I loved the original Griswold Family Vacation movie. I think it’s because, as a child, I identified with them so much. My dad did wear a beret when we went on a touristy European vacation, and on road trips, my parents packed a portable potty that my brother and I would use on the side of the road. I hope I was under four-years-old.
So now that I am a parent, I relish in the moments from my own family vacations. We try every summer to pick somewhere different to go.
This summer it’s Washington DC. I will let you in on a little secret. I don’t know how excited I am. I think we are going to be touring quite a bit, and forget what my kids think, how many museums and monuments can I visit without dreaming of a pool and daiquiri? But, I have to remember that I am the parent, and this experience can be wonderful for my kids, and I guess for me as well.
So to prepare them, I have at random moments said stuff like, “I am so excited to see the Constitution!” And “You know what would be so cool? A Double Decker sunset monument tour.” And, “Can you believe we are going to see where Lincoln got shot?”
Regardless of where a family visits, a family vacation is a great way to spend uninterrupted time together, turn off all of the electronics, and really talk to one another.
I know that Day One of our vacation will be great. Everyone is on the same page. Excited for the adventure. We are all getting along. We will marvel at what we have seen. We will pose with the Bill of Rights. We will have wonderful intelligent conversations about American History. Day Two, still good, but sleeping arrangements in the hotel start unraveling, and a little complaining begins. “My feet hurt.” “This is boring.” “I want to see Mitt Romney.” Day Three, Mommy starts drinking at the Smithsonian food court, and we walk a little quicker through the museums, as we get the “gist” of the exhibits. Day Four, hostilities, resentments and alliances start forming. And finally, by Day Five, when the restaurant hostess asks us if we would like the table by the window which offers a beautiful view of the Washington Monument, I tell her I could give a shit about the view, take me to a table with enough outlets for my kids to plug in their Itouches, and not speak to me.
Truth be told, no matter what, I always love Days One through Five. They are my best times! And I am going to have a hell of a Shutterfly book.