Pete Gilbert">

Things we did on vacation (that didn’t really have anything to do with vacation).

When I think of our family going on a vacation, I usually only think about the big things we are going to do on that trip. This time around though, it was the little things that ended up just as memorable. For example, going out to dinner. I don’t like waiting for a table at a restaurant. I like to go to restaurants that take reservations, or go when places aren’t too busy. Most of the time I’d rather stay home and eat, where the food tastes better and is cheaper anyway, but the first couple of nights we were on vacation, we stayed in a hotel, which meant we would be eating out. The first night, we went to a restaurant that was recommended to us. The only problem was, it was on an hour wait. What do you do with kids for an hour while waiting to be seated? Luckily, this restaurant was on the shores of Lake Michigan (probably also the reason it was on such a long wait too) so there was plenty of cool scenery. As we waited, my wife and I ordered ourselves drinks at the outside bar, handed our kids our camera phones, and told them to get busy snapping pictures. We told them to walk around and take pictures of everything they found interesting: flowers, boats, rocks, just no pictures of other people. They took over 200 pictures, which we easily edited down to 40 or so, and surprisingly they were great! In fact, we’re already planning to use the photos to create a collage of the flower pictures for our daughter’s bedroom.

A few days later, we took our kids to a Farmer’s Market. Since we were getting ready to check into our condo and would need food for the week, the local farmer’s market seemed like an ideal place to get our produce. The kids loved all the samples: yogurt, cheeses, jams/jellys and fruits. After a while my two-year-old started to think everything was food, including the sample of handmade soap she was given. She handed it back (with a bite taken out of it) saying, “This tastes spicy.”

My favorite part of vacation was the day my son learned to ride his bike all by himself. For the last two months he hadn’t wanted to practice riding at all, but we took our bikes on vacation anyway. All it took was one look at his big sister riding her bike with her grandparents to get him on his bike. I spent a half hour or so running up and down the parking lot with him until he was ready to ride by himself. He requested I go back into the condo to get a grandparent and by the time I turned to tell his grandpa how well he’d been doing on his bike, he was halfway across the parking lot. The next day we went on paved trails together all over near where we were staying and yes, he got to go on a ride with his grandparents (like his big sister) too.

Vacation was a great time. It just ended up being great for different reasons other than what I would have originally guessed.

-Pete

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