I’m in the middle of a glorious vacation. It’s not quite one of those trendy “staycations” the mainstream media has just discovered as a (fake) trend. I still have to go to work. No, I’m house sitting for a colleague (the guy who takes all those amazing, soulful pictures for WCP). He lives a block and a half away from my apartment. But it could be another world. His neighborhood is quiet and leafy. My block is nearly treeless. His block has strollers and dogs. My block has a boarded apartment building and drunks. He lives in a sweet house. I don’t.

This feels like a vacation because of the following items:

1) Cable. The last two nights, I spent serious time sunk in the couch hooked on Law & Order and its various spinoffs. This isn’t a surprise. That show is on constantly. But I also get to indulge in a little wide-screen Charlie Rose. I’m used to watching his shows on the laptop.

2) The prospect of free laundry facilities. Now I quite haven’t taken advantage of this. But it’s there—no lines, no coins!

3) Free food. OK. There’s a lot of frozen meat in the freezer. Not my thing. But there’s tons of bread, organic bread. No pre-packaged slices for me! There’s also plenty of rice, weird sauces, and kettle corn. Hell yeah.

4) The house is quiet. I live in a noisy apartment building. Open the window and there’s a good chance I’m going to either a) hear people talking or b) hear the woman next door sing along to slow jams on the radio.

This morning, as I woke up to free coffee, I couldn’t think of a more relaxing and cheap way to kill a week. I don’t have to use up my vacation time. And I get to experience another part of the city. I can’t think of a better way to explore the District than through house sitting. We had a staff writer here—-not too long ago—-who managed to get by on nearly house sitting full-time. I’m pretty sure I made fun of him. I regret that now.

House sitting—-will this replace the staycation?