Thank goodness we took our children to Yellowstone National Park when our daughter was about 10 and our son was about 15 years old. Honestly…they were old enough to like and understand the wonders of Yellowstone. Yet, they were still young enough to like and sort of understand us at the same time! Yellowstone was one of our most favorite family vacations for many reasons such as…
***The morning that we opened our cabin door at Yellowstone…and were greeted by a giant bison staring at us. He was perhaps four feet away. Look…all we wanted to do was go to the lodge for breakfast. Since he obviously did not understand “Excuse me!”, we just stared back. Our daughter sat on the floor in the middle of the cabin and refused to budge until the bison (that we called a buffalo) walked away. Our son wanted to go out and look more closely at him. Neither of the actions seemed particularly a good idea. After 20 minutes or so, he ambled off. That is why…ever since that morning…I have thought that we would open a cabin door in Colorado and be greeted by a bear.
***We sat on the benches in front of Old Faithful three separate times to watch the geyser erupt about 130 feet in the air. To watch the excitement on our children’s faces was worth the long drive to Wyoming!
***My husband and our son walked along the boardwalk trail to tour the Upper Geyser Basin. This area has the largest numbers of geysers to be found in the park. There are also several hot springs and now a recently developed mudpot. Our daughter had announced that she might not need to see another geyser that day and we had fun looking inside the Old Faithful Inn. Building was begun on the Inn in 1903 and even a ten year old was infatuated with the 65 foot ceiling and the huge log fireplace. And the gift shop was a cool place for us to visit without the guys!
***Driving alongside the Grand Tetons on the way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming! They seemed so majestic that they were almost frightening and yet…I probably have seen taller mountains…but none so very beautiful! And…Jackson Hole…fun!!!!!
I remember this particular vacation as if it were yesterday. Yes…it was a long drive, but we wanted to see the countryside beyond Colorado. We wanted our children to see another National Park…I wish that we could have visited even more. We never visited Glacier National Park and we never visited Yosemite National Park. Time is fleeting when you are raising a family.
As the beautiful song from Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” says…
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze.
Before your children are grown up, plan to take them to some of the most interesting and spectacular places imaginable. Save the money, save the time, save the memories! Their growing up time goes by so very quickly and suddenly they are college bound. Enjoy your time together! You may truly see your relationship with your children blossom! Seeing unique places happens to be one of the outstanding and worthwhile learning experiences that you can give your child. You won’t regret these special and sweet moments spent together enjoying the world!
My favorite of the must-see places to take your children before they are grown:
1. Pacific Coast Highway Drive
Highway 1 is a curvy road that runs down beside California’s coast. The road winds past high cliffs with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. My most favorite parts…Monterey Bay and Big Sur State Park, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Malibu! And…of course… San Francisco and Los Angeles!
2. The Colorado Rockies
There are plenty of activities for summer and for winter vacations. Bike riding, horseback trail rides, four wheeling, jeep tours in the summer. Renting snow skis in the winter and signing up for classes for everyone. Learning to ride a snowmobile. Ice skating. So much to do!! My favorite towns: Ouray, Telluride, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek. Colorado Rocky Mountain High will always be my favorite of all favorites for family fun!
3. The French Quarter, New Orleans
Everyday seems like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. You may think of New Orleans as a wild, party city. In all actuality, there are many family friendly things to do and a world of historical facts to learn. Places to see: Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde for delicious beignets, the Mississippi River, Audubon Aquarium, Audubon Butterfly Garden and beautiful St. Charles Avenue. You can ride the streetcar down St. Charles from downtown to the venerable Garden District, home of many historic mansions. Oh…how I love those wonderful houses! And don’t forget the Audubon Zoo…where I spent many fun hours with my nephews and our own children when they were little.
4. San Antonio, Texas River Walk
Your entire family can certainly enjoy walking along the sidewalks that wind beside the San Antonio River. The River Walk has turned downtown San Antonio into a mecca of vacation experiences. You can take a boat tour on the five miles of waterway and stop at nearby museums, restaurants, shops and historical locations along the way. The most famous place of history near the River Walk in San Antonio is the Alamo, a Spanish mission where an 1836 battle was fought in the Texas Revolution. And the Mexican food in San Antonio…the very best!! My favorite restaurant in San Antonio is the popular Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia!
WISHING YOU SUMMERTIME FUN WITH YOUR FAMILY!!!