Friday, October 1, 2010

Trees, Trains & Water Parks, Oh My!

Hellooooo, October!  I'm looking forward to so many activities this month but excited most about Fall Break.  Nine whole days of dedicated family time!  I've been busy this afternoon making plans for the mini vacation we'll take that week.

I love planning vacations so much that I've often wondered if I should've been a travel agent.  I enjoy researching the area, finding the best deals, planning our itinerary, and even organizing and packing.  Tim really has it made, as all he has to do is open the truck door and come along for the ride. 

I'll spend so much time researching the area I feel like I could be a guide for visitors by the time we arrive.  It tickles me when I find interesting, little known places or surprises I sneak into our trip.  Sometimes we just happen upon them but I like having tidbits and ideas in my back pocket to use as needed.  The best found spot while researching was an orphanage down the road from a resort we stayed at in Jamaica.  Finding about it ahead of time, allowed us to plan a visit there and pack an extra bag of supplies and toys for the children.  Jamaica was a beautiful place and I have so many great memories of that trip but none compare to those precious little kids running up to us, with smiles wide as the ocean, and the day we spent there.

We have a rule about not eating at a restaurant we have at home, while on vacation, and make an effort for it to be one we've never eaten at before.  I'd much rather eat at a local diner or mom & pop than a chain restaurant.  Sometimes we've found treasures and break our rule, eating at a great find more than once while traveling.  When we took the boys to Pensacola the summer of 2008, we visited the same restaurant my grandparents loved taking us to as kids.  They loved it so much we went back again while there and I loved creating a generational memory that could continue to passed down.

As I mentioned, Tim gets the best of our trips, as he can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  In fact, the last anniversary trip we took, he did just that.  He had no clue where we were going or what the plans would be.  I plugged in the address on the GPS and told him to drive.  The entire vacation, I surprised him every step of the trip, from the scenic drive avoiding all major roadways, to the bed & breakfast, and all the little activities along the way.  It was an amazing get away to Southern Indiana, that included dining at the Overlook restaurant and visiting French Lick.  We had such a good trip, we decided to return and take Noah for this Fall Break.

Our trip will be different, as romantic bed & breakfasts and winery visits aren't really activities a ten year old would enjoy.  I don't think he'll miss it though, as we have booked a few nights at Big Splash Adventure, an indoor water park/hotel, and not one, but two different train rides.  We'll sneak in some fall foliage along the way and may have to return to the Overlook, if for nothing else but the spectacular views...and memories. 


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