When I was 19 years old I moved across the country and away from my family. At the time it was exciting and freeing. I didn’t think that I would be there forever, but eventually I met my future husband, settled down, and started a family. After my first was born I saw my mom about four times in two years, while my in-laws of course were around daily if needed. When the second came along it became harder for me to travel alone all of the way back to Florida from California.
Before my oldest’s third birthday, we decided to do what our parents did with us and take a family road trip across the country for the holidays. With a toddler and baby in tow, we made the trek from California to Florida – and back – in our minivan. We planned it out for months, mapping out which routes we would take each way and where we would stop to stretch our legs and where we would stay the night. We were even blessed enough to have great friends to stop and visit with along the way.
Many of our friends told us we were crazy taking a two-and-a-half year old and an almost one year old on a road trip, but we did it anyway. We hit a few milestones on that vacation; first Christmas, first birthday and first New Years for the baby, and even the first time seeing snow for both of them. It was an amazing adventure, and one of the best Christmases of my life – and a very exciting holiday for the kids as well.
When we returned, I think a lot of people expected to hear horror stories about our trip, but all we had to share were some of the great memories we made. Despite the fact that most of our adventures turn out more like something out of a National Lampoon movie, we made it home completely unscathed by disaster. It was such a great experience that we are planning to do it again this Christmas, with an even younger baby this time around.
What was your child’s first family vacation?
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