Mr. Grassroofs and I recently got back from a family trip to Cape Cod with my side of the family. Super Fitz went with us- have you read about his adventures? But so did my mom, brother, grandmother, aunt, uncle, two cousins, another aunt, and a second cousin. Phew! It was a lot of people to coordinate- getting out the door was always a multi-step process. But we had a fantastic time and I wouldn’t give up family vacations for the world (of course, I do think they should part of a well-balanced travel diet).
Here are five reasons why my family vacations are so great:
1. You go to places you’d never think to go-
Mr. G and I probably wouldn’t have chosen to travel to Cape Cod if we were traveling alone. As two young people with no children, we are always attracted to international travel. Remember the honeymoon/funnymoon? So, we would have written Cape Cod off and maybe never have gotten there in our whole lives! We are so glad we ended up there, though, because Cape Cod was awesome! We loved noticing the similarities each small town had to our little beach community, while appreciating the nuanced differences too. We went lighthousing. We went wine tasting. We went beer tasting. And kayaking. And ate ice cream almost every day. So, basically, a hundred awesome things that we would have missed if we hadn’t gone on family vacation.
2. But you still get time to be normal-
I don’t know if this happens to you, but sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling like I always need to be going, to be doing something. Otherwise I feel as though I’m not doing my destination justice, as though I may never be back so I better drink it all in. Family vacation is a good reminder that there is as much beauty in doing nothing as there is in doing something. Some of the greatest moments of week came from sitting around the dinner table watching a cousin douse his food in Mr. G’s white barbecue sauce or listening to my bro groan over a lost life in Call of Modern Duty Fare.
3. You get time to appreciate one another-
During the Rat Race that is 9 to 5 life, keeping all the plates spinning can get tricky. Two jobs. Ducks. Chickens. Renters. Dogs. Friends. Husbands. Blogs. Oh yeah, and family. Not that it is right, (and is certainly something I’m working on) but keeping in touch with far away loved ones can accidentally fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Then, when we do speak, we are trying to make up for so much time that the chat ends up sounding more like a reading of a dossier than like a real conversation. Family vacation is great because if removes so many of those spinning plates. My brother and I aren’t particularly good at talking on the phone, so I was thrilled to spend the week with him. He is kind and patient and is a just-plain awesome SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL! When did that even happen?! Okay, freak out over.
4. You may get different amenities-
I know this one sounds strange, but go with me. Because there were so many people traveling to Cape Cod, we ended up renting a house which helped alleviate the cost of booking hotel rooms for 11 people for 7 nights. Plus, the addition of a kitchen cut down on the cost of meals we had to eat out. The house was beautiful, of course- colonial and historic and decorated with blue tinted Mason jars. If Mr. G and I had been traveling alone, we would have stayed in a hotel and wouldn’t have had access to laundry facilities. Can I just say that it is lovely to travel home with a suit case of clean clothes. But the biggest, best, most fantastic amenity that arose from renting a house instead of a hotel room is that we could bring SUPER FITZ! It was simply perfect being on vacation with our pup and our family.
5. Your Good-Byes are sweeter-
When you’re visiting a place, leaving the place can be a little sad. I am sometimes left with that feeling I mentioned before of not feeling like I did enough to appreciate that place or that I may never make it back. But when you are traveling with family, the location is secondary to the company, so the good-byes are different. If you have to say good-bye to family that you won’t see again for a while, for whatever reason, what a gift it is to have spent so much time celebrating with them. All of my extended family lives across the country, so I’m really glad that when we had to say our good-byes I had a whole week’s arsenal of fantastic memories shored up to take home too.