Disclosure: This post is sponsored by TravelingMom.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We took a lot of family vacations when I was a kid. A lot. I have no idea how my parents did it. I mean, it was back in the day when we weren’t in car seats, which meant the entire back seat was fair game. There was lots of pushing, shoving, fighting over toys, and bathroom breaks. And of course the infamous “Mom he’s touching me!”, and “He’s on my side of the car.” Let me just tell you, when your father is an only child, he has no sympathy for those games. None! Thank goodness the benefits of family travel, outweigh the headaches.
Now it’s my turn to be in the driver’s seat, kids in the back, luggage, toys, and everything under the sun taking up every inch of space in our SUV, and two bickering children. Sometimes, usually within the first 10-15 miles on the road, I wonder, “What were you thinking?” That thought is followed by, “How the heck did my parents do this without DVD players and tablets to keep us occupied?” Whew!
But then you get to your destination, like our trip last summer to SeaWorld SanAntonio, and the fun starts. Nothing makes me happier than sharing new adventures with my children. See, I have no idea why, but my Dad had a love for water parks. So as kids if we were anywhere near an open water park, we’d definitely spend a day, slipping, sliding, and splashing. The best part: when you’re in water, you can’t answer your phone or stay connected. And that was back when cell phones weren’t invented.
Today, I find myself too plugged in. We’re on vacation, I’m checking in on Foursquare, tweeting about what we’re doing, and checking my IMs. Last June, we took the kids to Aquatica and I left my phone and my work in the locker. My son and daughter had our undivided attention, and the entire day was about fun. Plus, since my kids are almost two years apart, we were able to have some one on one time with each of them. My husband and daughter rode on the big kid slides, while my son and I splashed in the toddler area.
Then we rode the family ride, Stingray Falls, just the two of us. Look out, this is when I learned my son is a thrill seeker. “Again, let’s ride it again!”, he screamed before we’d even exited the raft. Up several flights of stairs, and through the rapids in a raft, we rode over and over and over again. When the sun finally set, and the lifeguard yelled “Last time”, we were water logged, and dead tired.
Now, almost a year has gone by since that trip, but the memories are fresh in our minds. Every day my son asks, “Mommy, can we go to the water park today?” While his older sister is drawing flowers and bunny rabbits, every picture he draws is a water slide! I can’t wait until next month when we hop in the car, and head back to the wave pools and lazy river. Sharing my love of travel, and passion for water parks with our kids, reminds me of my childhood. There’s really not a better way to spend quality time, than to take a family trip, and live in the moment.
Where will you go this summer?
TravelingMom.com is giving away a 7-day vacation for a family of four at a Diamond Resorts International® property of your choice!
Choose between these resorts:
Orlando Grand Beach
Vegas Polo Towers
Hawaii Ka’anapali Beach Club
Los Cabos Cabo Azul
*Transportation is not included.Sweepstakes is open through June 9, 2014.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
On Monday, June 2nd, 2014 (9:00 PM ET – 10:00 PM ET) we’re throwing a Traveling Mom and Diamond Resorts twitter party. We’ll be talking family travel and of course there will be prizes to win! Mark your calendars, so you can hop on twitter and follow the #TMOM #DiamondResorts hashtags to join the fun.