I hail from a clan. Our family was organized by our grandmothers. Then the torch was passed to our parents who called often when we lived away from home and got their feelings bruised when they didn’t get information about our lives first-hand.
Now, WE have the task of keeping the family informed and corralling the crew. Around the Christmas table last year, the gang voted to take a family vacation to California to visit our son Caleb, who is far flung on the west coast.
As there were milestone birthdays on the calendar this year, it was a good year to go. The much older sister started the campaign. The niece set up a group text for “Family Vacay”.
I researched accommodations and made flight reservations. I found a vacation rental by owner where we could have together time and personal space. We counted the days and tossed in texts of how we would like to spend our hours.
We made a visit to see Mickey Mouse and the 18-year-old got her ears. The 40-year-old was king of the Uber app. He saw a new release movie and took the boys to see the LA Dodgers baseball game.
The 35-year-old was all in for the beach scene, and was even ok when the temperature dropped to mid-60s because that meant no guilt for a lazy day that we tried to put on swimsuits but sweats felt better.
The 30-year-old played tour guide for his family from Oklahoma. He made sure we dined at the Studio City restaurant where he works.
Hubby, Doug, didn’t have a major birthday but he took some of us to the prestigious Magic Castle for shows and dinner. Our newest family member, nephew-in-law, voted for an excursion to Catalina Island.
The niece-in-law made time to do some shopping in the “I can’t believe how big this mall is!” mall. Bro-in-law loves to drive and explore, and would take off and come back with a story.
Sister did what she does best, went grocery shopping and kept in the kitchen filling the table with food for us to sit down and eat, family-style.
There was a little something for everyone. A nice balance of tourist time and down time. The week was long enough for us to make some major memories but short enough to think it went by too quickly.
I wasn’t in charge. I waited for someone else to announce leave times and what we were doing. We laughed, and discussed, and were a family.
Maybe it’s a bit sentimental, but we all need to make memories while we can.
After all is said and done, people remember more the time spent with family and friends than they do the days they spent at the office. And remember if you can always make a group tour your traveling family. We are a traveling clan, Good to Go.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.