Do you have childhood memories of specific days or events with your family? I do! There is one specific memory from middle school when my parents took my sister and I to downtown Chicago for an overnight stay. We grew up about 25 miles from the city in the suburbs and had been downtown a handful of times for school field trips, but never as a family. I remember we drove down and had a wonderful day visiting museums and walking up and down the magnificent mile shopping. It was such a great day. I barely remember the night at the hotel, but the next morning my parents had a surprise in store. They took us to the Pump Room, an iconic historical luxury restaurant on the gold coast where celebrities had been dining since the 1930’s. I will never forget the butterflies in my stomach and walking to our table with big saucer eyes as we soaked it all in. It was very unusual for us to even eat outside of our home. Both parents worked and had long commutes with busy schedules. Dinner at home was easier and cheaper. So this particular Sunday morning as I drank orange juice from a champagne flute I filed the experience away in my memory bank.
The example my parents set by taking us on that “near adventure” has inspired John and I to do the same. Our family lives in SC about equidistant from the Appalachian Mountains where we’ve picked apples in autumn and the Atlantic coast where we’ve splashed in the waves on Sullivan’s Island. We have enjoyed showing our kids some of the most gorgeous places in this country only a hop, skip, and a jump away.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you live in the city or in the country I’m certain you have incredible places nearby that your family will love. It might not be incredibly exciting, but that’s not what this is all about. These adventures, both near and far, are about building up your family and filing away those memories for the long haul. I know our children will remember the epic trips, but I sure hope the adventures closer to home will leave their mark just as well.