A few years back, my family started taking annual vacations that include multiple generations. I never, ever would have thought that it could have worked (you've got to know my family), but it actually does. Of course, it takes lots of planning and lots of flexibility. Even then, there's always a ridiculous argument--generally during the first 24 hours, followed by a wonderful time!

We generally plan many months in advance--who's going, who's not going, who wants to go but showed off last year so they are blacklisted, etc. The hardest part of the planning is determining dates that work for everyone. Once you have the WHO and the WHEN...the rest generally falls into place. Since I live in South Florida, the WHERE is a given.

Of course, we've learned quite a few lessons along the way--like the older folks don't really appreciate venues without elevators, and the younger folks don't seem to care for casinos (you've got to be 21 to enter). Also, you can NOT speak to my Mom or even look in her direction while the plane is in the air. She just sits there white knuckled, staring straight ahead, braced for some imagined collision, any moment. (shrug) And, what may be the most important lesson of all--my Dad will NOT leave his hotel room for ANY reason until EVERY judge show on television has gone off--including Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Wapner(reruns), the Texas Judge, the Divorce Judge, etc. There is no reason to even plan an activity before every single case has been settled. Hmmmm..what is THAT about? Really..WHAT is THAT about???

It's also a challenge to find activities that everyone agrees on. Two that always work are shopping and eating. Shopping can be anything from a cheap souvenir shop to an upscale mall. We used to split up at the mall, until it became apparent that it is in your best interest to stick close to my Dad, whose been known to whip out a credit card at the Coach counter in Macy's and buy purses for every female in the group. Now we fight over whose turn it is to "walk with GrandDad." Same with food--we can go anywhere from fast food to fine dining--just know that my older daughter always orders something she doesnt really want, asks the server for an extra plate, and then insists that everyone around the table share their meal with her and that my younger daughter will be mortified if we all get up on the table to dance, as is the custom in our favorite Greek restaurant.

All in all, even being the dysFUNctional lot that we are, I wouldn't give up these memories for anything in the world. The photo ops alone are worth the drama! What are your family vacations like? Who goes? Who plans? Who needs to watch all the judge shows? Share--

Your comments--priceless!
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5 Responses
  1. Cmiles Says:

    You love and miss your family when they arent near, and when its time to part you are so relieved to not be away from them for a while...but the memories are priceless.

  2. Anonymous Says:


  3. Laurie Says:

    Ok and I thought my family was on trip mode too. We are planning a family cruise this year and I am just laying back and waiting to find out which cheap folks gonna attend. I praying that my cousins cockeyed wife goes so I can plan my strategy to toss her overboard. Jewel we should combine family trips but I wanna be the one to stay with your dad this time

  4. Anonymous Says:

    A wonderful and insightful funny look into your family. I challenge anyone who cant find the same nuances in their family tree. But, the beauty is that as DYSfuctional as they may appear to others, they are ours to love and cherish and, provide us with enough humorus fodder to pass on to our children.

  5. nursey Says:

    I have many fond memories of our family trips that I will cherish forever. We use to plan trips so it was affordable to all and try to include something for everybody. Now that the cousins, nieces and nephews are are older, yearly trips have folded to by way side. There is a small(4-6) group of us that can be counted on to go somewhere at least yearly. Like you mentioned we all have our little quirks, these are priceless memories that will always bring smiles or burst of laughter.

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