I am just back from a big family vacation. To celebrate my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, we rented a big house in the wilds of Vermont. My brother and his family, my sister and her family, my family, and my parents all spent a week there. It was isolated. That meant no cell service, but it also meant clear night skies with more stars than I can recall seeing in many years. After the week in Vermont, me, Kelly, and the kids headed to Newport, Rhode Island for a few days.
It was a fun vacation, but not a relaxing one. We kept busy. Here are some of the things we did:
- Visited a local farm.
- Attended a Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game. It had everything. Home runs, wild pitches, balks, pass-balls.
- Hired a photographer for a big family photo shoot. I’m not sure we got a picture with everyone smiling at once.
- Visited the Ben & Jerry’s factory. It was late in the day and we didn’t want to wait for the tour. Instead, we visited the graveyard of retired flavors.
- Visited a children’s science museum on a rainy day in which everyone else in the State of Vermont had the same idea.
- Looked at Jupiter and Saturn through my binoculars. Many of the kids saw the Galilean moons for the first time.
- Cooked lots of food. Even so, I came home 3 pounds lighter than when I left. I’m not kidding: this was a busy vacation.
- Had lots of bonfires at night. Then took showers before bed to wash the smell of the bonfire away so as to avoid making the bedsheets smell like smoke.
- Went tubing down a river.
- Walked through the nearby town and bought $16 worth of books at their book festival on the green.
- Saw several covered bridges.
- Hiked down into Quechee Gorge. Hiked back up again. Both ways, with the baby strapped to me.
- Spent time at a local lake. Took the Little Miss out in a kayak. We went to the very center of the lake, where it was peaceful. It was probably the quietest moment of the vacation.
- Toured three of Newport’s famous mansions.
It was great to spend time with the extended family. I don’t get to see my brother and his family very often and to spend a week together was a lot of fun. But it was exhausting, and I woke up this morning feeling worn out and in desperate need of a vacation.
One remarkable thing happened on vacation: I did not touch a keyboard or a look at a computer screen for 11 consecutive days. I found that I didn’t miss it either. I returned from vacation wondering how I could spend less time touching keyboards and looking at computer screens.
Now, I am counting the days to our winter vacation in December. Vacations are funny like that.