We just got back from a summer trip to Door County, Wisconsin. It was a fantastic family vacation, and one I will always remember.
Our first major stop was in Dubuque, Iowa. It's an awesome Mississippi River town, and the kids got to stay in a hotel on the waterfront. The hotel featured an indoor waterpark.
We also toured the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium where I came face to face with the biggest catfish I've ever seen. Then we traveled through Madison, Wisconsin, and then Green Bay, Wisconsin (where we made a quick stop in the parking lot of Lambeau Field for pictures of the home of the Green Bay Packers). Then we rolled into Egg Harbor, Wisconsin for a very relaxing and scenic three days. We stayed at the Alpine Inn, and it was great.
We really enjoyed seeing the massive waters of Lake Michigan along the coastline of Door County, and we had a blast climbing to the top of the Cana Island Lighthouse. On the way back, we stopped for the night in the Amana Colonies in eastern Iowa, and it was wonderful seeing the old sandstone buildings, and peeking inside some of the shops. I would rate this trip as one of the best I've taken.
But as a dad who is concerned about the details, there is always a little bit of stress along the way. Sometimes I get a little too concerned about "getting to the destination" instead of "enjoying the ride." I think it's just a reflection of the job that I do everyday.
Here in the newsroom, we are always focused on meeting deadlines, and even on vacation, that sometimes translates into my push to reaching destinations on time. I recognize the fact that I need to chill out and realize the journey is more important than the destination. I am working on it.
One example of when the stress began to build was when we were sight-seeing in Madison. I have never been there before, and for me, it seemed like the streets around the UW campus and the state capitol were busy and confusing. We had the goal of getting ice cream at the student union, and so we spent quite a bit of time driving back and forth to find it. Yes, I should of just asked for directions, but dads don't always do that.
The streets were full of cars, I was going the wrong way at least once, and it was hitting 98 degrees outside. At one point I accidentally drove over a curb, and the luggage, the cooler, and other bags in the back of our SUV bounced-- along with us! I remember shouting "DANGIT" in a loud voice. I think the kids knew I was frustrated.
The moment passed, especially after we found the union and I got a taste of some ice cream called "Berry Therapy". It could be the best ice cream I've ever tasted.
Later, after the kids figured out that I was no longer stressed, they thought it was funny I got so upset, and they imitated how I acted.
That bothered me a little bit. I always try to be a good role model for my kids, and I felt bad about my brief loss of control. I told them that I should have stayed calm, and I shouldn't have gotten so stressed out. I don't think it was a big deal, but I have a suspicion this is a moment they might remember. Oh well. As a dad, you can't be perfect all the time, right?
Do you remember any funny moments on a family vacation, or something your Dad did on a trip that you remember years later? Let me know. It's always good to hear from you.
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