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Would This Be Our Last Family Vacation Together?

The weeks leading up to our family vacation in July of 2012 were filled with much anticipation. We were headed down to our family’s favorite place to be: Chincoteague, VA. The kids {ages 14,15,18, and 21} were so pumped up it was hard to keep them focused on hum drum daily life. Their summer jobs were a wonderful distraction! The hubby ALWAYS gets antsy before a big trip as well. He would love it if we we all packed two weeks beforehand *just* to make sure we can leave on time. Me…I had other things on my mind. What was rattling loud and clear was the question: Would this be our last family vacation together?

Meagan, the oldest and only girl {yes, woman, I know…but I like to think of her as my girl smiley kiss Would This Be Our Last Family Vacation Together?}, was home for the summer to work. She made it clear on more than one occasion that this would be her last summer at home as she planned on moving to NYC permanently , where she attended college.

The oldest son, Ryan,  graduated high school that June. He was the only one of our four to attend public school ,so he was gone most of the day…and nights as well, as his senior year he held the lead in the school play which required an abundance of evening practice sessions}. I missed him when he was gone just for the day, now fall would descend upon us and he would be off to the bright light of NYC as well for his first year at college.

Would NYC woo him as it did Meg? I was fairly certain it would.

Josh and Zach, though not twins, would be starting high school that fall. They would be at home using a cyber program, but surely change was on the horizon for them as well.

Before you could blink, they would be off to college as well and a complete empty nest could not be avoided.

We packed up TWO vehicles-as we no longer had one that could hold all of us, our gear, plus our bikes! This would be Meagan’s first road trip in which she was a driver. She was quite excited and I was a little sad that she was so grown-up.

I was also a little sad that ALL four of the kids wanted to hang together in the Jeep rather than split off between us.
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Sigh…I am so glad the kids are great friends; but a 7 hour drive with JUST the hubby??? We had not had that in over 20 years!

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

We talked about so many things…from our future without the kids at home to church to plans for the house, and anything else you could think of.

These mid-life/empty nest years started to look/feel a little more hopeful Smile1 Would This Be Our Last Family Vacation Together?.

The smell of the ocean caused us to open the windows and drink it all in. There is nothing quite like the smell and the sound of the sea. Since moving to the mountains, I have learned how much living by the ocean meant to me.
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The week was spent regrouping and relaxing as a family. We caught and ate crabs…

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went out to eat…

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and shopped.
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Best of all were the walks along the beach.

The kids found several man-made shelters, large pieces of driftwood, shells, and of course plenty of flat sand into which they could etch their names or imaginative creations that would be be held for eternity…or until the next wave.

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Differing groups would develop. I would walk with Meg, the hubby with the boys…vice-verse…the kids would be half a mile ahead. There were so many awesome memories being made.

I LOVED that we had time to talk to the older two about life and what they hoped for their future in NY.

I LOVED that we talked about the new adventure of high school and the freedoms that increasingly arrive as the boys head toward independence at what feels like light-speed.

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All the while in the back of my mind I wondered…

Would this be our last family vacation together?

Quite possibly.

At least for a while.

 

 

Maybe…

When marriages take place…

and grand babies arrive…

we will etch out a week to rent a large house on Chincoteague Island where we can gather like a great big Irish clan and descend upon shore once again…building memories with another generation and maybe establishing traditions for their families as well.

But it is important that we are also looking forward to the few years in between.

When it’s just me and the boss enjoying each others company sweet kiss Would This Be Our Last Family Vacation Together?.

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This post is a “two-fer”…

Generation Fabulous Blog Hop for July!

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Day 15 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge:

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14 Responses

  1. I love all of the pics and I can completely relate I have five in college and one still at home (a 13 year old). I feel one moment that I am getting closer to empty nest and I feel wistful – then the next moment someone moves back in…
    Sheri Kaye Hoff recently posted…See New Possibilities New SolutionsMy Profile

    • donnao

      I have heard the kids come back sporadically :). We plan on taking over their space so it is not all comfy to come home :). Maybe that will help deter too many move back moments. Thanks so much for stopping by!’

  2. As you said, it won’t be the last vacation ever but it might be the last one for a while. My own daughter is heading off to NYC for college next year and I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like without her. She’s there right now visiting family and friends and being a NYer she can’t be wooed. If only they could stay small forever. Actually I take that back. :)
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…Mischievous MondayMy Profile

  3. What wonderful family memories you created. I loved your pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Connie McLeod recently posted…A Journey to Another CultureMy Profile

  4. Joy Pence from Ohio

    Loved your pictures. Looks like you had a great time. We all need to cherish those times together with our kids. They grow up way too fast. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Chincoteague is beautiful, and so is your family!
    Ginger Kay recently posted…The monotony of travelMy Profile

  6. Helene Cohen Bludman

    It’s sad to see the kids grow up and leave, but at the same time there is a lot to be said for empty nesting! I have never been to Chincoteague but it has been on my list for a long time. I hope I get to go someday.

  7. Oh, I am so glad that you got to take that family trip since it may just be a while before you can gather them all together again. I love those sand pictures. What a nice family you have. Thanks for taking us along with you.
    Karen D. Austin recently posted…Travel Made Me Feel My YouthMy Profile

    • donnao

      That was so sweet of you. We did have a great time and I will cherish those memories forever! Thank you for “joining” us!

  8. Looks like a wonderful time. Even though you & the hubs were “abandoned” in the second car, it’s cool that your kids wanted to be together. Beaches are fabulous places to hang out.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted…Kinky Drinks & Grown-Up Toys #NSFWMy Profile

    • donnao

      :0). They have always gotten along quite well considering how close they are in age! I am not generally a fan of the beach, but THIS beach won me over! Thanks so much for commenting!

  9. Love your pictures! It makes me want to go back….and I just got home on Saturday. lol Chincoteague has always been our family’s special “happy place” too, but this year it was just Tim and I along with his sister and her husband. It was definitely different, but still good.

    I read about your sadness over the empty nest and could relate. I’m actually embracing that these days, but three years ago I was an emotional wreck over it and things do take some getting used to….like kids off with their friends or in-laws at Christmas. I did not like that at all at first. Once you adjust, though, there’s a lot to be happy about and look forward to. It’s finally “me” time. :)
    Stacy recently posted…Multitudes on MondayMy Profile

    • donnao

      I know our first vacay without the kids will be tough. BUT we are planning an anniversary to Canada in the fall of 2014 so that can be a start! We have had 25 years of marriage and 30 years of being together and we still like to hang with one another…but much of my identity has been in my kiddos so the transition will be interesting! I am praying for direction and clarity! Thanks so much for stopping by! So glad you enjoyed your vacay.

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