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Before the kids were born, DH and I spent a lot of time traveling. He regularly attended trade shows across the country. I, on the other hand, held the job of an accountant for the city that we lived in. Ah… poor devoted public servant. Thanks to tremendous hours required for the annual audit, I always had plenty of time banked in addition to regular vacation days. Couple that with a 9/80 work schedule (every other Friday off), I was able to regularly head out with him to places like Miami, Vegas, Washington DC, Vegas, San Francisco, Vegas, Minneapolis and oh, did I say Vegas yet? He would travel early in the week for the trade show; I would catch up with him on Friday and we would spend the weekend seeing the sites. It was wonderful.
Then the kids came along and virtually all travel other than to see family in the Midwest and down south came to a screeching halt. There were a few exceptions that were totally noteworthy – We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Acapulco with our first born… she was 6 months old. Everyone there thought we were on our honeymoon and even with a 6 month old, it was a fantastic trip!We managed to take a non-work related trip to Hawaii but having the kids with us made it difficult to experience everything we wanted to. We had to take turns snorkeling while the other watched the kids and any thought of doing a helicopter tour was quickly nixed because the kids were too young. Regardless, it was a fabulous trip and it’s on our must-do list of places to return. We attempted a few of the trade-show trips but packing all the baby accessories (especially for such a short duration) was very cumbersome. After a few of those, we pretty much threw in the towel.
I miss the days of carefree traveling. But the trade-off of finally having children makes it all worth it. We’re finally at a stage where the kids are easier to travel with and take on some of the travel responsibilities, like helping walk the dogs if we bring them along. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the girls get older, traveling will once again be reasonable (in terms of ease) and we’ll be able to start planning vacations that involve the whole family going someplace that doesn’t include a house owned by a relative.
As part of the campaign for Clever Girls Collective, I was asked to think about what an Ultimate Family Vacation would be. That’s a tough one because we’re so diverse in our interests that so many things sound wonderful. The girls are in 2nd and 1st grade so obviously, we would love to finally take them to Disney. I love the idea of going somewhere that lets me feel like a kid myself and giggle and squeal as I ride a roller coaster. Unfortunately, the girls are small for their age and we fear arriving only to find that they’ll be stuck hanging out with teacups. We’re close – maybe next year we’ll all be tall enough. Our next best option is a Disney Cruise or even a trip to Atlantis. Both have their pluses and minuses but I’ve looked into both and wonder if we can make something like that work.
On a totally different level, I want to see the world and want my kids to experience different cultures. DH spent some years in Germany as a kid and often tells me about what life was like over there. It is my hope to someday travel with him to see his old stomping grounds, where he went to school and maybe even some of the friends he made who still live there. Alas, that’s something I think needs to wait until the kids are older and can appreciate the full value of. Whether foreign or domestic, I want my kids to experience a variety of places and things like skiing and white water rafting.
Alas, there are so many things to choose from and so little time to do them. So we carve out what we can and hope that someday our dream vacation will fall into our laps.
Don’t forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as do I.