Some of my fondest memories of growing up were the family trips we took.
When I was 5 my mom took me on the Via to New Brunswick to visit my Great Grandmother. It was just me and my mom. I remember stopping to switch trains somewhere in Quebec. We stopped at an Orange Julius stand (shaped like a giant orange). I asked the lady how the machine made juice when she threw a bunch of whole oranges in it and she didn't answer me. I was pretty put out. My mother had to explain to me that she spoke French and probably didn't understand me. It was an overnight train ride and we got to sleep on the train. Pretty exciting to a 5 year old.
Our family drove to Sault Ste. Marie many summers as well, to visit some family friends. It was only a one day drive but it seemed like an adventure to us and to spend a week at a friends house for a long slumber party was always exciting. I still hear certain songs from the 80's and thing of those trips to the Sault. Especially this one. Steve Perry's da bomb!
My brother John had the tape (yeah, tape!) and played it on his walkman (yeah, walkman!) and I would beg him to share an earphone with me.
When I was 16 my parents and I drove to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to visit my uncle, making all kinds of stops in between. I was at that age though, where I didn't appreciate the adventure as much (though I loved the shopping) and would love to make some of those stops again (especially Washington D.C.)
15 years ago we drove to Las Vegas. (we being me, my parents, my brother and his wife. Yep, 5 people in a sedan for 5 days. One way. Awesome!) And as cramped and hot as it was, it was awesome. A true adventure.
These are the things I remember. This is where my parents made some great memories for us. I want to do the same with my kids.
We've made some so far, our drives to Newfoundland, our trips to Niagara Falls and Sherkston Shores. I would love nothing more than to take the kids to Disney World but it always seems to be put on hold.
Well, not anymore. I'm putting a stop to that. No more waiting for God-knows-what to happen before we go on vacation.
I've decided that our family will be going somewhere, anywhere, together once a year, regardless of the cost. Taking a vacation is much like having kids; if you wait until you can afford it you'll never go. And so I'm, not waiting anymore.
In keeping with that vow, I'm taking advantage of Sean's holidays at the end of the month coinciding with my last week home before I go back to work and we're taking the kids somewhere they've been dying to go but we've always said was too expensive. Great Wolf Lodge! I'm so freakin' excited. we haven't told them, and don't intend to. We're just going to pack them up into the car on the money morning, they'll be thinking they're going to school and lo and behold...they won't be!
I picked them up some new bathing suits yesterday (under the guise that we'll be going swimming every Saturday when I go back to work so that Sean can sleep without the noise.) I have to go sometime this week to the mastectomy boutique and get myself a new bathing suit. It will be my first time going in public (excluding radiation) with no hair (well, I have hair now but it's very short and fuzzy) but I don't care. I'm going to pack the kids passports so we can walk across the border to the US side (we've got the tacky touristy side, they've got the pretty park and trails side)
In July we're packing the kids up and going to Sherkston Shore, the vacation we didn't get to take last summer because of that ugly C word. A week of being unplugged (no internet there) and spending time together.
At the end of August my mom and I are taking Emily shopping at the outlet malls in Niagara Falls NY. It's her 13th birthday and this is her gift...the gift of shopping. She's definitely my kid.
Lots to look forward to.
And the decision has been made, next year we are taking the kids to Disney World. And we're going to drive there so that we can make all the stops along the way. If you've never done a driving vacation, you don't know what you're missing!!
No more sitting around watching life pass me by while I wait to afford jumping on the ride. It's time to make memories!