Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ultimate Family Vacation

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Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine and Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

So where would I go?

I have to say that the wee ones and I (and my husband, of course) would have to head somewhere new. While I'd love to say that I'd take the wee ones to Italy or Ireland or Egypt or Australia, I don't see that as being an ultimate family vacation for us for awhile. They're simply too young. I dream of going to these places, I want to go there and relax and truly explore them. I don't see that happening with a five and seven year old.

Instead, our ultimate family vacation would be somewhere closer to home that doesn't give them quite so much jet lag. We do well with warm weather vacations, as the wee ones love to be outside and in or near the water. They are, however, beginning to get to the point where they can do some of the cooler things out there, so I'd love to take them to Puerto Rico or Costa Rica.

I've heard such neat things about some of the rain forests there and the gorgeous wildlife that you can explore, in addition to the beach and pool play. The wee ones are also old enough now to start to "get" snorkeling somewhat, so they would so enjoy being able to see some of the tropical fish that are oh so gorgeous - maybe we could even watch Finding Nemo one night at the hotel.

I also want to incorporate some horseback riding into my ultimate vacation. Maybe I'm the only one who'd go (although I doubt it), but I love riding - well-taken care of horses, mind you! - and exploring other lands from rides on the beach to those through the countryside and more.

Because I'm finding more and more things to add to my ultimate vacation, it would have to last at least two weeks, if not three. I really hate going on vacation and feeling rushed or not feeling like I got everything done. Somewhere, I've read something about needing at least two weeks of vacation to truly unwind and relax and get the most out of a vacation.

And boy are there some other things I'd love to do to unwind. Have you ever seen the vacation spots that have all sorts of cool activities like trapeze lessons and parasailing and other cool things that you would never do at home? I would absolutely love to experience those, too. Trying out new things always makes an experience better for me. Oooo, so let's toss in some cooking lessons using native ingredients. I promise I'd share some of the new recipes I learned with you!

Our family has learned that having a condo type atmosphere is critical to a good vacation for us. We don't do well eating out meal after meal - and if I'm off somewhere for two or three weeks, I can't eat out that much! - and having a kitchen is a nice way to keep vacations relaxing, not to mention controlling cost. The wee ones sleep a lot, relatively. They need their own bedrooms that are away from the light and noise of the adults to ensure that they get their sleep and on one is crabby. Plus, most of those arrangements have a washer and dryer in them. I'd much rather do a little laundry than pack four suitcases per person, wouldn't you?

Wow, does this sound good - especially right now as fall is truly setting into Chicago. A vacation like this would be such a great bonding experience for us and would have so many learning activities, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. I can still dream though. What would you dream of for your ultimate family vacation?

Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was compensated to write this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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