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What They Did On Summer Vacation

Aug26

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Just now I asked my kids what we did on summer vacation and they replied, earnestly, “Nothing.”
Which is weird because I remember a few trips I spent hours packing for and doing laundry after. I also remember several hundred dollars spent on activities and pool admission. Ah, childhood.
Getting no good answers from my own kids I thought I’d ask some bloggers what they did on their summer vacations and I didn’t even make them write 1000 word essays.
Sarah at Whoorl took a trip that, were it me, would require a lobotomy before attempting.

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From Sarah at Whoorl:
We weren’t sure about attempting a 14-hour road trip from Southern
California to Sun Valley, Idaho with a toddler (especially after he
developed head-to-toe hives two hours into the drive due to a new food allergy), but the remaining drive was virtually painless.
My favorite part of our trip was being able to forget about the computer and explore a new area through a toddler’s eyes. I’m pretty sure nothing beats watching your child’s face light up with delight while experiencing mountains, dandelions and rocky rivers for the very first time.

Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil took her family (minus the younger kids) river rafting. My rafting experience was centered around my goal not to fall out. I admire Lindsay’s proverbial “Balls”.

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From Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil:
The rafting trip down the Chattanooga was definitely the highlight of my summer (besides the part where I fell out of the raft, I mean). It was pretty challenging, particularly the part where we climbed down into a 15-foot hole in a rock in the middle of the river, swam through an underwater tunnel, and popped back out into the rapids, but at the end of the day, I was really proud of all of us for doing it together. I also enjoyed having a day off from our little ones, who stayed with their grandparents that day.

Claire, from Loobylu, took her family on an international trip to Canada from Australia. Funny my family spent time on the US side of Lake Huron…of course it was just an hour north of home.

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From Clair at Loobylu:
Both girls had a ball – we were extremely spoilt by good family, good weather, good food (I have never seen such huge and cheap containers of blueberries… and need a tub of wild strawberries? Just step out into the yard!) and comfortable beds (so important for the making or the breaking of a holiday, don’t you think?). Now I am already imagining our 2013 Trans-Canadian mega-holiday… Vancouver to Prince Edward Island. Maybe we’ll even find some gorgeous place to set up home along the way. I do like to dream.

Tina from Swiss Miss also took her family on an international jaunt. To, where else, Switzerland.

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From Tina at SwissMiss:
We went to a tiny amusement park in the area I am from. My parents used to take me and my sister there when we were litte. When I say amusement park, don’t think of big Disney World style parks, it’s a tiny tiny park that has been around for f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Driving there, with our 2 year old Ella in the back, my sister and I kept reminiscing about the rides we used to love. We both kept talking about the ‘talking garden gnome’ trash can that says “I am hungry, feed me!” and “THANK YOU” in a really deep voice when you feed him trash. We both rememered the gnome being huge. We couldn’t believe that most of the rides that we used to enjoy are still there, as well our friend the talking trash eating gnome. I was surprised to see, that he was not at all as big as I remembered. In fact, he’s quite small. But then again, seeing my daughter Ella Joy standing there, looking up to him, it all made sense. Life is all about perspective.

Georgia from Bossy took her family camping. We also went camping, but did not fare as well. You can virtually vacation with the family here.

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From the Bossy Family:
The very best part of the camping vacation was togetherness. And the fact that their pop-up trailer situated the family three feet above the mud. Of course, understand that Bossy’s vacation standards are slipping.

Gabrielle from Design Mom and Kirtsy had an epic summer trip. I guess anytime you take five kids on vacation it’s epic.

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From Gabrielle of Design Mom & Kirtsy:
When Ben and I purchased seven plane tickets to Utah (seven!) in early June, we paused for a moment and wondered if we wouldn’t rather spend that enormous amount of money on tickets to Paris. Or on a beach rental in the Hamptons. Or at a resort in Mexico. Any kind of vacation more exotic than visiting the familiar state we grew up in.
But the reality is, the thing our kids want to do most for their summer vacation is see their cousins. And their cousins live in Utah. And this is the same reality for every family I know that is raising their kids far from their siblings and parents — summer vacation = pilgrimage home.
Happily, Utah is the home of amazing national parks, endless mountain ranges, non-stop outdoor activities and family-friendly everything. And no one even flinches when we show up with a crew of 5 kids. So if we have to be there, at least it’s a fantastic place to spend a summer vacation.
We went all over the state. From the very southern border to the very northern border and back south again. Everywhere we went was cousins and friends and aunts and uncles and grandparents. And we loved it.
One of our favorite evenings was spent at the rock-climbing gym. A perfect air-conditioned place for kids to expend their energy when the summer heat is draining. We’ve been to climbing gyms before, but there were some big advances during this visit. 6-year-old Olive made it to the top of the wall for the first time. And then repeated that feat again and again and again. And 3-year-old Oscar, although he didn’t like being attached to the ropes, was all about wearing the harness and could even scurry up the very beginning wall on his own.
But the thing that was especially nice relates to the fact that the wild, wild West is still way more laid back (read: less paranoid about law suits) than the East Coast. Which means, that after a quick and thorough training, it was Aunts and Uncles, Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma, that were running the ropes for my kids and interacting with them. Cheering them. Encouraging them. Knowing when they needed an extra challenge. Knowing when to help them down.
In New York, the climbing gym is still a favorite spot for the Blairs, but the ropes will always be run by a random employee.

