In an era where fanny packs and fluorescents were all the rage, the World’s Fair in Canada awaited us. My parents plan? To journey from Redding, California, where I grew up, to Vancouver, Canada…by station wagon.
There were no search engines to be had, no Google nor trip planners. My parents spent hours scouring maps and calling possible places to stay by way of contacting the Chamber of Commerce in possible destination cities!
I was only eleven years old, packed into the rear-facing seat of our wagon with a cooler Grape juice, apples and bacon and peanut butter sandwiches were at my feet. We headed for the border: the Oregon border, then the Washington border and finally the Canadian border.
My parents wanted us to have the experience of seeing a symposium and exquisite artifacts of countries from around the world. There were sixty-five pavilions scattered across the Expo site. King Tut’s artifacts, along with thousands of other ancient Egyptian treasures were scheduled to be within the Egyptian exhibit. It was called, “The Great Hall of Ramses the II.” I remember the monstrous beams that supported the massive structure. Tall white pillars that spoke to the Egyptian pride of being represented at the World’s Fair.
We must have waited hours to get inside. And I was most likely not a patient tween. Eleven is a tricky age. When we finally did make it inside to view the collection of artifacts, I am nearly sure I learned something and close to being sure, I enjoyed it. Ok fine, all I remember is a very astute Egyptologist sharing bits of info about this young, remarkable yet elusive king.
What I definitely remember is that when I exited the Egyptian hall of fame, I noted Australia had their country structure nearby. And in front of their country’s pavilion, a zoologist held a little monkey no bigger than my ring finger in her hand.
Forget about King Tut and his preserved parts!! I had a small flat-faced monkey to view!
So, hundreds of miles driven, plenty of adventures good and bad had, and I remember the pygmy monkey. HA!
We travel with our four daughters. We have taken them to the mountains, lakes and rivers. We have journeyed to the different coastlines of various oceans, to big cities and to small towns. We have travelled to extended family’s homes, and new destinations that neither my husband nor I had ever travelled to. Sometimes, when we travel, we have hopes of what our daughters will glean.
While in the mid-west, I remember hoping they would remember the sound of thunder loud rain while tucked into an incredible cabin built by my husbands’ aunt and uncle. While on the Yucatan, I remember hoping that they would never forget the colors of the Caribbean. All shades of blue and green laced with the clearest of skies. While in Glacier National Park, would they remember the sound of a grizzly bear roar or the exhilarating chill of diving into a glacier lake?
I remember most the peaceful feeling I felt while watching our daughters skip rocks with my husband during sunset at the edge of Lake McDonald. In the background, I remember hearing a steel guitar play while I stared towards the one of the world’s last glaciers.
Kids catch all kinds of things, little and big, but most often, never what we would expect. It’s like holding fireflies in tiny glass jars, little wisps of magic that somehow exist vibrant and energetic and enter our memory card in magnificent ways. And you never know when those such memories come flooding back. Travel is magic like that!
We travel for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because of a bucket-list destination. Sometimes, it’s because we need a fresh perspective. Sometimes we travel because we need a breather. Sometimes, we travel to see people whom we have missed. Travel, allows for all possibilities.
Kids?! Well, they enjoy travel for all sorts of reasons too. TV in hotel rooms?! Yup. Late night bedtime?! Yes. Desserts around a campfire or Denny’s breakfast with way too much whipped cream at late hours of the night because a flight is delayed?! Heck yes!
Kids like travel most though, when we as parents, show up with our undivided love and attention for them. When we aren’t preoccupied with cleaning house or work projects or anything along these lines. We are just adventuring with them at their pace and ours alone. This, this is magical travel. Let’s face it, kids don’t need to go far and wide to enjoy a trip generally speaking, they love anything with a pool or animals nearby, even thumb-size ones.
And when we get out and see parts of the world that are new and unique to us, our kids will surely be taking home precious memories in their memory card that sometimes, differ from ours. There are so many places to see and so many wonderful people to visit in this beautiful world. The highest gift of travel is what we learn about ourselves along the way. And it’s exciting to think about what our kids uncover about themselves when they are in places unfamiliar to them!
This summer, we have stayed pretty close to home and this has fit the bill perfectly for us. We made a bucket list for our summer plans, an annual tradition of creating a “Marble Jar Summer List”.
Our summer, mostly in our backyard and at our neighborhood beach has been filled with tender memories. I have a special place in my heart for the memories built from watching our daughters pick food from our garden, and also from observing the girls learn to take care of our new puppy, and body surfing at our neighborhood beach while I catch their genuine, joyful smiles.
May the rest of your summer hold the space to collect up tender and meaningful moments whether you stay home or journey far. Summer is for filling up our memory card with whatever those memories may be.
#travellingwithkids #memories #adventures #mothering #parenting #mompants #catchlight #catchlightSB #summer #memorycard #photography
Ironically, the one time I have taken the girls beyond SB county this summer, we travelled to the King Tut exhibit in LA! https://californiasciencecenter.org
The girls were fascinated with the story of how he was found and the hundreds of artifacts in his tomb that told pieces of the story of his life. When we left, I shared, “King Tut’s life was such a mystery. That was so different from what I thought it was going to be! And isn’t travel always exactly that?!”
Life with four girls sometimes means quiet. Though I am sure,through my rear-view mirror on the 405 at rush hour, I saw my 4-pack sigh with an “Oh, Mom!,” kind of exasperation. That’s karma.