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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Favorite Vacation Spot?

So, Spring Break is coming up in a couple of weeks, and even though we have a fun vacation planned--it's happened.  Eldest is balking, whining, complaining.  He doesn't want to go on vacation with us--gasp!--his family.  He wants to stay home and hang out with his friends and his girlfriend.

Now, we've been on some fun vacations in the past.  We've done trips to visit family, beach trips, water park stays, theme park trips, Disney, a cruise.  This one is sure to be fun, too.  If we can get there without stopping to squeeze the whine out of Eldest.  :-)  So I'm not feeling sorry for him.  And I'm not giving in, either.  

In fact, I'm having a hard time relating.  I'd have given anything to go anywhere that wasn't home at that age.  But my mind is already ranging ahead to the summer...and to the next family trip, and I'm wondering if you guys have any suggestions?

What's your no-fail family vacation spot?  Where do you go that has something for the whole family?  Do you have a spot that even your surly teenager can't resist?  Please share!

37 comments:

  1. Our absolute favorite place is Bald Head Island in North Carolina. If you haven't heard of it, it's this lovely island that you can only get to by ferry. There are no hotels, only houses. And you have to rent from the owner. It is a place we just go and separate from the madness of life. Our little one will just sit all day at the edge of the sea. In fact, when I win PowerBall tonight, we're buying a place there. ;)
    It's quiet which is why we all like it. Even our little one. Our daily lives are so hectic that this is always just perfect!

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    1. Hi Christi! Yes, one of the absolute best perks about living in NC is the beaches! We've done the beach many times as a family, and although I have a friend who has a house on Baldhead, that's one we've never done. We love the Outer Banks, though!

      Last year we did a mini beach trip for Spring Break, just me and the boys. We lucked out one beautiful day and had a couple of really cold ones. You just never know this time of year!

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    2. So true! That was one of our favorite things about living in NC...living so close to everything beautiful! (and the weather. And my house). Okay, I'll stop now. "Sigh" a house on BH; that is one of our dreams. You have to go. It's so different than any other place I've been.

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  2. LOL! Poor eldest has to go on a fun vacation. My heart goes out to him. Truly. I mean, having to spend time with his FAMILY. I don't know why you delight in tormenting him ;)

    But in all seriousness, *my* surly teen still loves cruises. We'll see how he does sharing his summer cruise with The Scientist's daughter this year. Only children so love 100% of your attention, unless they don't want any at all. It's either all or nothing with them.

    But you're welcome to join us on the cruise we take this summer. Both boys should be off the week we're going.

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    1. I know, don't you feel sorry for him!? :-) Poor baby.

      A cruise would be great. Then he gets to spend time off with his peer group..

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  3. Oh, my. I was like you. I would have done anything...ANYTHING...to be away from home at his age. And honestly, we never took real vacations. We would go visit my grandparents as a family, but that was the closest we came. Until I was an adult (and frankly, until recent years of my adulthood), I'd never been on what I would consider a true vacation. So I can't really tell you what my favorite vacation spot would be. I'm still discovering it.

    Good luck! I hope you sort Eldest out quickly. LOL.

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  4. What fun, though! All of those untried vacation spots! Believe me, my itinerary would be a lot different if I didn't have to bring the kids along! :-)

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  5. Our kids loved the cruise. I was bored out of my mind. LOL

    When I was a kid, we did lots of road trips, which I wouldn't recommend. We visited a lot of historical locations, but when you're young one rock is about as interesting as another. Not at all!!! But we did visit a lot of amusement parks and we loved Panama City, FL. I was even allowed to bring a friend one year, which made it much more bearable to be with my family. ;D

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    1. Oh, gosh, I'm so glad you said that! I was a little bored on our cruise too. :-)

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  6. I started bringing one of Big Grirl's friends along as she got older. She was only child so it was not a big hassle to have the extra girl in tow. That way, BG wasn't stuck with the lame older folks all the time and I got her in a much better mood on the entire Vaca. Extra bonus was that she would get to go other places with her friend's parents in return.

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    1. I'm waiting for Ava's chime in on this...I think she tried this and it didn't go so well...

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    2. It was awful! It was Disneyworld and the other kid ended up being a huge slug. He wouldn't ride any of the roller coasters (and it's Disney, mind you - not a place famous for their thril rides.) and would make fun of all the kiddie rides like Pirates of the Caribbean or the Jungle Cruise.

      Could NOT make him happy. By the end of the trip, he and my son had spent waaaay too much time together and then didn't speak for weeks. They're still not as close as they used to be.

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  7. When I was a child, we did a lot of road trips up north. My dad's favorite hot spots were typically historical or off the beaten path family fun style places. An inexpensive idea would be to hit a few different nature parks or zoos. Even in cooler weather those can be a lot of fun, especially the zoo as the animals typically move around more when the weather is cooler.

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    1. Yes, that's a good tip about the cooler weather at animal parks, Misty! We have a great zoo in NC. Many a field trip passed there! We'd have to range farther abroad now, but I'll do some research. Personally, I'd love to see the Smithsoniana too!

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  8. The only way to make your trip bearable is to take along an extra kid. Go somewhere affordable enough that you can cart along an extra teenager. I know it raises the hackles to think of dragging someone else's surly teenager on your "family trip", but it's time for a reality check. Family trips will always, always, always include OTHER PEOPLE once your kids are grown. Always. Every vacation. Every trip. Every holiday. Time to roll with the punches, I'm sorry to say. Eldest will be so eternally grateful that it will be well worth the mama drama, I promise! And NO, the youngest does NOT need to take a friend along, too. That way lies madness!