What did you do on your summer vacation? Tell us, or link to your pictures.

About the author

Melissa Summers

http://www.suburbanbliss.net/
Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa's Buzz Off. You can find her daily on her blog, Suburban Bliss.


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14 Responses to “What They Did On Summer Vacation”

  1. feefifoto Aug 26 at 6:40 pm Reply

    The most exciting thing I did this summer was travel to London with my daughter and my parents. I blogged about it, but here’s a brief excerpt to illustrate how illuminating it can be to travel with a preteen:
    While we were in London Cleopatra and I wrote handfuls of postcards and letters to her brother and cousins at summer camp. I gave her the stamps; why do little kids enjoy applying stamps so much? She placed the first one on the first postcard and pressed it with her thumb and then began pounding it with her fist, complaining through gritted teeth that she couldn’t get the stamp to stick.
    “Silly Rabbit” I laughed, “you have to lick it first!”

  2. Angella Aug 26 at 6:58 pm Reply

    I went to BlogHer (Woo!), and spent the rest of the summer balancing between work (Boo!) and the beach.
    Photos on Flickr (You have to be a “friend” for most of them)(http://www.flickr.com/photos/ourcrazylife/), and my site.

  3. divrchk Aug 26 at 7:50 pm Reply

    I went to the Nantasket Beach in Massachusetts.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/divrchk/collections/72157606973721305/

  4. kirida Aug 26 at 8:45 pm Reply

    We went to Disneyland for a family reunion and my two-year-old cried on every single ride. Even on the teacups, or should I say, *especially* the teacups. http://www.kirida.com/2008/07/happiest-place-on-earth.html

  5. 180/360 Aug 26 at 11:27 pm Reply

    I went North to Alaska, my home away from home! Check it out:
    A Photographic Essay

  6. Front Porch Legacy Aug 27 at 5:05 pm Reply

    I got to watch my husband play golf amid the Rocky Mountains.

  7. angie Aug 28 at 7:16 am Reply

    We went two hours north to a ranch resort. Here’s the article: http://graymattersonline.net/2008/08/28/vacation/

  8. Becky Aug 29 at 2:55 am Reply

    Great post! We took our 7 and 2 year-olds to Washington, D.C., with only one stop at an emergency room on the way, and then we found out that the National Gallery of Art is actually quite toddler friendly. Except the giant modern sculptures that beg to be climbed on.
    http://www.suburbanmatron.com/2008/08/in-no-particular-order.html

  9. LizP Aug 29 at 12:43 pm Reply

    We went to CA for the weekend … twice. But it was worth making a digital scrapbook for … http://www.scrapblog.com/viewer/viewer.aspx?sbid=511438

  10. mandible Aug 29 at 6:37 pm Reply

    I live 40 minutes from the ocean, so I conned my parents, brothers and their families to join mine at a beach house in Folly Beach, SC. It was great, except for the fact that I keep forgetting that my extended family drives me nuts after about two days of togetherness. But I really, really, really love them.

  11. Vanessa Sep 04 at 8:44 pm Reply

    Lots of fun things going on this summer including moving to a new home and getting a tattoo. But, as far as favorite trips goes it’s got to be the hot dog festival in West Virginia – such a hoot! http://vanebrown.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/hot-dog-festivals-lots-of-fun/

  12. Karen MEG Sep 07 at 6:01 pm Reply

    Well, it seems like eons ago, but we went to Vancouver. Our third summer trip, and the kids loved it as per usual…as did I.
    Summer, it’s just too short, isn’t it?
    http://gliks.blogspot.com/2008/07/haiku-friday-family-vacay.html

  13. ern Sep 22 at 6:08 pm Reply

    My little family has been chilling in Malaysia for the last year so our GLORIOUS summer vacation this year was a 3-week jaunt back to the good ol’ US of A. I was never so happy to see a pepperoni pizza. Or real toilet paper and paper towels in a public restroom. Or a Costco.
    http://weistfamily.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html

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