My Summer Vacation
Yep, it's already planned and paid for.
I get the singular joy of vacationing in....Ohio. That's right, Ohio. Not exactly a top holiday destination.
We go, nearly every year, to visit my husband's parents, members of my family and my female best friend, Emma.
We take the train, which is usually the most enjoyable part of the trip. I LOVE travelling by train, particularly by first-class sleeper car. The view is fantastic, the motion of the train literally rocks me to sleep at night, and the food? Airlines should take notice...Amtrak knows how to feed a traveller. Last time, I had the most exquisite roast herb chicken and New York cheesecake. Fabulous. And they run circles around airlines in customer service...and they do it with a smile, not a smirk. Makes all the difference, in my opinion.
It's also a great opportunity to study US geography with the kids. We can talk about each state and major city as we go through it. I print out map outlines for them to color in as we reach each area. Then there's the scenery...once, while going through Glacier Mountain Park in Montana, we saw two bears playing in a small stream! The kids were thrilled.
The break from the usual is welcome as well: no computers, video games, cell phones or television. Just sightseeing, card games, reading and playing together. I once saw a family on the train: two adults, three kids. All of them spent the whole trip (at least what I saw) with their faces stuck in laptops...even in the dinner car! Maybe I'm old-fashioned that way, but isn't a family vacation supposed to be about reconnecting with your family? You can play the Sims at home.
I even like the layover in Chicago...although it seems like everyone and their mother sells "Chicago-style" pizza these days, you can only get the real deal in the Windy City itself. It's the same with Philly cheese steaks, I've found. Almost worth the extra side-trip to Philly to get one.
If only our destination wasn't a piss-ant town in Ohio...it would be perfect! Sigh.