Road trip!

As Daughter 1 and Daughter 2 were nearing the end of their middle school years, Hubby and I could hear the sirens blaring and see the lights flashing at the end of our family vacation tunnel.  How many more years will we have to vacation togther before obstacles such as summer jobs and summer school sprung up? This realization whalloped us just as the Dow and NASDAQ began to nose dive, prompting our family to forgo flying and hit the road like so many others.

For the past three years we tested our tolerance and love for each other by travelling out West in the confines of Hubby’s Grand Prix. Our first trip was to South Dakota and Wyoming, followed by North Dakota and Colorado, and finally Idaho and Montana. Together we got up close and personal to bison that caused to traffic jams, took in Yellowstone’s geysers in all their stinky glory, and hiked to numerous breathtaking views that only God could create.  We were pelted with hail in the Tetons and shared binoculars with strangers as we gazed at three Grizzlies foraging on the side of a mountain in Glacier National Park.

I indulged in huckleberry everything.  Thankfully my thighs never received such a workout as they did climbing these stairs.

Mountain stair climb

Our mountain vacations were among the most memorable times we shared together.  But it was on the way home from Montana that Daughter 1 announced, no offense,  that she had her fill of mountains. This was promptly followed by a motion that we head south for Vacation 2012. This girl was wasting no time lobbying for her beach vacation. It was unanimous and I admit that I was just as ready for a calm, serene vacation.

You see, I leave the family vacation planning to resident tour guide Hubby. By now I should know better.  Though he is the yin to my yang, the positive to my negative, he is also the one who pushes me to experience new adventures – ones that I’d be inclined to skip. For example, Hubby registered our family for a whitewater rafting trip on Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River in 2010 that included class 3 rapids and one class 4. During the pre-tour disclaimer discussions I nearly had the wet suit scared off of me with visions of petite, pre-growth-spurt Daughter 2 falling out of the raft into the cold rushing waters. There wasn’t going to be a dog house big enough for you-know-who. As it turned out, what I thought was going to be a harrowingly frightful adventure was a thrilling, only slightly frightful adventure that was more adrenaline rush than terror.  (If you’ll be anywhere near Ft. Collins, CO be sure to check out Rocky Mountain Adventures.)

Last year’s vacation involved Hubby-planned hikes in parts of Glacier known to be bear turf.  I am a careful and cautious suburbanite mother who doesn’t crave wild adventure. I don’t need it. I have my mischievous-kid-at-heart  husband and two teenage daughters. While we didn’t encounter any grizzlies other than from the roadside, many hikes were absolutely nerve wrecking and no sooner did Daughter 1 call for a vote,  I envisioned myself getting out of the car and thowing my arms open wide to give the beach a big hug. R&R here I come!

Nearly a year later, we loaded up the trunk and hauled it to the sea. (I loved the Beverly Hillbillies and ocean doesn’t rhyme, forgive me.)  After a long 16 hours on the road, we arrived in beautiful Myrtle Beach. I thew my arms open wide, enhaled the salty, fishy ocean air and took in its vast beauty. I was actually practicing a calming technique in preparation for this year’s adventure.

Dolphin watching…via a jet ski.



  1. […] and there were only three class 4 rapids with only one of the rapids bearing resemblance to my first class 4 experience.  The scenery was beautiful, our guide was fantastic, and the trip was worth the bus ride […]

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