Vacations worth the sweat


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos










When we commit a chunk of money to a vacation, we hope that we will come out of it with some good memories and awakened interests and family connection. I mean, it’s a lot of money. And a lot of work to plan, pack and carry out. So we want some return on our investment, right? We want to have fun, dammit!

But how? What’s fun for a grown man and also fun for a four-year-old?

Our vacation strategy was inspired by Dr. Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting. She writes about her experience trying to find out what felt like “play” to everyone in her family — which can involve some detective work even when it’s yourself you’re considering. Then she drew Venn diagram to find the overlaps.

Taking a page from Brown’s book, we’ve tried to identify what is play for all of us, and where our play lists overlap. It’s not a big cross section. Our kids are fast and reckless in crowded museums, slow and aimless in wide open spaces. The list of group activities that satisfy me, my husband, a 4- and a 7-year-old is short. But that’s okay — helpful, even. We can fix those activities as the center of our vacation planning.

Beach-combing can keep all of us happy for a long while. When the little one loses interest, he can play in the water or dig or run or snack. Being in calm coves helps make it easier to trust him not to get knocked over by a wave, plus we all love finding a secret place out in the wilds. A warm day at the beach is so lovely, but we also spent a wet and cold week at the beach in the temperate rainforests of Washington State. Long underwear and rain gear for all. We spent that week hunting for agates, jasper and other rocks on the beaches, then warming up by the wood stove while we sorted all the treasures. And washed the treasures and polished the treasures and read about the treasures…

Also on our short list of fun-for-all activities is buffets (specifically breakfast or an Indian buffet) since everyone gets exactly what they want and the feel of abundance is a balm to the limits and constant compromise that come with travel. For a midwinter getaway, we have a three-year-and-counting family tradition of going to a suite hotel upstate with an indoor pool, large breakfast buffet, and evening cocktail and snack hour. We eat junk food, watch TV and leave the hotel once a day to take a walk. We indulge and lounge and play and rest. It’s not exotic or expensive, but it does feel decadent – for everyone.

Raheli Harper






Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



comments powered by Disqus

MUST READ NEWS

Call it a walkumentary
Staving off chronic disease by eating plants and moving a lot

By Becca Tucker

The first inkling Kelly Broelmann had that something was off was in 2009, when she...

Read more »
Image

Should the measles vaccine be mandatory?
In June, New York eliminated the religious exemption for all vaccines. Sparking the debate was the worst measles outbreak this country has seen in two decades.
Read more »
Image

A house with no nails
On their 39th anniversary, watching the giant beams go up

By Becca Tucker

The timber frame rising from the ground is a common enough sight in rural Sussex, NJ.

Read more »
Image

Music lessons
I am 37 and learning to play the guitar. I began to learn in college, but I only ever learned how to play Mr. Tambourine Man and no one could ever recognize the tune when I played...
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



* indicates required


MOST READ

Griterati
Call it a walkumentary
  • Jul 1, 2019
Griterati
Joining the cavemen
  • Mar 13, 2019
Habitat
A house with no nails
  • Jul 1, 2019
Poetry
Seed Catalogue to Farmstand
  • Mar 6, 2019
dirt,jr
One patch at a time
  • Nov 6, 2018
West Milford, NJ