In honor of my niece whose birthday is today; I have decided to ask all the kids where they would like to go. I posed three questions and only wanted the first thing that came to mind. The questions were:
What is one place that you would love to go?
Who would you take with you?
What is one thing you would want to do while you are there?
- Ella states: Hawaii is on the top of her list. She wants to take her parents, her cousin Carson and me (Yea!!) The top thing on her to do list would be to learn how and make a real flower lei.
- Elena says: Disneyland is the place she would most like to go to and she wants to take her mom since she will come with her on all the scary rides.
- Evie knows: Camping is on her list of things to do and she wants to do it with her family. Not that I blame her; I like camping with my family as well. While sitting by the campfire she would love to roast marshmallows. I know some great spots out in the PNW!
- Zeke says: He is all about the fish at the aquarium and to make sure he doesn’t miss one any of them, he will need to bring his big sister Ella along.
- Olivia (communicated telepathically to me since she is just over 1) says: She would like to go anywhere there is a lot of warm water to play in. I am guessing she must mean some place like the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, not that I can blame her. Her parents are a must and she is hoping to spot the Northern Lights while lounging in the warm water.
Reading through their answers, tells me many things: First, family is important. Second, the things they want to do are a direct reflection of their interests and hobbies. Third, the places they want to go are places that they have been before or places that us adults have been to and told them about. Something to consider when you get ready to plan your next getaway with the kids.
This week I have been thinking a lot about summer vacations when I was a kid. My parents really went above and beyond to ensure we did fun things, but I am not sure if we as kid really understood the sacrifice that went into those vacations. So here are 5 things that I am grateful to my parents for as an adult.
- Camping: We camped a lot as kids and one trip I remember in particular had all of us kids throwing up in the tent one night. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience and it required a deep cleaning the next morning and a trip into town with sleeping bags to the local laundromat. But I don’t remember my parents complaining and later that day we continued on camping like nothing had happened.
- Disneyland: Seriously need to give a HUGE shout out to my parents for being willing to plunk down the cash for this exorbitantly priced theme park. Make no mistake; we LOVE Disneyland but the amount of money it takes to get in, purchase food, and a memento to take home at the end of the day is a little on the ridiculous side of spending.
- Beach Trips: Yes, we could just show up at the beach with a towel and call it good. In fact, that is how I do the beach as an adult but my parents were too nice and they thought of and brought everything. We would lug down to the water a cooler with food and drinks, blankets to sit on when our towels were wet, shade in the form of an umbrella or canopy so we could stay ALL day, plus toys to play with in the sand when we were worn out from the surf. I realized my dad was a pretty strong “pack horse” after these excursions.
- National Parks: I grew up in Southern California and was very fortunate to live near some national parks but there were MANY summers that we spent in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. That required a 16 hour drive each way and many hotel reservations not to mention all of the reservations my parents had to make when in the parks to ensure we had places to stay or camp. Then there were the reservations for outdoor recreational activities like renting boats and horses. (Please keep in mind that my first real memory of this kind of trip was when I was 9—I am the oldest of 4 kids). I think my parents are pretty much superheroes.
- Weekend Getaways: Yes, my father and mother would work 12-16 hours day for 5 days, drive home, load up the car (including the family) and then drive that night so we could spend a 3 day weekend in some awesome city like San Francisco. I am here to tell you that as an adult, I really dread leaving for trips when I have been crazy busy at work all week.
Make sure you thank your parents if you have spent any summer doing something fun without much thought to the time and resources it took for them to provide the entertainment.
I have shared with everyone a lot of the places that I love to visit during the fall. The list is mostly made up of places that I can clearly see the transition from summer into fall but there are other places that I love to visit at the start of fall for one big reason . . . kids are back in school and the crowds are less.
What places do you what to visit once the crowds die down?
- Disneyland or any theme park: Let’s be honest . . . it is a lot of fun to go with kids especially if it is their first time BUT, theme parks are fun for adults too and more so when you know you don’t have to worry about height restrictions, losing someone to the crowd, or having someone eat the churro you have been craving for a solid year or more.
- Cannon Beach or any coastal town: The beach is at its peak during the summer. Hot temperatures helps regulate your body against the coolness of the water but don’t you just hate planning a day at the beach to have it dashed to pieces because you can’t find a parking spot, a place to lay your towel down, or even a place to bob in the waves without getting hit by someone’s surf board, boogie board, paddle board, etc.? If I have to wear a wet suit to avoid hypothermia, then so be it.
- Hawaii or any island: I lived in Hawaii and I absolutely love it anytime of the year but I loved it the most when people went back to the mainland for the majority of the year. Paradise can feel an awful lot like Los Angeles when there are a ton of people.
- The Grand Tetons/Yellowstone or any National park: This is sometimes hard to do when not the summer months because some parks close for season but if you can manage to find the small window of opportunity between Labor Day and the season closing, you will love it! The significant drop of cars driving in the parks is reason alone to wait until summer has passed. The park rangers and all other staff providing services in the park are more “chill” and you feel like you are stepping into a wonderland (what a national park should be) instead of getting on a ride at a theme park.
- Salt & Straw Ice Cream or any locally celebrated establishment: Got to love the internet but . . . ultimately that is how everyone learns about the unique things to do in a city they are visiting. Local establishments are great and the locals like them but not when we see a line longer than three blocks. I live for the off-season and the hours of day when even locals are busy with work and school to go and visit the places that I see on the internet as well.