Summer Vacation

For many families, ours included, August marks the end of summer. Before long school bells will ring beckoning children to return to their education. This event of course is met with both elation and disdain depending on whether you are a parent or a child. So before the kids returned to the halls of higher learning it is time for that age old tradition of the family vacation.

Family vacations can be many things to many people. They run the gambit of a weekend away to some secluded destination to the two-trek our parents took packing the car and the kids into a small car for a cross-country excursion. As a child I never gave much thought to how much work my parents put into planning our vacation. I somehow just thought that vacations happened. As I’ve grown older and raised a family of my own I have gotten a new appreciation of what it takes to pull off the “great-American vacation”

Vacation planning in our house starts like many other calendar-based activities; by consulting the Arizona Diamondbacks schedule. My family learned long ago that you don’t do anything without first checking with the Diamondbacks to make sure that they too would be out of town when we were planning to be gone. Once appropriate dates have been decided upon we can then determine an appropriate destination.

It’s funny how diverse the ideas can be when planning a vacation destination. Planning usually starts off with each member of the family bringing to the table a list of where they would like to go or what they would like to see. Each person is then allowed to present their ideas and attempt to sell the other family members on their proposed itinerary. I spent countless hours honing my presentation to try and convince my wife and kids that my idea had the most merit. After multiple rewrites I finally had what I thought was the perfect plan for our family vacation. I took into consideration the needs of each family member when preparing. There would be a mixture of fun and education so that not only would it be an enjoyable experience but one where we all learned something valuable that we could use.

When it came time to discuss our plans as a family; I brought up my PowerPoint and started going through my carefully thought out presentation. We would leave Arizona shortly after the Diamondbacks game against the San Diego Padres. From there we would travel our nation’s capital where we would see our government in action. We would drive by all of the various monuments around Washington D.C. as we made our way to the Washington Nationals new stadium where we would catch a game or two. After three days in the capital seeing the various sites we would travel to Philadelphia which again had a lot of American history associated with it. Philadelphia houses such artifacts as Liberty Bell and is the location of Independence Hall. We would spend three days in Philadelphia and while we were there we could even see Citizens Bank Park which I have heard is a nice stadium. After that we could travel to upper state New York where we could see the birthplace of an important institution and take in the museum that commemorates great figures in history. Our final stop on our vacation would be to Louisville Kentucky where we would see fine craftsmen working with wood churning out magnificent products that are world renowned.

I thought my presentation was perfect. With each slide my delivery became more animated and excited. By the time I was finished I kind of expected a standing ovation. A presentation this good deserves that kind of honor. Instead I was met with blank stares and gaping mouths. They were speechless. I knew I had captivated them. Finally after a few moments of silence Trina spoke, “we are not following the Arizona Diamondbacks on a road trip for our vacation.”

“Yeah, and I don’t want to go to some lame Hall of Fame museum either” added Whitney.

“Could I really get a bat from the Louisville Slugger factory?” asked Dakota

“Dad, this does sound kind of like the whole rest of the summer just in a different location” Tiffany added.

My heart sank. All of that hard work seemed to have gone for naught. This could have been a vacation we would always remember. But instead we are going to see family. How many “family” members are going to the all-star game at Yankee Stadium? How many of them even know the all-star game is in Yankee Stadium? Man, this sucks.


  1. I think they didnt like your idea because you didnt include a trip to New York City to see All-Star Game. Who doesnt want to see the house that Babe build.

  2. Maybe you are right, maybe I didn’t dream big enough. Of course taking a family to the All-Star game would mean the kids would have to forgo college to pay for tickets but baseball is educational right?

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