Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Traveling with the Kidults has an article on creating special family vacations with your family. Great idea if you can manage it.

Our family has just implemented The Grammy Trip, even though we aren’t grandparents yet. The tradition comes from some friends, where the matriarch of the family rotates each year taking one of her adult children and their extended families on a wonderful vacation. It’s an opportunity for three—and now four--generations to enjoy an extended time together.

Well, coming from a family with no money and no traditions, I decided that the Grammy Trip was worth replicating. When our son got married last year, we offered to start The Grammy Trip with he and his wife, and eventually their children. He’s grown up watching his friends, the third generation, take these trips, so he was game. So was his wife, who hasn’t traveled a lot.

So we just got back from two weeks of our first Grammy Trip. It was quite an experience. We celebrated their first anniversary with a trip to Washington, DC. Her choice. After all, she’s the new kid.

We blocked off two weeks—no easy feat for any of us—and left in mid-July. We hit the ground running and didn’t stop for two full weeks. Seriously. We took a red eye from California, arriving at Dulles at 5:20 am. Got the rental car, had breakfast, and in the first day—with no sleep and jet lag—visited Harpers Ferry, Antitum, and Gettysburg. Each day was filled to the brim with things to see and places to go. One day we looked at the map and realized we could be in Philadelphia in an hour. No matter that it was already 5:30 on Sunday evening. None of us had been there, and perhaps we could see something. Of course, everything was closed, but we were able to see the outside of Independence Hall, Ben Franklin’s grave, and the Liberty Bell through the window. Not great, but better than nothing. And we only spent an hour there before heading south to Mt. Vernon.

So how was it traveling with married kids? Interesting. Challenging. Eventually wonderful. We had some bumps as each of us tried to find our place in the new family dynamics. Our family has traveled together since Son was an infant and we mesh well. Adding our DIL meant each of the four of us needed to adjust, flex, and adapt. It took a few days—most of the first week, in fact. But by the second week, we were synchronizing better and I think everyone had a wonderful time. We have declared the Grammy Trip a success and can’t wait to see where we’ll go next year.

I’m praying that this will be that start of a wonderful tradition for our family. I wish we could have taken my mom, but she wouldn’t be able to handle the walking, and quite frankly, I’m a little selfish when it comes to time with my kids. We’ll need to find another way to include her.

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