After working here for 12 years (eep!), I am thrilled to take my parents away for the first time EVER this weekend. It’s been quite some time since our last family vacation. As a kid, every year, we packed up the car and headed north to the lake house for a few weeks. We’d load the car the night before, remembering to leave room for groceries we’d have to get along the way, and then it was up at 4:30AM to get into the car and out on the road by 5:30AM so we could avoid any dreaded construction traffic. All told the ride was about four hours, unless I drove with my grandmother and then it was easily six. Ok, more like five, but she always let me control the radio. Once we got into ‘town’ we’d spend another hour in the grocery store, and then finally, we’d drive that last thirty-minutes to the lake. While I will forever cherish the memories made there, I have to say lounging under a palapa at an ultra-exclusive resort in Mexico is a bit more to my liking these days. Why? Options and convenience.
The lake house was fantastic; a truly great way to get away but unfortunately, there wasn’t much going on. Of course there was swimming, biking, hiking, etc… but somewhere between ages 12 and 20, I traded muddy trails for mud baths. As far as nighttime activities, we always fell back on rather spirited, and occasionally brutal games of Monopoly. Again, I wouldn’t trade these summers for the world, but the vacation options offered in resort areas of Riviera Maya are incredible, affordable and quite frankly, I can get there quicker, and for less than renting our lake house for a week. Plus, I don’t get stuck doing dishes for the entire week if I land on Boardwalk and can’t pay-up during one of our knock-down-drag-out aforementioned game nights.
What’s got me so stoked about this vacation is hearing everyone plan their own itinerary. My parents are rather seasoned travelers and like to get out and about. Me? I’m a beach girl, so I’ll be there. My folks will get their culture on at Chichen Itza and also head out snorkeling. My fiancé and father will golf (and play Ping-Pong). Mom will shop. And… I’ll still inevitably be at the beach.
Note: If someone could kindly remind me to turn over occasionally, that would be appreciated.
And then there’s my favorite vacation moment of all. That moment where my parents will stare at me in amazement and I get to explain, again, that “yes, everything is included”. There’s no greater feeling for me than seeing someone experience their first luxury All-Inclusive. Champagne? Done. Kayak? It’s yours. Giant marshmallows for breakfast? You got it (and you know who you are).
So while I’ll always love the lake and our family vacations, I’m thrilled to finally return the favor. I’m glad to see that family vacations don’t have to stop once the kids are grown.