Monday, August 24, 2009

Creating Traditions around Family Vacations


the cabin

A few weeks ago Anjeanette and I traveled with our families to Greer, Az for an end of summer break vacation. We often take our vacations with one or more of the other families. You could say that it has become a kind of tradition to go on vacation with our extended family. This time it happened to be a trip to Greer Lodge RTE 373 instead of camping or a trip to visit far away family members.

The cousins had a blast together playing in the “back yard” that consisted of “the Little Colorado River”, 3 small lakes, big grassy fields, mountain views and a wild flower field beyond. I say back yard because that is why my boys called it.

Anjeanette is thinking we need to go back for this Thanksgiving and again for Christmas next year. Can you imagine renting a cabin to spend Christmas at? I am dreaming of a white Christmas already. How magical that would be for our kids! Especially since we don’t live where it snows.


I am going to give you a little tour………..


We opened up the windows in the cabin and lit the fire in the fireplace just for fun.


Our cabin had two bedrooms and one full bathroom.

the porch

Each cabin has a porch with chairs and a grill to BBQ on.

view from the cabin

This is the view from our cabin’s porch. A path on the left leads down to bridge that crosses the “Little Colorado River” and over to a large grassy area with 3 small lakes. I miss it already.

wild flower field

Off to what would have been the right side of the previous picture there was this wildflower field.

fly fishing lesson

The lodge offered free fly fishing equipment and lessons.


All 3 lakes are stocked with trout and I believe two other kinds of fish. The fishing is catch and release only. However, I don’t think that applies to the eagle that came around a couple times a day to snatch fish right out of the water. So awesome to see!!!

Katrina Kayaking

Here I am kayaking for the first time in my life. Did I mention that the boat and equipment and lessons were free?

our cabin across the pond

This is a view of our cabin from across one of the lakes.

the lodge

The lodge had a restaurant and some rooms above for people that don’t want to rent a whole cabin.

wading in the little colorado river

This is the “Little Colorado River.” It us just down the slope from our cabin. The only sound you hear from our cabin is this river and the wind blowing through the mountains. Oh and the laughter of our children. Three of the four boys had lots of fun wading in the river. I remember doing creek walks with my girl scout troop and have fond memories of it. I am glad that we were able to give our children a similar experience and memories.

the kids joy of running around the ponds

The end to a perfect day.

We made some great memories that weekend!  My boys enjoyed watching the landscape change as we drove up.  They were totally thrilled to be able to explore some place they have never been to before.  The kids are still talking about how much fun they had. I am also dreaming of Christmas with the WHOLE family there. Though we would have to rent a MUCH bigger cabin for that gang. ;) All of our kids are with in about a 10 year age range and they get along really well. They aren’t just cousins, they are friends. As kid, I didn’t have that experience because we didn’t live close to my cousins. To be able to go with other members of our family was fantastic. It builds bonds that last a lifetime.  It provides an opportunity for them to connect to their extended family like nothing else can.  There was never a dull moment for the kids.  Vacations, however small, with extended family members can become great traditions.



Rebecca here. I love this topic! I plan family getaways as often as I can. Katrina is right saying that we have most of our family vacations with the whole extended family. I think this makes vacations more fun, memorable, safe, and budget friendly! That's a win win win win, in my book! For me, vacations charge your batteries and reset your priorities. I find this especially true with vacations in the outdoors! Most of my vacations are just for the weekend and sometimes only overnight. You don't have to do big elaborate vacations (truly most of mine are not elaborate or big!). It's just the point of getting away from the day to day life, and devoting your attention to each other. It's also about making new memories with each other. I love the idea of Thanksgiving or Christmas at the Greer lodges! What will my children remember more? Another Thanksgiving with family and friends around the familiar table and food, or a mini getaway with all the same family but so many new things. I believe there would be snow so my children would get to finally wake up with snow outside (we do visit the snow to play in it, once a year but it's just a day trip). We would get to cuddle up under covers before bed, with a fire going because it's actually cold outside. We could go skiing, sledding, and build snowmen. Now we're talking about providing a memorable holiday! The more getaways I can take, the happier I am. Not only are they great for bonding, and memory making but it is also exposing our children to the world. Let them meet people who are different then what we are used to. Let them see how many different things there are to do, and different ways there are to live. This is truly opening up their eyes to more possibilities in life. And I am all about showing my children all the options and possibilities that life holds for them! Life is a fun adventure and should be treated as such!

~~~My turn...this is Anjeanette now;)

We tend to take family vacations. For my 10 year wedding anniversary, my husband and I took the kids on a road trip to California. When I am planning a vacation, I am very interested in making great memories for my kids. We grew up with a zillion cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents close by. (We lived in Utah people.) Everything was about family. I have great childhood memories of playing in the creek (pronounced crick) in my Great-Grandparent's yard with my siblings and cousins. I remember eating warm sweet peas out of my uncle's garden. These are things I cherish.

I was terribly excited for our little weekender in Greer AZ. Our kids got to learn to fly fish, play in the creek and fall down and get soaked, jump in the tub and warm off in front of the fire. They played outside one night and gazed at the super bright stars as we all sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. (Katrina's son came up with that one;) I plan these family vacations in hopes that my kids will have amazing memories of their childhood, like I have of mine.



Anonymous said...

Awesomely, stunningly beautiful! It's enough to tempt me away from the beach!

Pauline said...

WOW, what an awesome family vacation. It looks beautiful up there. I bet the weather was wonderful. Here in good old SC the summers are awefull and you don't want to go any where. I look forward to taking my kids on family vacations like that too- hopefully in the fall when the weather is cooler:) Have a wonderful week.

Melany Flemmings said...

nice to know you. Some experts feel that they have to go round the bush before they can answer a question. I feel I will come back one day !

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