Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reflections On A Family Vacation

Well, I'm back. It was the family's first road trip and a nice Thanksgiving vacation.  The children behaved better than expected and we all ate too much over the last week. Time for my ritual diet before the onslaught of Christmas ham and eggnogs. In the meantime, I'd like to share a few observations about our vaca.

People in the South love their buffet restaurants. Everywhere we went there was a Chinese buffet or a Golden Corral. I even saw a place that served a buffet of KFC and Taco Bell under one roof. If I was still in college I would probably live there. Even though this was Thanksgiving and presumably everybody has had their fill of food at home, all of these buffet establishments looked packed.

Children's menus at all restaurants are similar and similarly disastrous for your child's diet. With nary an exception, they all featured (Kraft!) Mac and Cheese, chicken tenders, and corn dogs.  After a week of feasting and eating out, my six year old developed pimples for the first time in her life. Broccoli for the next week now that we are back home.

Children have an endless capacity to ask "Are we there yet?" A DVD entertainment center in the minivan is no use since after a few hours they get restless regardless of what video they're watching. When that gets old, there's always...

Looking out the window, the American landscape is a constant source of fascination, especially for the kids. From the cotton fields in Texas to the windmills of Oklahoma to the snowcapped mountains above Flagstaff the scenery outside the car window offered endless sources of education and enchantment.  Their eagerness to learn about grazing sheep in a roadside field or giant rolls of hay bales makes one proud to be a parent.

After living in So Cal, it was a pleasure to venture someplace more gracious and less crowded. I hadn't taken an extended vacation in years. I think I will do it more often from now on.

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