EUCLID, Ohio — To travel or not to travel, that was the question my husband and I would ponder every summer when our three daughters, who are now teenagers and young adults, were young.

It was no surprise. As for many parents of young children, just the thought of packing car seats, strollers, packaged games and enough entertainment to occupy the most active youngsters — on long car trips or cramped flights — makes us it was enough. to question the wisdom of going on vacation versus staying home.

Looking back, I’m glad we never shied away from the dangers and frustrations of traveling with kids. Yes, sometimes our trips to bond with family or explore new horizons can be hectic and stressful, but now I can recall, with misty-eyed nostalgia, the abundance of family memories that are now images of distant in the rear view of our family. mirror, as our daughters have grown.

Early on, we discovered the magic of Cheerios and ice cream, and their power to calm even the loudest individuals. Together we licked up the salty ocean air and relaxed on chain hotel mattresses, happy to have found an escape from home. We enthusiastically explored our share of zoos and aquariums and logged countless miles in our minivan, our pseudo living room on wheels.

While our early family trips were often fueled by a love of oceanfront beaches, we drifted off on journeys shaped by our own curiosity. A trip to New York City was prompted by my middle daughter’s desire to visit the Statue of Liberty and the Central Park Zoo, the backdrop for the animated Madagascar movies. A trip to Washington, DC, was conceived out of another girl’s desire to see the White House.

Our late fourth grade teacher inspired our trips to Bar Harbor, Maine, where we went lobster fishing and a day trip to explore the Everglades after our family trip to Disney World.

We visited family in Puerto Rico and Omaha, Nebraska and relived my husband’s childhood vacations to the Jersey Shore. Some of our Hilton Head trips include spending a day in Savannah, Georgia and weekends in Charleston, South Carolina. One of our summer road trips started in Niagara Falls, passed through the Finger Lakes of New York, and ended with two days spent in Boston and Cape Cod.

This year, the price of gas didn’t stop us from traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where we took a boat cruise to see the Picture Cliffs, hiked around Tahquamenon Falls, and rode road bikes around Mackinac Island. Driving down the west coast of Michigan, we stopped in many quaint and charming towns, before spending time in Traverse City and seeing the impressive Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Over the years, we’ve learned that no matter the destination, big or small, what creates the vacation memories we hold dear is the time we spend together enjoying the change in our daily routine and sharing the wonder of the new environment, however simple. .

Rachel Santiago

Rachel Santiago

Summer trips weren’t always a given, but the memory of sunny days and outdoor activity gives yesterday’s summer a mystical glow. More than the trips, I remember ice cream and picnics along Lake Erie, along with hikes in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and walks in our favorite Metroparks.

I especially love summer, my sister and I ran Camp Rock, a cousin camp with my daughters and my brother’s son and daughter, complete with t-shirts, crafts, snacks, and daily outings to beaches, museums, and parks local.

Now that my girls are juggling jobs, college classes, and sports conditions, the little things of summer, now more elusive, are what I appreciate most. It’s a reminder that we all need to make memories, big and small, as much as we can.

Raquel Santiago is a freelance writer who lives in Euclid with her husband and their three daughters. This summer, in addition to the family trip to Michigan, she is working as an associate with Literary Cleveland.

Have something to say on this topic?

* Submit a letter to the editor, which will be considered for print publication.

* Email general questions about our editorial board or comments or corrections to this opinion column to Elizabeth Sullivan, director of opinion, at [email protected].

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *