“. . . and the living is easy.”
Except that, these days sometimes it’s not.
Summer, the time for relaxing. The kids are out of school, the warm sun and blue sky beckon, that two weeks’ vacation time is burning a hole in our proverbial pockets.
And yet, how often do we try to cram so much into those two weeks that we come back, broke and exhausted, needing to spend another year to simply recover. Our vacations are looking and feeling less and less vacation-y year by year.
Thinking back, what are the moments you remember most? I was talking with a colleague recently and he was telling me about a trip his family made to Disneyland when he was young. Disneyland, the magic kingdom where everything is practically perfect.
Here’s the interesting thing. He spent the most time talking about eating lunch. They packed it in, so had to eat in the bizarre concrete bunker area set aside for those that aren’t paying to eat in the park. They sat down with both sets of elderly grandparents who had bravely made the trip with them – just to see the grandchildren’s enjoyment of  “the happiest place on earth.”
He and his family played a pick-up game of Nerf football in the nearly abandoned structure, working hard to keep the ball out of the potato salad. The food was tasty and homemade, the watermelon plentiful and the memories treasured.
He had very little to say about the park itself, other than that it was really hot and REALLY crowded. Everyone returned to the hotel tired and fairly cranky.
What was the high point? Time spent with family. Eating and chatting and playing together. Listening to the grandparents crow about how big their grandchildren were getting and how beautiful they all were. Enjoying each other’s company.
So, as we’re preparing our summertime fun, let’s keep in mind that bigger is not necessarily better. A short family camping trip or a journey out to a ghost town or a simple picnic at a local park may provide better long-term memories than a whirlwind tour of Europe.
With absolutely no jet-lag. 🙂


  • Leigh says:

    My favorite vacation memories as a child were all camping – sometimes in a forest, and sometimes by a lake. We did Disney too, but our annual camping trips are what I remember.

    You are right. Simple is better.

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