Friday, January 16, 2015

My Little Mountain Getaway, Part 3: Travelling with Adult Kids

Suppose you hadn't had a 'real' vacation in your married life- well, maybe two. Exactly, two. And then suppose that you decided that, since the kids were all grown up and moved out (except the two who moved back in) you would take yourself a nice, quiet, alone vacation.

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:

It's a 2011 Suzuki Sportback SX4. Or, as I like to call it (because it's a much more accurate description), a clown car. 

DoodleBug is the shortest of all the family, standing 5'5". The car is perfect for her. It's not so perfect for the rest of us. Not on a 3 1/2 hour trip to the mountains. Deanie, our driver, stands 5'8" and forgot to put the seat back before she packed the space behind the seat, tight. I rode shotgun and Breezy was directly behind me. We are both, 5'10". Two of us do not travel well under ideal conditions. So, you can imagine how this trip went. I will say though, that the complaints were accompanied by 3 1/2 hours of laughing so, not as bad as it could have been.

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Make it clear that you are only responsible for your dog, not theirs. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. 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?


  1. We haven't traveled a lot with our boys, but when we do it works out just fine. We spent a week in New Orleans, years ago, with our youngest and his wife (at the time). We had a blast. Separate hotel rooms, and they went out for late night partying when we went to bed at 10:00 p.m. Lots of laughs and good memories. When both 'boys' visit us, they are good about picking up and paying their way. I agree with all 10 of your rules and am happy to say that we have never had to write out a list because they do all of that already. I will confess that in my younger years (and with husband #1) we did 'allow' mom and dad to do for us, as if we were still pre-teens. Wish sometimes that I could do those years over.

    1. I have one who doesn't 'allow' anyone to do anything for her. She's totally independent and, if she wants/needs anything, she gets it for herself. I love that independence in her. I have that myself. I have another one who is quite like that though she doesn't turn down something people want to give her. The other two...well, this post is mostly directed at them. LOL

  2. Loved this one. I am of the mindset that everyone pitch in with the "work" part and then enjoy yourselves for the rest of each day. That means NO AGENDAS. Wake up and see what the day brings. That always works best for me. When the ex's adult daughters would come to visit, there was always an agenda and it drove me nuts. And of course my wants and wishes went right out the window. Hmmm...maybe that's why he's an ex? !!!! Lol.

    1. I'm thinking that's just one on a LONG list as to why he's your ex. LOL I've got a list too. :)

  3. Our boys still expect us to pay for everything (or they did 2 years ago when we all went to The Keys). We don't vacation all together anymore...I don't think the boys like each other (or us!) enough to do that! :)

    1. Ha! I almost envy you that. Then I could go by myself every time. I already have the next mountain trip planned and, so far, two of them have decided they need to tag along. Sigh. :)

  4. I thought you were going to write one of the first things you noticed was you couldn't get out of the car. Long trips in tight spaces often find me somewhat immobile.
    #4 is a big pain when it's a surprise. I like to kick back and not worry about my appearance on most vacation. Hell I don't worry about my appearance on most days. But a surprise visitor - well it takes you by surprise.

    1. I don't worry about my appearance either. Until I'm in my gown because it's just family and, SURPRISE! Yeah, that's no fun. Plus, I don't want to sit around fully clothed at night on vacation. That's just not necessary. LOL And yes, getting out of the car was trying. And standing up straight. And walking. But I finally made it up the two steps into the cabin. Ha! ;)


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