Family Adventure

Family Adventure

I love a beach vacation! Toes in the sand (usually being buried the preschooler), bocce ball on the beach, seafood at dinner-these are the things family summer vacations are made of, right? I would say a firm yes! I would also add that a family adventure provides a richness of experience we didn’t know we were looking for!

For many years, some friends invited us to come to a Dude Ranch in Colorado. Our friends have been going to this ranch for over a decade. They told us about days spent riding horses, fly fishing, and watching sunsets over vast landscapes. Evening were filled with hay rides, camp fires, and even a square dance. While it all sounded fun, I couldn’t get past that fact that we are not horse people! We definitely don’t ride, or really even fish. What were we supposed to do all day? After about five years of them asking us to join them our list of excuses ran out. That’s when we found ourselves on our way to a dude ranch

As the primary trip activity planner/meal coordinator/ gear manager for my family it was nice to have the a lot of the mental burden of trip planning lifted. I love the beach but it usually feels like I’m still parenting, cooking, and doing laundry just in a different location.  Maybe all the “moming” is what I really wanted a vacation from!?!  These types of trips usually come with some preplanned activities/ set schedule. Any free time I felt like I was giving up was immediately negated by not having to plan, get supplies or tickets for activities or events. The shared experiences of trying new things, seeing new sights, learning about a different way or life/ culture are memories my husband and I cherish and my kids talk about all the time!

Crossing the River

A family adventure trip will likely leave you more unplugged than you would normally be. Dads are away from email, moms away from phones, kids put down homework and screens. Our week there seemed to slow us all down in the most wonderful way. The daily rhythms of going to eat when a bell rang, taking a rest in the afternoon, and sunset watching being a celebrated evening event are restful and restorative.

In the past my husband and I hiked the Grand Canyon (the rim to river trail from Bright Angel Lodge). We also were able to go on a medical mission trip to Kenya for a few weeks in grad school. These trips are some of our most cherished memories from early in our marriage and we can’t wait until our kids are old enough to go too. This fall we are taking the whole family to a weekend family camp at a Young Life camp. Are you ready for your family adventure? Let me know in the comments below.

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