June 26, 2013

Family near & far

A great way to take a Family Vacation is to go somewhere to actually SEE Family.  The bonus is hopefully you get a free place to stay that helps to cut down on expenses... and it gives you what vacations are always really looking for: Time!

As I mentioned in the beginning of this series... this was really the only type of 'vacation' that I remember going on as a child.  And - I will admit that my memory is fuzzy and I am sure many things were lost on me - but what I remember is the (unfun) drive to get there - and then that was it.  That was plenty of driving around.  So - it seemed as if we had a homebase at Grandma's and all the other relatives would stop in when they could and we would be there... unless the kids took off on foot. Which we did... and I'm pretty sure that at least one of us must have known where we were going and how far away the Circle K really was.  I have vague memories of cousins' houses and a park or two - so I know that we did GO some places... but these kinds of vacations are really more about connecting with actual PEOPLE and not so much about seeing stuff - or, in some cases, doing anything!

My Honey and I are blessed in that we have both sets of parents here in town. In fact, one set lives right next door, and the other is just a mile-ish away!  Two out of his three sisters live in town now, while neither of mine are local anymore. Still - with all this family in town - we get opportunities to plan weekends and spring breaks away. One time, we went to stay with his sister in Franklin, TN but usually it is not quite so far.  Sometimes it is just over the mountains to Seattle or Whidbey Island; sometimes we head south and go to Portland; and sometimes it's even closer, to Walla Walla!

                                                  Our trip to Nashville/Franklin TN circa 2001

                                     (Misc trips to Whidbey Island)

                                                                             (Fun trips to Portlandia!)

                                                          (Misc Wanderings around in Walla Walla)

                                                                       (Misc trips to Seattle, WA)

When we plan these Family Vacations, our goal is to simply relax and reconnect with family... share life and tell stories and make memories together... so a lot of these kinds of vacations are more in line with what I remember: the grown ups constantly talking and the kids goofing off and nervously getting reacquainted.  However - we try to plan outings and things that the kids look forward to as well... a picnic at the beach, going shopping or out to eat, going to a zoo or an aquarium, etc.

This is where I can tell you - having an Only - can be nice (no sibling bickering and less expense) but it can also be trickier (no sibling bickering/distractions/entertainment and - well - they can think that they are a grown up... if you don't get this - well, then chances are good you don't have an Only!)

We have placed a high value on family... in our heritage and we are leaving a legacy on purpose... so connecting with those whom we share family stories and memories - this is vital! Especially because we have an Only - we wanted her to really KNOW her extended family... to feel like she is a part of something that is bigger than just us three!

I realize that some families (like my Honey's sister - on the other side of the country) are farther away and as much as we'd love to get to plan a Vaca- and see them once a year, that is just not reality.  Thankfully - they have been able to come home on a fairly consistent basis but for some - it's just not an option.  Whether it be distance, or expense, or work/time, etc - sometimes traveling to stay with family is just not going to happen.  When that is the case, we thank God for Skype and Facebook and Hangouts! We only were able to get to Tennessee once - but we talked of our time there often, to remind our girlie of our trip and what we did and what we saw and who was there... we'd look through the scrapbook or play a game that we played when on vacation there, and we would remember...

The beauty of any kind of vacation is that once it is over... you can 'go back' if you will, whenever you want - because you took the time to make some memories and it's in the reminding that you can rebuild and strengthen the connection - even across all those miles!

So - where do you go when staying with family?  Do you find those vacations are more for the adults or the kids or have you found a happy medium?

Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.

All photographs copyrighted by Karrilee @ Blessed Memories

To read the complete series, Click HERE...
each post is linked at the bottom!

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