Monday, January 11, 2010

Travel Under the Tree

Back in 2005 I decided I wanted to do something different for the holidays. The kids were older and didn't have their eye on any treasures to put under the tree. My mom, who really loved Christmas, had passed three years before. The holidays had lost that special something when we lost her.

So I decided we should travel. We decided on somewhere warm. Initially it was Cancun. Hurricane Emily rerouted us to Riviera Maya. The boyfriend and his daughter wanted to go. So did my dad and his wife.

I announced the trip to the kids and they were elated. I warned them "No presents!". "Who cares about presents? We're going to Mexico!!!!", they said. I let them each choose an excursion. Jake chose the ruins of Tulum. Madison chose to swim with the dolphins. Everyone para-sailed too, except Dad.

We engaged in all the usual activities that a beach vacation requires of you: eating too much, walking the beach, snorkeling, swimming, etc. It was glorious.

We arrived home on Christmas Eve and I asked the kids if they would have preferred gifts. They laughed and said "No Mom! Can we do this every year?"

Every year? No.

But this year I surprised them with a trip to San Francisco. It's a city that I had never visited. Jake had spoken of its draw for a few years now. Madison is interested in marine biology, so it seemed a good fit for her.

In early December I told them we were going on a trip, but I told him they had to guess where. They could ask one yes or no question each day until they figured it out.

Their questions were:

Will it be warmer than Illinois? (Typically, yes)
Is it in the U.S.? (At first I said nothing, then opened up my laptop and pretended to do some quick research. Then I answered "Yes." Evil mother.)
Is it within 100 miles of a city? (Pretty much)
Is it east of the Mississippi? (depends on how far east you go....)
Is it north or south of the Mason/Dixie line? Uhhhhh.
Is it in California?
Does it start with San or Santa?
Is it San Diego?
Is it San Francisco? YES!

I forgot my camera. These are all from my kids' cameras. Enjoy.