Thursday, April 9, 2009

Living Lovely with Family

Today's theme at Mt. Hope Chronicles' Living Lovely with Family is budget vacations, and that's something I'm quite familiar with. For years and years, our vacations consisted of doing only one thing: visiting friends and family. Our only cost was gas and food for the road.

When Jesse was three, Dr. H's uncle got married in Hawaii, and that was an amazing vacation. Between Randy's uncle's frequent flier miles and the generosity of his parents and grandpa, we paid not a dime for the trip. That's what happens when you are poor graduate students with the most adorable little boy.

Hawaii was an exception, though. The rest of our vacations were really spent making the long drive from Iowa to Indiana, New York, and/or Tennessee. (Traveling with two kids in a two-door Toyota Tercel without air-conditioning is really not much fun.)

After graduate school, though, when Mr. H. became Dr. H., we bought a van and drove from Iowa to New Orleans. That was probably our first "non-family" vacation, although it was for a friend's wedding.

We'd both been to New Orleans before separately (him in college for fun, me pre-kids for business), but it was totally different—and quite wonderful—as a family vacation. We had a great time.

Since then we've taken two family vacations to Disneyland (one included a few days at Tybee Island) and last year's family vacation to Williamsburg, and the rest: back to the budget vacations.

We have August in upstate New York in my hometown: swimming, sailing, hiking, canoeing. Sounds like luxury and worth hundreds of dollars, I know, but for us it's just the cost of gas and road food, just like it was years ago. My parents are wonderful and gracious, and I wouldn't trade this budget vacation for anything.

Our other regular vacation: camping.
We live at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We camp. We hike. We eat a lot of s'mores in the summer. We create a lifetime of memories.

I'd like to do the Grand Canyon and New England and the Black Hills. Backpacking through Europe would be amazing, and I dream of us breathing deeply in Scotland. But for now, I'm happy with mountains and lakes. And maybe one big trip every couple of years.

Do you have vacations to share? Be sure to visit Living Lovely with Family and share your stories!

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! I knew I'd enjoy what you had to share. :) I, too, see a backpacking trip across Europe in 'our' future. Personally, I'd much rather do a family Europe vacation a la Rick Steves, but it may not be in the budget. If not, I may send my 4 men without me. (Not that I wouldn't want to go, but I'm not sure I'd want to be the only girl on a backpacking trip...) I've known from your photos what a gorgeous area you live in. May I put you on my 'road trip across the U.S.' map? ;-)


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