pretty easy to find a good mommy-approved website to give you some tips on where to spend your day. I also have a great city guidebook that has a wonderful selection of family-friendly things for us to do in and around our city.

Our family stays in bed for as long as possible until — eventually — Alejandro will get up, head downstairs and make us one of his famous Mexican breakfasts. (This is one of the reasons I fell in love with him, by the way.) We put the music on, open all of the windows and doors to let the fresh air in, and set the table on the patio to eat.

We try to set the mood so it feels as though we are in some fabulous hotel somewhere. It’s definitely something we get excited about. If it’s a Sunday, church is a must for us. Luckily, our church has services both day and night so if there’s something we want to do in the morning, we can end our day together at church or vice versa.

Some of our fun California outings have included: pony rides at Griffith Park, a visit to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, exploring Olvera Street or Chinatown, day hikes at one of the canyons (with Marcelo strapped to my back — I like to think of it as hiking with weights), Kidspace Children’s Museum, a picnic at the beach, a day trip to Disneyland, or even just movie day at home or an afternoon outside by the pool.

I’ve realized that when life gets a little hectic and I’m feeling as though I really need a vacation, what I’m really craving isn’t the big elaborate getaway, but the quality time with my family without all of the extra noise that life sometimes creates.

I hope that when my kids grow up, they look back and remember everyone snuggling in bed on the weekends as fondly as they might remember a trip to Disneyland or the beach.

Have any readers taken a staycation? I would love to hear some of your ideas!

– Ali Landry

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Showing 21 comments

Anna on

When my Husband and I were first married, we used to play tourist in towns near us. Being in Florida, we’re lucky (like California) to have easy beach access. So going to a nearby town is simple.

Once our daughter came along, it became a bit trickier at times. When my Husband has to travel, I carve out a Mommy-Daughter adventure day, where we step away from chores and responsibility and just go have fun exploring. We’ve spent a great time at the Zoo, the Aquarium, looking for sharks teeth, even going bowling or play black-light mini-golf indoors.

And never underestimate the movie marathon day, we spent a day watching all the “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” movies we’ve got. Good memories, laughter, snuggles and don’t forget to throw in a picnic, inside or outside. Always fun!

Sherry on

Any time you spend quality time with your family is great and a memory in the making. They sound like they have a great family, gotta LOVE a man that cooks!!! LOL…

Nicole on

My husband and I had a trip scheduled the following summer to Italy. Money was a little tight for anything that year b/c of the Italy trip. We decided to do a staycation for like 3 days. We did things we never do. Go to the zoo, eat at restaurants that we never would. It was a lot of fun and a good way to do a vacation without a lot of money.

Laura on

What a great post! Looking forward to creating some staycations here in Baltimore. Thanks :)

Christa Wilson on

I love that you and your husband focus on the most important things in life, God and family. I remember seeing you on Sundays at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. It is nice to see that you still value your faith.

doodlbeug on

Wonderful to see that you have your priorities right. God bless you and your precious family.

guest on

cutest family ever!! her son is going to be a heart breaker

Alexandra on

LOVE that you all go to church as a family! That’s something my husband and I make a priority out of with our kids too. And with 6 of our own (8,6,4,2 and twin 3 month olds) we definitely enjoy “stay-cations” in and around where we live. Even getting out the door as a group has been difficult since the twins! (Celebrate the small things ladies!) Looking forward to some relaxing day-cations these last weeks of summer… Happy family bonding everyone!

Rose on

You know it all sounds perfect and lovely, the whole family snuggled in bed but, the reality is for most of us, its just not a possible. As one child will be kicking the other and then stepping on mommy’s hair and then both will refuse to sleep and then everyone is in a foul mood and will be grumpy with one another the rest of the day.

For some of us, the family bed thing just doesn’t work and it often makes me feel sad and inadequate as a parent when I hear or read these phoney stories about the Hollywood Fairytale Family with all of them snuggling in bed and it’s all perfect …. two weeks later they file for divorce and they’re both proclaiming their undying love for other people and the kid’s are tossed to the periphery.

I just want to say to all the other parents out there like me, who love their families but don’t live in a fake perfect world : sometimes snuggling in bed is just a lot of freaking work for mommy and daddy.

Just saying ….

Deb on

WOW Rose,

What a lovely attitude, you must be so much fun to be around.

Just saying

Emily on

What are you talking about, Rose? She’s saying everyone cuddles in bed in the morning. If you’ve read Ali’s blog series, they’ve been struggling with Marcelo’s sleep issues – and he’s in his own bed.

