This is probably one of my most favorite pictures in the world. Hands down, these are the most important people in my little family’s life. Those are my boys’ Omas and Opas. Tom’s parents in front, my parents in back, and if my Dad looks a little nervous, I’m pretty sure it’s because they happen to be in their very first Selfie! As I write this, these dear people are enjoying a much deserved vacation in the Canadian Rockies. And even though I know they’re still pinching pennies (because that’s the way they all are), I’m glad they’re at least upgrading the way they travel now from the way they traveled when they had us along. My parents took me on the same trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks when I was in Jr. High. Only we didn’t fly there. We drove a very economical Mitsubishi pick up truck with a small camper shell on the back which I rode in all 2000 miles (give or take a few hundred). I shared the back with an ice-chest which we ate out of all along the way, our clothes, and some sleeping bags which served as our beds every night. I’m not complaining. There’s nothing like waking up in the cab of the truck to your Dad shoving a giant ice-chest in your “bed” while simultaneously fighting off one of those crazy Canadian black bears. Great, now I get to sleep with the bear bait.
I am eternally grateful to my parents for having the good sense to pull me out of school so I could travel with them during their retirement years. I had so much fun with them I just had to repeat some of our adventures later on with my husband and his parents. We also ate out of an ice-chest and I even got them to rough-it in a sleeping bag a couple times and oh, the memories we made up there on the north side of the border. How cool is it that now both sets of parents are sharing the same adventure together (only without us, that’s kind of lame)! It’s the same kind of adventure Tom and I have been thrilled to share with our own boys. No matter how tight the budget, we’ve always managed to squeeze in some good old-fashioned road tripping. We’ve shlepped them all over the western half of the U.S. and we’ve done it on a shoestring.
Now that we live on an island, our trips are a bit more circuitous in nature. Okay, really we don’t get very far at all. But some times the weekend comes and the wanderlust hits and you just have to get out and do something. Like last weekend. We made it all the way down town to the Library Sale and filled up a bag of books for a couple bucks (books can take you anywhere, right?). Then I had the audacity to drag all five boys into a hoity-toity waterfront eatery because I happened to hear they were giving away free cupcakes in honor of their anniversary. I plopped down another couple bucks for some coffee so at least we’d be paying customers and then we sat down to enjoy our gourmet desserts, new books and a million dollar view!
To top it off we caught the trolley back home while Tom went off to a work-related event. Nothing like seeing your own town through the eyes of a tourist.
And really, there’s nothing like sharing adventures with your family. Big adventures across the country or little adventures down the road. Just get out there and do stuff with the people you love. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. You could get by just spending pennies. But the memories you’ll have down the road will be priceless.