Theme park trips with kids change over time; you move from the kiddie rides to the thrill rides, you can’t wake your teens up to get to the park early – in fact, when my kids were little and knew they were going to a theme park, they used to wake us up, and there might be tears.
> The last was a w [ ... ]
Billing itself as “The Best Free Show on Broadway,” n’s Stardust Dineras been open since the 80’s, but it’s décor, memorabilia and food will take you back to the 50’s. However, what are you really going to see at this popular tourist destination in the heart of Times Square? [ ... ]
Relax at the Qua Bath and Spa, play the slots and dress to the nines to party at the Pool After Dark. This is just part of a Caesers Atlantic City girlfriend getaway. Located on the Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean, Caesers offers entertainment and fabulous dining.
Reserve a room, depending on the [ ... ]
Cozy is the word my son used to describe our room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Not the first word that usually comes to mind when you describe a 22-acre property with 3,500 rooms. It’s a testament to Hilton’s commitment to creating a family friendly environment at their enormous p [ ... ]
Disney makes the magic look easy, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I am always inspired by the team of people who create the masterful new Disney experiences. One of the pleasures of my job is getting to spend time talking with and learning from these incredibly creative [ ... ]
Most of us have a memory of getting lost as a young child. I remember the first time I couldn’t find my parents. I was probably about six years old and I was playing in the Barbie section at K-Mart. My mom kept telling me it was time to go but obviously, as a five-year-old child, I was too b [ ... ]
My image of Disney is evolving. In general the mention of Disney would evoke visions of tired parents and squealing little kids.
As my kids enter the teen years I am learning that there is still so much for them to enjoy at Disney -- from resort pools to scary rides to embracing the inde [ ... ]
While debating out loud whether to take my 6- and 3-year-olds eco-camping in Hawaii or sightseeing in Panama, my brother-in-law started laughing at me. “It doesn’t matter where you go,” he said mockingly, “because you know what they’re going to remember about these trips? NOTHING!”
I stared back at him in horror. Was he right?
Do my children get as much out of a trip to Wisconsin as they do from a trip to Belize?
And why didn’t I think about this $5,000 ago?
When I was a kid, my travel-happy parents schlepped us all over the U.S. Buried in my mom’s closet are albums filled with photos of our adventures. Some are Polaroids.
We’re riding lifts to the top of Pikes Peak, leaning against the pyramids in Egypt, and standing in front of Mt. Rushmore, wearing the matching American flag ponchos my mom knitted for the occasion (so very 70s!).
These old photos do trigger memories of those family vacations (they didn’t take many movies in those days). But sadly, most of it’s pretty fuzzy now.
What I remember are moments, not places. I don’t recall the coastal scenery during our drive down Highway 1, but I remember stopping at a Denny’s in Klamath Falls, Ore. where the entire staff was named Carol. I don’t remember our historical site-filled “Spirit of ‘76" bicentennial road trip, but I remember my little sister, out of boredom, mooning a passing car on I-76 (ah, the pre-car seat era).
Are those the kinds of things my kids will remember from our expensive but interesting family vacations?
I must say, I wholeheartedly believe travel teaches children (and adults) important lessons and values that can be hard to learn here in well-to-do suburbia. It teaches them to appreciate, or at least be accepting, of other cultures. They learn to place less emphasis on material possessions and to judge someone based on the kind of person they are.
My kids have been lucky enough to go on many domestic and international trips. And what have they learned? To behave on airplanes, for one. To be considerate of others. Look, I’m not saying they’re perfect little angel doves. But they will sit and be quiet when I command it. They know happy people live in homes with thatched roofs and dirt floors.
Perhaps most importantly, traveling has taught my kids that sometimes you have to go with the flow, because things don’t always go as planned (flight cancellations teach that lesson real fast). Now, isn’t that one of life’s most valuable lessons?
When they watch videos of themselves on these trips, they seem to remember a lot about the experiences. Will they remember them in 20 years?
Let’s be honest: probably not.
Maybe, the reality is, I’m just taking these trips for myself. The kids are probably too young to remember anything. Maybe the truth is that I want to go to Panama rather than to Touristy Town USA and I am just trying to justify towing my kids along with me.
Oprah once did a show featuring a dying mother, who in an effort to make her final days with her kids special, trotted them all over the globe. They went to Paris and Disneyland and all of the places a kid would ever want to go. They had lots of fun.
Then, after the woman died, Oprah interviewed the kids and asked them about their favorite times with their mother. And you know what they said? It wasn’t the Magic Kingdom or the Eiffel Tower. It was the ordinary moments.
One of the children said something that makes me cry every time I think about it – that her favorite moment with her mother was when they both got up in the middle of the night and ate Cheerios together on the front step of their house.
I’m not ready to concede to my BIL’s theory, but I will say that Wisconsin is starting to look better to me (and my checkbook). And I’m definitely going to pack Cheerios