Where will you go on your next trip?

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

Back in the sum­mer of 2012, my hus­band was try­ing to plan a fam­ily va­ca­tion and I wasn’t feel­ing very en­thu­si­as­tic about it. We had three kids, ages 6, 4 and 2, and mostly I just felt tired. I had a hard time imag­in­ing that a long drive or a plane ride would be much fun. But my hus­band has a bit of wan­der­lust (he owns a mo­tor­cy­cle, had sky­dived a lot be­fore we had kids and gen­er­ally takes plea­sure in the un­known) and the urge to travel and ex­plore new places was call­ing to him. Then he had a bril­liant idea.

He works a lot, which I ap­pre­ci­ate. It gives me the op­por­tu­nity to be with the kids and it pays the mort­gage and elec­tric bill each month. But his hours are some­times long and week­ends can morph into work­days when he has a dead­line. So, he con­ceived a unique daddy-daugh­ter va­ca­tion he’d take ev­ery sum­mer with one of our kids, ro­tat­ing in or­der, so they’d each have sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­clu­sive oneon-one time with Dad ex­plor­ing new places. This idea re­ally res­onated with me.

When I was grow­ing up, I spent a lot of time with my dad and we de­vel­oped a spe­cial bond. The depth of our re­la­tion­ship grew out of that time spent to­gether. For years and years he went far out of his way to make me a pri­or­ity, fore­go­ing what I am sure were a lot of in­ter­est­ing pro­fes­sional, so­cial and per­sonal op­por­tu­ni­ties. It made a real dif­fer­ence in my life, and I credit his de­vo­tion to his chil­dren with my suc­cess (and my sis­ter’s) to­day.

When­ever I needed to talk to him, we would have a “father-daugh­ter” talk, and I could tell him any­thing or ask for ad­vice. It would al­ways be some­thing I could make use of and when I’d thank him or in­form him later that his in­sight solved my prob­lem, he used to give me a hug and say, “That’s why they pay me the big daddy bucks.” Even as a grown woman, the coun­sel he gave dur­ing father-daugh­ter talks was ap­pre­ci­ated and in­valu­able for de­ci­sion mak­ing.

The fun part of our fam­ily tra­di­tion is the daugh­ter gets to pick the des­ti­na­tion. The first year, Bea picked Cal­i­for­nia. She wanted to see the red­woods and the whales. My hus­band and she spent nearly a week driv­ing down the coast from San Fran­cisco, to Mon­terey, to Big Sur and fi­nally Santa Bar­bara.

Whale watch­ing and the Chan­nel Is­lands were some diver­sions. And they spent a cou­ple days hik­ing and saw plenty of the ma­jes­tic red­woods. Bea’s fa­vorite ac­tiv­ity from the trip was a chance en­counter with low tide where she checked out the myr­iad of crit­ters in the tide pools along the Pa­cific coast next to 17Mile Drive.

Next year it was Es­ther’s turn to pick a place. She knew

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