I live at the coast but I LOVELOVELOVE the mountains. We spent quite a lot of time up there when I was growing up. My family went camping a good bit. So my little vacation was going to be up in the blue ridge mountains. All by myself. And Tucker, of course.
Most of you already know that my plan was quickly sabotaged by all four of the lovelies, SILextraordinaire, DrummerBoy, and my dad and step-mom. Yep. Quite quickly.
This was really not that big of a deal. I love my kids and time spent with adult children becomes tricky when they all live in different towns and/or states. Just getting together often requires a big family event like a wedding or a major holiday such as Christmas.
And there was the fact that I had no transportation. Slight issue. Ha!
The day after Christmas, Deanie, Breezy, Tucker, and I set out for the mountains. Birdie, SILextraordinaire, DoodleBug and DrummerBoy would all meet us the following day and my dad and step-mom would also arrive on Sunday.
The trip up was interesting. Everyone in our family is rather tall- 5'8"- 5'10" for the women and up to 6'4" for the boys- so riding up in DoodleBug's car was not the easiest thing for the three tallest females to do. Especially since it was packed FULL. DoodleBug drives this:
When we arrived, one of the first things I noticed after the magnificent view and the coziness of the cabin was that my grown up kids still act like they are little when we are all together. I'm the one cooking and cleaning up and blahblahblah. I paid for the cabin and they're having all the fun. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
So, I've come up with a little list that will help me the next time we go up to the cabin.
10 Suggestions as to How to Vacation with Grown Up Kids.
- Do not go in a clown car. Unless you are short. Or a clown. Do have a couple of cars so that people can do their own thing.
- Remind your kids, who ARE all grown ups, that you are no longer in the business of raising them. They are responsible for helping with EVERYTHING.
- Make it clear that you are only responsible for your dog, not theirs.
- Make it clear that outside visitors are not to be invited without your ok. That may be just fine with y'all, but I was on vacation. I was not interested in entertaining.
- Make sure they understand that they are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. There is no reason in the world why people cannot clean up after themselves. Especially when we're talking about grown ups. And none of this, "I'll do it later," BS. That translates to, "If I leave it long enough, Mom will clean it up." Newsflash: No, she won't.
- Make everyone responsible for a meal. Deanie took on the breakfasts while we were on vacation. Unfortunately, she had to leave on the 30th which meant that I could either take over cooking breakfast or just not have any. I'm just not that easy about making it only for myself. Maybe I should try harder... Anyway, suggest that the meals be easy and able to feed a crowd. Like spaghetti or chili. If we want a fancy meal, we can eat out. OH-take coffee and a HUGE French press. There will be no possible way to survive a vacation with your grown up kids without coffee. For them and for you.
- Take loads of games. Maybe it's just my family, but playing games is something we love doing so, taking a bunch of our favorite games along keeps everyone happy and laughing.
- Paying your own way. Everyone is a grown up in my family now. They all have grown up and jobs and, a couple of them make more money than I. SO, when going shopping or participating in an activity that costs money or eating out, everyone should pay their own way. It gets rather costly when you have to pay for your grown up kids plus their significant others. Though I'm not really opposed to treating everyone to ONE meal out. My granddaddy and dad always did/do that so, apple and tree...
- Pick a place to stay that offers togetherness and privacy. Spending time together becomes all the more important when the kids are all grown up and living in their own homes in their own towns/cities/states. But, it's also important, when everyone is back under one roof, to make sure people have somewhere to have quiet time. It you're the parent, you're most likely used to quiet and will soon realize that you miss it. Choose wisely.
- Remind everyone (mostly yourself) that not all of you HAVE to go to the same places every single day. Personal preferences are allowed. It's works well to do some things all together and some things in small groups or as couples or alone. Mainly, don't depend on too much planning. Be will to go with the flow.
I hope y'all can see the humor here. The humor that keeps me from killing someone. Ha! The truth is, it is different traveling with your adult children. Even when two of them have returned to the nest. Maybe y'all don't have the same situation as I. Maybe your kids don't go straight into assuming that things will be the same as when they were growing up. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed vacationing with them! They still make life fun and funny. And I hope that never changes!
What are your ideas on traveling with adult children?