Vacation highlights- not what you would expect

The family vacation I spent in Tucson had its share of exciting activities. Hot air ballooning,

visits to the zoo and the Biosphere 2, were at the top of the list; but we also had some fun activities on a daily basis, namely playing tennis and golf, badminton and bocce, which we could do right in mom’s neighborhood. If you asked my kids their favorite one, I am sure they would say the balloon ride.

While I loved it, I would put some more intimate moments at the top.

One of these was the sunny spot where mom and I would sit in the morning, sipping our coffee and admiring the beauty of the mountainous landscape behind her house. She looks out on a hillside of prickly pears and ocotillo,

where we often spotted rabbits, Peregrine Falcons and coyotes.

While we slowly woke up, we would sit together and enjoy the view. During these peaceful moments, we chatted about our plans for the day or reflected on life in general. I looked forward to our conversations every morning.It was a great way to reconnect as if we did not live thousands of miles apart.

Another time of day for bonding was in the late afternoon, sitting around the fire pit with our cocktails.

Sometimes the kids would join us and spark the conversation with observations of  the day’s activity. One example was after the Biosphere 2 visit,

we discussed what it would be like to inhabit as a subject of a scientific study and why it was important to do that experiment. This conversation led us to rent The Truman Show, a movie about a fake world created as a reality tv show. If their grandmother had not been there to get them thinking, I am sure the kids would have blown it off as one of my “teachable moment” activities. Instead, we were able to compare the movie to what we had seen, which made for another memorable discussion.

My mother encouraged me to go out for dinner with my husband. She really wanted to give us a chance to do something nice together; but I actually preferred eating together as a family and participating in a board game, a Wii tournament, a movie or some stargazing and S’mores.

I told her we would go out when we got home as the kids can fend for themselves. It was more unusual to have such a nice block of time, without distractions of homework, friends or after-school activities, during which we could all interact and have fun.

It does make you appreciate how quickly kids grow and become independent. You think you will have them around forever, and then you start seeing adulthood on the horizon. It makes you treasure every moment you have with them. Hopefully when mine are grown, they will want to come back “home” often and keep our family bond strong. I know how appreciative my parents are when I make the time to see them. That is why these moments of either one-on-one or family time are the most important to me and the highlights of my vacation.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suzicate
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 13:49:10

    Sounds like a lovely vacation…family makes it very special. The balloon is beautiful; don’t know if I’d be brave enough to take off in one though.

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  2. themiddlegeneration
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 14:04:58

    I have to admit I was nervous about the balloon ride, but our pilot told us he had never had a passenger become frightened even if they were afraid of heights. Something about the way you don’t feel the breeze and the peaceful views of the sunrise makes the whole experience very calming. I’m so glad I did it. Maybe you will too one day.

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