We are in Brooklyn and we do a staycation once a year. New York City offers so much to do, and my husband is eligible for free or reduced admission to many of the city’s museums and attractions through his company. That saves us a lot of money, plus by staying close to home we don’t pay lodging costs! It’s definitely worth looking into for your family, especially if you live close to a major city.

cat on

Rose you sound miserable and im sure your kids and hubby are grumpy because cuddling with you must be like cuddling with a cactus.

This article isn’t about the perfect family it’s about spending quality time with your loved ones without the hassle of traveling to a far away place when you can enjoy a vacay at home that is just as fun.

They enjoy cuddling in bed, lots of families with young kids who come running in early mornings and hop in with mom and dad enjoy those sweet moments. If it doesn’t work for you that’s ok but dont take offense that this family enjoys that time. No need to feel inadequate im sure you have your own way to bond with your family.

cat on

Staycations are a must with my family beacause a big family vacay away is just not an affordable option right now. It’s fun to explore your own city and find affordable fun things to do. Like Ali, we head to the zoo, beautiful beaches on the jersey shore, amusement and water parks, check out new restaraunts, and state parks for hiking and biking. There are so many things to do.

Connie on

We have done a staycation for the last 2 years, as we are planning a big trip for our family of five next summer.

We have had a blast and the kids love it because we make the staycation just like a vacation, with no bedtimes (our kids are tweens so that is easier than with little ones, and we do drive-in movies, eat out and try different foods or restaurants, but the best part is the slow-downed pace and the attention that we are able to give the kids while off for a week in our own home and our own hometown.

This year the kids cooked breakfast one morning (or should we say brunch because it was noon before we got rolling because of a drive-in the night before) and we had a blast just enjoying each other.

Rose on

Deb, too much truth and reality with your Hollywood lies and bullish*t?

Im going to go out on a limb and say you don’t have a husband and you don’t have any kids … those of us with REAL families know the family bed is great in the idea stage and a not so doable in the real life stage.

And why don’t you keep your personal cattiness to yourself and go become the kind of woman a man would want to marry and have children with.

yeh you seem like a laugh a minute yourself Deb.

…still … just saying.

Emily on

Rose, the point is they don’t HAVE a family bed. Learn to read.

You sound like a miserable person.

stacey on

So happy to hear of a Hollywood family that consistently goes to church. Wonderful!!!!! They seem like a very sweet, grounded family.

Cindy on

I completely agree, morning snuggling in bed is the best. I’m a single mom and I love it when my son jumps into bed and just enjoys being there on weekend mornings, as far as staycations we just did it for spring break and it was awesome to explore our city, it was like being a tourist in your own city, this was a great article…thank you!

Rose on

I always enjoy chatting with women because this is what it turns into, a bunch of catty, lying, bitches who suddenly have all the answers to every riddle ever posed and the rest of us who disagree or see through the Hollywood bullsh*t are …. just …. MISERABLE.

Yes lemmings have all started repeating the same word ad nauseam because the family bed isn’t the perfect romantic scene that these vapid Hollywood twits keep trying to sell the real mothers.

If any of you could see through your’ own misery and rage and judgement, you would see that my original comment was that the family bed is fine for SOME but it’s not for everyone.

Now … more of you hissing and spitting ally cats can post the same verbal garbage about how utterly MISERABLE … just a CACTUS … I am.

Please don’t let me interrupt the feral frenzy that most females excel at when anyone disagrees with you … or God forbid has a different experience from you.

jamtx on

Rose….if you don’t have the same experience then just say the family bed doesn’t work for my family. GEEZ. Get that chip off your shoulder……

When my kids were small we used to do the same thing…it IS one of my best memories…and no my life surely isn’t/hasn’t been perfect and I am sure hers isn’t either but they didn’t ask her about the bad times so why would she want to write something so negative.

By the way – misery, rage, judgement?? Did you not read anything you wrote b/c the only angry person I am reading about seems to be you….

PS: I think what people are saying is cheer up butter cup.

Stephanie on

I love staycations! We like to travel to different places within a half hour drive from us. We live near Rochester, NY. We have some beautiful places to visit. We have gone on hikes to look at waterfalls, Lake Ontario to take a walk on the “beach” and have even been down there to just watch the stars (went when there was a meteor shower…was awesome). My kids just love being outside and exploring. There are so many parks that we go on picnics and take in a ball game from the local team, Rochester Red Wings, which is cheaper than going to a movie! We love making memories and usually don’t spend a lot of money doing it:) (I am all for cheap…lol)

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