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    1. It doesn't really raise my hackles, but it does make me nervous. My biggest fear is that he and his friend would get sick of each other! :-)

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  9. Deb,
    We used to go the Ozarks when I was a teen and though there was a lake and a pool, I didn't really have a lot of fun until I was able to bring my best friend. I've also let my surly teen bring a friend when we have gone places (when I could afford to). It just makes the trip so much more pleasant for everyone. I don't think there is a perfect place to take a teenager, unless he can have a friend too, and then they won't care where they are. In fact, we are thinking of traveling to Florida this summer and the best friend is already figured in without even mentioning it to the teen or his friend because I already know what kind of response I would get if, heaven forbid, he had to go with just us.

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  10. Okay, maybe I need to bow to the common wisdom!

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  11. We've solved the problem by hosting an exchange student! We get to enjoy our FAMILY vacation, and then have the joy of taking along our children's friend whom we consider to be a part of the family anyway. The kids have never been bored because they are caught up in the excitement of showing the student something new. This works especially well with historical sights, as most students come to the US to see things that are quintessentially American. Disney World has been a big favorite too! Never once have I heard a whine or complaint, as both the student and my children are excited about the trip--they feed off of each other's excitement! An added perk is that the student's parents will often pay for their child's portion of the trip in thanksgiving and gratitude that we took them somewhere! We've had many wonderful family vacations with our exchange students. I highly recommend it!

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  12. How lovely of you, Frances! I had an exchange student friend in high school and she was so much fun. Unfortunately we'd have to buy a bigger house if we wanted to host one--or put them on the couch! :-)

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  13. For us, it's the beach, hands down. It's relatively cheap, it's close to us, whether it's NC beaches or SC beaches, and my family are water lovers. Someday I plan to retire to the NC coast. But I haven't traveled a lot yet, and I have a very long bucket list of places I'd love to visit. First on my list is Jamaica. Someday, fingers crossed!

    My eldest stopped wanting to go with us on vacations years ago but now that he's past the teen years and has moved out, he's asked when we're going again. So it's phase. Trust me, he'll change his mind. And I think now that my son is twenty it'll be a new and exciting experience now that he's much older. Good luck with the teen!

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  14. My poor husband loves traveling and vacations. And I'm a homebody hermit. I wouldn't leave my house if I didn't have to. ;} We either go to Indiana (to visit family) or to the beach (to spend time with his family). I'm a slobbering hot mess either way--by the time we reach Indiana, I'm ready to wrap my van around the nearest tree to shut up the bickering in the back. And driving to the beach combines my UNGODLY INTENSE fear of bridges and water. I look like I've been accosted by the time we arrive because I cry so hard over the bridges. I know, I know, it's the stupidest thing. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone. ;}

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    1. I'm afraid of bridges and water too!!!!!!! I knew I liked you, Andris. Fist bump of solidarity.

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    2. Baha! And wouldn't you agree it's sadistic to have beaches on the other side of loooong, hiiiiiigh bridges over water?! God couldn't put one in Central Park?! ;}

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    3. Andris, I'm a little shell shocked. I didn't think you were afraid of ANYTHING!

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    4. Deb, let's keep this between us. Just a little secret amongst friends. ;}

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  15. My alomst 16 yr old surly son is tired of Florida, Mexico, Vegas and Newport Beach. I'm ready to leave him home and go by myself. Now THAT's a vacation!

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  16. Oh my, he doesn't realize how lucky he is! I never, not once, got to go on a Spring Break trip. No joke. The first time was senior year in college and we went to AZ to visit a friend.

    I don't have teenagers personally, but the family trip to the Keys we took with my teenaged nephews a few years ago was a success. Fishing, kayaking, Key West, swimming ... they loved it.

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    1. It was the same with me, growing up, Hanna. A trip to Kennywood (close by) and Sea World (a little farther) That was it! You understand why I'm not having much sympathy for him.

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  17. My husband and I have always loved a cruise. We have been to the Caribbean several times and are scheduled to go again the end of this month. This time, our son, DIL and two of our grandchildren will be joining us. Their ages are 9 and 14. The pool is always a huge draw for these kids in addition to the unlimited food they love to eat. The 14-year-old girl is big into dance and the theater performances at night are going to be spectacular for her. If the 9-year-old boy is not interested in that “foolishness,” he and I can catch a movie out under the stars on the big screen. We love Princess cruises and their newest ship will have a new area especially for that in-between age group. There will be lots of video games, computer games plus a DJ and dance floor for the teens. I think it’s a fabulous idea and know it will be a huge hit. I’’m betting that the other ships will do some retrofits to follow suit. So, a cruise is always great. There is something for everyone to do all day every day all in one place.

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  18. Can Hot Builder and I just skip the teenage years altogether? Our kids love going to the beach (they'd better, since HB and I are from the coast) and Disney. I remember loving going on vacations as a kid and I think I tolerated them as a teenager. ;)

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    1. Just have as much fun as you can with them now, while they are still adorable! I'm hoping those memories will leak back in, eventually!

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  19. We had several great vacation at Wild Dunes, on the Isle of Palms, just north of Charleston SC. Wild Dunes has rentals of every size. My favorite were the beach front town houses in groups with their own pools (besides just walking on to the beach). And there are things to do for every age around Charleston - plus the wonderful restaurants.

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  20. Man - a vacation would have been the greatest thing in the world! I'll never forget being so upset during my junior year Spring Break since I didn't have any plans. My dad got a wild hair, packed me and my best friend in the monstrous old Buick we had at the time, and drove all night to Gulf Shores Alabama. We moved from condo to condo since we could only get 1 night stays, and ate great vats of shrimp cocktail and turkey sandwiches since we didn't cook OR have enough money to go out to eat, but it was the greatest vacation ever. Talk about a great dad!
    So yeah - I'm not exactly hearing violins for eldest, lol.

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