Where will you go on your next trip?
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