May greetings, RFM Readers!

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    I’m here this month to save you from yourself, you hard workers. Do you know that Americans left 662 million – MILLION! – vacation days on the table last year? We’re talking days that our employers want to actually pay us to not come to work. And we said, “No thanks, I’m good right here – busting my butt for the company instead of enjoying a little down time relaxing.”

    What is wrong with this picture?! Ever since I started RFM, I’ve become much more aware of, and amazed by, how incredibly hard people work for companies that aren’t their own (and that includes the ones who do it for RFM – I thank God for them every day!). Watching the dedication and the long hours folks put in for their jobs and careers is really something to behold, and it makes me hope they’re all being treated like royalty – because they deserve it. And I worked hard for some great bosses before this gig, too, and at the time, I didn’t really think too much about it. It’s just the way this work thing goes and what we’re hired to do, right?

    But it’s time to use that vacation time! The Virginia Tourism Commission launched a whole campaign to remind us that we’re working too much and playing too little. Their Crush Friday campaign beckons us to ditch the spreadsheets and microwave lunches on Fridays and head to one of Virginia’s many incredible tourism destinations instead. You can read about some amazing Virginia resorts beginning on page twenty-eight, and you can start planning your long weekend from there. Your recharged soul will thank you (and your family will, too!).

    As I type this, I am still basking in the glow of our family’s spring break trip to Hilton Head Island (thanks to the informative article in our March issue – if you missed it, you can check it out on our website). It was just what the proverbial doctor ordered, and the sunshine and warmer temperatures down south cooked the winter blahs right out of us. I hadn’t realized until the four of us arrived at our rental villa that this would be the longest vacation our family had ever taken without any other extended family or friends being part of the trip. At first, I felt a little guilty for letting an extra bedroom go to waste, and I thought the kids would get bored with only each other and us to play with, but I got right over all those worries. We really enjoyed our time together, biking, playing games, watching the movie Wonder at last (so good!), and relaxing.

    This time next year, I’ll surely be extolling the virtues of an #RVA staycation instead of a getaway, but for this year, I’m all about getting out of dodge and leaving the honey-do lists behind. After all, like the Homestead says on their beautiful ad on the previous page (Go ahead and flip back, I’ll wait here!), getting away can bring you together.

    Speaking of getting away, if you flip forward one page, you can check out some of the reader responses to our poll question about once-in-a-lifetime vacations. And then, enjoy this entire issue of RFM!