Once in a while it's fun to reminisce about our travel days with kids. There was the trip to Niagara Falls where we ended up sleeping in the station wagon the first night, Disney Worlds with the three boys where we tried to explain to the booking agent as we planned ahead that we would have two more kids the next time, and the memorable vacations spent in North Carolina, the Smokey Mountains, and sailing the Great Lakes (well, some of them) with five kids.
They must have been memorable for at least one of our boys because his wife says she gets tired of hearing that "my mom and dad took me there." They have since made their own memories with their two kids--mostly in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
We did Disney several times until the oldest boys were really a bit too old to enjoy the experience. We've returned on our own once and a couple of times with all the kids and grands. It's changed since the early days. One of our friends described it as "stroller hell." Still we may venture back, off-season of course, and try it out just the two of us again and reminisce.
Our North Carolina trip near Nags Head was fun. We introduced the kids to fresh shrimp prepared on the grill. The boys loved pulling the heads off. We were near a National Park or thought we would be but found that the section nearest us was closed so any scheduled activities we wanted to do meant driving a half hour in either direction to the nearest ranger station. The kids did learn to snorkel there. And of course we thoroughly enjoyed the beach.
In the Smokey Mountains, our mountain retreat came with a hot tub that was a real hit with the kids as well as mom and dad after we put the kids to bed. We spent several quiet evenings there with a view of the sparkling stars in the sky. Our favorite memory is taking the kids fishing in a stocked trout pond. You no sooner put the hook in the water and you would pull out a fish. Now there were five of them fishing and it was near impossible to watch what they were all doing at the same time.
Finally the man in charge came over and said, "Ma'am, do you know that we charge by the pound? How many fish do you want to take home?"
We stopped--immediately. It was well worth the cost though as we had a great trout dinner that night and no one complained that we were eating fish.
I love to watch my kids take their kids traveling. What a joy to know that the fun of discovery of new places is not lost to the next generation of world travelers.