Sure you have to drag a diaper bag (not to mention stroller, car seat and a generous supply of Goldfish) everywhere you go, you haven't had a full night's sleep in you can't remember when and the dire economic news makes you wonder how you'll ever pay for preschool, much less college, but then there's the bright side -- travel-wise, anyway. While everyone else is up to their ears in carpools, homework and soccer games, you're free to get out of town.
Here’s one place where no one is afraid to get their hands dirty. They’re bent over tables diligently making multi colored clay figures from wire frames and assorted other creatures -- dogs, sea lions, cats.
It’s over 100 degrees but the kids playing in and around the pool at Barton Creek Resort don’t seem to care. Ten-year-old Ryan Libby is slurping a frozen drink and eating chicken fingers poolside.
We screeched to a halt along the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park. Reggie, 8, was equally mesmerized but 3-year-old Melanie couldn't quite grasp that we were in the moose's house -- and it wasn't a zoo. I still smile years later when I think about the kids' excitement. Forget the Kodak moments. The chance to share something new together -- something you'd never see or do at home -- is what makes those indelible family vacation memories that last forever.
What are you waiting for? Spring Break is looming and you haven't planned a getaway. We're not talking a Big Trip -- a cruise, for example, or an adventure trip to Costa Rica, though, according to Travelzoo.com, there are good last-minute deals to be had in Costa Rica.
Honestly, I can't remember anything I saw that day. I could never find that field again (though I do have a picture of it somewhere.) But I'll never forget that glorious I-don't-have-a-schedule feeling. Of course that was long before responsibilities - like children and jobs -- curtailed my freewheeling travel style.
The next time the kids give you a hard time on vacation, remind yourself that you really are building memories to last a lifetime. Just ask Sheila Dennis. She was a wide-eyed 9-year-old when her parents took her to see the world-famous Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York. It was her first trip outside Texas. "I loved the glitter and the color," she said. "I was thrilled."
As I fought my way through the crowds to inch closer to Rockefeller Center I wondered to myself why anybody would venture into Midtown Manhattan for the annual tree lighting, yet every year they come.