Daily Travel Tips
Weekly Column
Eileens Blog
Travel Diary
In the Media

Featured Savings



Daily Tips

A New Orleans Scare For Your Kids

Oct 24, 2014
Head to New Orleans the 26th and 27th for a scary time. In honor of Halloween, Windsor Court Hotel is hosting its annual Tea in Le Salon.

Eileen's Favorites


Calendar of Events

Get out there and have some fun! See family friendly events happening all over the nation in our Calendar of Events.


Passports with Purpose


Ornaments on our tree stir up so many family travel memories


From our trip to France in 1998

 

Our tree is loaded down with skiers from Colorado, shells from Florida, sailboats from Maine, ferries from Washington state, flip flops from Hawaii, monkeys from Costa Rica, Victorian queens from England, fish from Caribbean islands, Disney characters from Orlando…you get the idea.

Wherever I travel, I’m compelled to bring home an ornament or two or three.                  

“Enough, already!  My youngest daughter Melanie says, wearily eyeing the pile of holiday ornaments with her name on them. “This is getting ridiculous!”

Her older brother and sister agree. Now, if I want to buy a new ornament when we’re away from home, I have to do it stealthily without anyone noticing or they’ll stop me in my tracks at the checkout line.

It started when the kids were small. We’d pick out one inexpensive ornament for each of them wherever we were traveling, the sillier the better (no hand-blown balls for us) and mark them with the year, the place and child’s name.  I bought kangaroos and koalas in Australia, moose and maple leafs in British Columbia, yet more bears in Alaska. 

From trip to Mt. Rushmore in 1993

The good news: When I get them out months later (if I can remember where I’ve stashed them), they help us remember those trips. Invariably, we laugh about our misadventures there.  At least that’s the idea, though my husband agrees with Mel that at this point, I should quit buying more.

“But they make us laugh,” I protest.  Some day, I hope, the kids will laugh when they put those same ornaments up in their homes. And though two are out of school and living on their own, thney haven’t yet asked for their cache. 

I smile when I find Matt’s fisherman from one of our first trips to a Minnesota lake: I spent a lot of that vacation threading my little preschooler’s hook with worms.  The kids still tease me about the trouble I had maneuvering our canoe back to the dock.   There’s Mel’s hula girl from Hawaii (when it rained a lot in paradise) and Reg’s Eiffel Tower ornament from Paris (the trip she was much more interested in shopping than the museums and churches I’d planned to show her).

I’m grateful for the tree full of silly ornaments and the memories they mark…from Orlando to Oregon, Cape Cod beaches to Newport Beach, Alaska to Australia.  I think the kids are glad too, though they tease me mercilessly about them and complain about putting them up and taking them down.

When I take those ornaments out, I’m remembering trips long gone and what went wrong as much as about what went right.  Many times of course, those are the times the kids remember the most–the time Matt fell out of a bunk bed on a ski trip to New Mexico and Reggie fell out of a raft in the middle of a rapid in British Columbia (that was really scary!), the time we set out on the Appalachian Trail and got totally drenched before we’d gone even a couple of miles or the time we found ourselves driving in a Lake Tahoe blizzard; The time Mel got lost hiking in Colorado  and  the time I got food poisoning in Mexico and the kids had to take care of me.

Grinch from Universal Orlando

Families travel to help build family bonds and it’s those times —not the picture with Minnie Mouse or in front of Old Faithful—that cement them.

Looking at all those funny ornaments makes me realize just how many teaching moments our far-flung travels have provided — to cope when plans go awry, to switch gears, to learn to pull together.

Besides, those times when things don’t go as planned make us appreciate those few perfect vacation moments all the more—when the kids aren’t bickering, the sun is shining and you haven’t had to use your credit card all day.

We had a few moments like that this year too—and I’m sure you did too.

Cherish them-and all the messy, imperfect moments too.


Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups | 1 Comment

One Response to Ornaments on our tree stir up so many family travel memories

  1. Marsha says:

    Oh I so agree…my girls just laugh especially when I recently made them an ornament out of a golf ball from one of our favorite reoccuring vacation sites. The condo complex sits on a golf course and when the kids were little they used to sneak out at night looking for golf balls that were left on the range. Our last trip there was without our now adult daughters…they laughed when they saw their ornaments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>






Connect

Facebook Twitter YouTube Follow us with RSS

Family Travel Guides for Every Season

eNewsletter Archives

Taking the Kids publishes two e-newsletters per month, filled with information and advice for families traveling with children as well as tips on destinations and special travel offers from sponsors.





Find your hotel at the best price
Compare booking sites with trivago!

Follow us on Twitter



Recent Comments:

  • noemi bermudez: We really want to go out on a Disney cruise for the holidays but they always conflict with Christmas recess helllppp!!!
  • dina: I really liked your article. I have family living in London, I hope it is close to east End so I can visit all the restaurants you mention.
  • Amy Carney: Loved using your guidebooks in Boston, Washington DC and Boston! Thanks for making touring these big cities easier for us!...
  • Luana: On holiday when the kids wander off!! I have read reviews of the Vital ID identity wristbands that help find lost kids and thought it may be helpful to...
  • Alison: I love that you can pick and choose what your family is interested in doing! It would be a wonderful place for them to try out different things that they...
  • Kimberly: OH! I am so jealous!!!! This place looks like a lot of fun. I wish I could afford to take my family some place like this. I think they would have a...
  • Kimberly: WOW! They offer a lot of great activities. The Ramblewild excursion looks like a lot of fun. I’d like to try something like that but I’d...