There is a new game I like to play called, “What was I doing at this time last year?” It’s a fun way to relive our year abroad and bring back fun memories. And it so happens that this week last year was extremely memorable. It was fall break, and we went on one of the best family vacations we have ever had.
First of all, I have decided that having longer breaks in the middle of the school year is really nice. This year, my kids have several days off of school in September and October, but they are all spread out. Having just one extra day isn’t enough to do very much. A three day weekend, while nice in some ways, is not really that different from a regular weekend. And if you try to squeeze in something big, you just end up exhausted and stressed. So this fall, we are taking things slow. I’ve had some great, laid back days with my kids. Sitting outside, reading, going to parks. It’s really nice.
But not last year. Last year at this time, we were in the first part of a three-week-long break. And, let me tell you, three weeks is a really long time. We took two family vacations – one to Germany and one to the Swiss Alps – and we still had a week in between to just relax, and a day at the end to recuperate before going back to school refreshed and rejuvenated. It was wonderful. Just different.
Anyway, in the first week, we headed to Southern Germany for a week of incredible experiences, hilarious mishaps (at least they’re hilarious in hind sight), and some of our most popular blog posts ever. I think all family vacations are similar in that, while you see things and go places that you planned in advance, it is often the experiences that were unplanned that create the strongest memories. We went to Oktoberfest, visited Legoland Deutschland, and saw the castles in Hohenschwangau. It was, at times, idillic. However, we also remember our ridiculous travel day from Münich to Legoland, and how Henry got plowed over by a careless teenager and had a scraped face for the rest of the trip. But to my dismay, the post that everyone talks about from our entire year in Europe, is the one about Henry’s diaper disaster on the Alpsee in the shadow of the Neuschwanstein Castle. I think every parent on the planet can relate to that experience in some form or another. And it happened one year ago, almost to the day.
A stroll down memory lane is an enjoyable, if somewhat treacherous thing.