Vacationing with Grandkids

Several years after vacationing with our first grandchild, I've taken four more trips with grandsons and granddaughters! I have linked them below so you can read about their adventures as well. All five have given me new experiences, kept me young and helped me become a travel blogger for seniors, solo wanderers and intergenerational activities. 

Middle of the sizzling summertime and I’m planning a winter vacation to NYC!  We committed to taking each of our five grandchildren on a trip of their choosing and now it’s our second granddaughter's turn.  At twelve, my Flower is the perfect age to research and explore what she wants to see and do. It actually feels good to think about ice skating at Rockefeller Center right now! 

After climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge several years ago, I wanted to share the experience with my Sunshine girl, the oldest grandchild. When the time came, she sweetly asked, “instead of Australia, is it okay if we go to Alaska instead?”  
As an animal lover living on the beach in Southern California, she was curious about this harsh, snowy environment and totally smitten with Alaskan Huskies. One of the states we’d never visited, it's full of history and a great place for a “doing” adventure! Top of the list was dog sledding. It felt like a magic carpet hovering above the snow and whisking us through the silent, white meadows again and again!  Not only did she mush, she was able to harness the dogs prior to our rides. Early April is still very wintertime in Alaska. We spent other days hiking mountain trails, cruising the Gulf of Alaska and touring behind-the-scenes at the SeaLife Center.

So...New York City during the holidays, or maybe her fall break from school. We’re definitely planning on The Lion King, Lady Liberty, FAO Schwarz, and of course, the ice rink!  The 9/11 Memorial is important too, she was born the day after. We love the idea of seeing the holiday-themed streets, parks and store window as only this city can do. My little fashionista, she’ll LOVE the shopping! And luckily, not only does she enjoy a good meal, but readily tries new foods! 

The younger ones couldn’t wait for their turn...that perfect 10-12 age range when they’re responsible but still accept hugs and grandma’s hand if necessary. 
My third trip was a dude ranch in Montana complete with cowboy boots and long hours in the saddle with my oldest grandson. The following year, his younger brother was up and he wanted to sleep on a train or in a treehouse. 
Grandma was growing older too and saving money to make sure the last little one got her chance. She favored swimming, sailing, sand dunes, horses and tea parties! Yes...we made it happen! Read about our Michigan lakeshore tour here.   
 I wanted them to choose what captured their imagination and curiosity.  Something to savor time with me as well as embrace the joys of travel. 

Our Kids As Parents

Arriving in terminal 1 at LAX, 
my granddaughters and I are first off the plane. 
We quickly head to the escalator. 
"Look!" they shout as it rises.
Up ahead through the double doors wait Mom and Dad, 
bending over to see up as we lean down to wave back. 
And suddenly there they were, 
all wrapped in a bear hug in my son’s arms.

Arriving at the pool with 4th of July cupcakes, 
I  see my daughter in the middle of the pool
surrounded by her three munchkins.
One on her shoulders,
one hanging on her back 
and one doing flips in front. 
My younger grandkids wave, 
but I see and hear only her, whooping and laughing
with joy and delight 
as they perform again and again!

These are the moments captured only by the heart, 
but it's something more.
Internal, maternal and eternal. 
Like a smile coming from the soul, 
I feel so much love and admiration for these two 
as I watch them parent their own children. 
Thanks go to God...and to my husband! 
What an amazing  job we did, huh?  
We are forever parents and 
the sense of pride just keeps growing.