When you think of Spring Break, the beach, wild parties and drinking alcohol may come to mind. Well, for the Vanderford family, the words synonymous with Spring Break 2011 are: the mountains, swimming in a hotel pool and sipping Jamba Juice smoothies. The end of March, we packed up our little red SUV and drove west to Colorado.
The kids had been to this famously beautiful Rocky Mountain state before. Jacob was two when he was a ring bearer in his uncle’s wedding in Denver. And both kids had been babies when they crossed the border into this western wonderland. But, they really didn’t have any memories of the snow-capped peaks or tumbling tumbleweeds floating across the grassy plains. They had been to the mystical Black Hills in South Dakota the past two years, so they had an idea of what “hills” were all about. But, seeing the Rockies, well, that’s another story.
There’s something about a vacation that puts life back into perspective. As parents we get so wrapped up in work, activities and the daily routine that time alone as a family on an open road is a welcome blessing. There are no kids chasing friends in the neighborhood. No computer. No TV time. It’s just a family of four, the open road, and endless adventures.
On the drive to Colorado, my son and I read books and both kids drew and colored. And the kids continued to sketch…the Colorado state capitol building, the mountains, the Royal Gorge Bridge. I took pictures with the camera Jon gave me for my birthday. As the kids know, mom is dangerous when armed with a camera! I took pictures in the hotel pool of them splashing around with their goggles. I took pictures on hikes and I even took pictures of our Beaujo’s pizza.
I also try to keep track of cute kid comments. Jacob was a little scared on the hairpin drives above Boulder. Olivia, acting like a brave 5-year-old going on 20 said, “Jacob, don’t even think about looking. Shut your eyes and shut your mouth and open your nose!”
And, even after seeing the snow-capped mountains and rugged Royal Gorge, Jacob still said, “I can’t wait to get back to the hotel to swim and watch basketball.”
It’s funny what little kids enjoy. As adults, we want to see and do everything on vacation. And kids, well, they just like to eat and swim. And when asked what the kids liked best about the trip, they both said, “Spending time together as a family.”
Life gets busy. There’s school and work and activities. But, there should also be a family vacation. Try to schedule one in your daily planner. Our Spring Break 2011 turned out to be another trip to remember.