After an action packed December trip to India and a couple of weeks of adjusting to timing differences we had a long MLK day weekend upon us. We had not planned anything for this long three day weekend. Really, were we going to do nothing? And we decided to try it out, a 3 day relaxing retreat in our own house doing practically nothing.
The first thing I did before Friday ended was go stock up the fridge. We ate home made meals, as a family, all three days, except for one lunch outing. Devam made his own egg omelet, all by himself, and was very proud of it. We played board games, computer games, did painting, read books and lounged in our pajamas. Devam finished his outstanding homework without any time delays or parental involvement. We conversed about our favorite moments from the recent trip to India, shared personal stories from our past and discussed diverse topics including Indian mythology. Devam had received his kid power band from Unicef, essentially a pedometer, and was able to complete the 1000 steps required to donate one food packet to the needy.
At the end of the three days, we collectively felt like we will miss this vacation, our three day retreat in the warmth of our own house. Sometimes it’s great to aim to do nothing and discover ourselves in the process.
Hope you all had a fabulous long weekend just like we did!
While I have taken a break from writing my blog, I have seen my son grow from a baby to a seven year old. He has helped us shape our trips in the last few years and we have not stopped trotting domestically and internationally with him. The trips that have most enjoyable include ones where we either spend time with our immediate family and close friends or ones that were focused on activities that aligned with our son’s interest i.e. skiing, farming, horse ranch or elephant camps. All-inclusive resorts/ hotels with an active kids club, a heated pool, restaurant on premises, room with a kitchen/ kitchenette and nature-driven locations have been our favorite so far. We try to keep away from urban hotels and bed and breakfasts that usually have low tolerance for kids below 12 years in age. While our son is young, we do prefer destinations that are in our driving range and along with other like minded families with similar aged kids.
The places that we have enjoyed visiting the most in the past few years include:
• October in Blackberry Farms – Knoxville, TN
• Thanksgiving at Woodloch Resort – Hawley, PA
• Summer time in Colorado i.e.: Aspen, Beavercreek, Denver, Smith Fork Ranch
• Winter in the vicinity: Stowe Mountain, Vermont, ThunderRidge, Hunter Mountain
• Long weekends with family in Boston, MA
Internationally, it has been really fun to travel to:
• Black Forest region – Germany
• Salzburg – Austria
• Mumbai, Orange County Resorts – India
• Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai in Thailand
The exposure to a variety of people, cultures, activities and languages has helped us as well as our son to value the underlying humanity, love and respect for each other. My son has grown a thorough interest in farming and in animals. I am hoping that traveling will continue to inspire us to widen our horizons and interests beyond our four walls.
An easy 2.5 hours drive from the city, Hunter is a great ski destination for the entire family. You have the option to make it a day trip or stay overnight at the wonderful Kaatskill Mountain Club. I would give it an A+ for skiing, an B for overnight stay, B+ for rental gear and a C for food.
I would suggest you pre-rent ski’s, pre purchase your ski pass prior to arrival at Hunter. It is fast to get your rentals if you contracts are printed and ready. If traveling with a tot I suggest you start skiing early in the morning and then take a breakfast break at 10:00AM at the Main Lodge. I would even recommend bringing your entire days food rather than eating here. While there are plenty of food options they are somewhat unhealthy and food courts get very busy at lunch time. Get back on the slopes and enjoy till 2:00PM. Grab a quick snack and hit the mountains till 4.00PM. If you can stay till 6:00pm, you can enjoy snow tubing outside the Kaatskill Mountain Club. They have long runs, fast runs, fun runs and runs for toddlers. After all the fun drive out to the town center – enjoy a somewhat healthy dinner and head back to NYC.
As 2013 comes to an end I wish to change the tone of this blog site based on my experience in the last year. 2013 has been a busy year for all of us. It has been a year of uncertainty and surprises. We have all worked hard to figure out the best course for the upcoming years.
This holiday season we choose to stay home, we choose to not pack our bags but rather take a break in our own comforts. When tots turn 4 years old – there is an amazing transformation. They desire social interactions with kids their age and with other families. This is the start of their life journey, they need a sense of belonging and they are building a small world of their own. Their immediate family and the other families that they often meet and see are becoming their world. It is so amazing to see them relate to others in their own simple and small ways.
Our holiday break itinerary:
Play date with a new friend and visit a museum
One day sports camp
Christmas with our close friends
Pajama party with friends and movie night
Day at the office with daddy
Day trip to a ski destination (still to take please in the upcoming 3 days)
Spent a lot of time with daddy – making up for lost time in 2013
We will be spending the rest of our 3 days planning our one special vacation for the year, the books we would like to read, the day trips we would like to make in and around NYC and the few changes we would like to make to our lives to make 2014 a special year.
Sometimes it might be worth enjoying what you have around you. As our tots continues to grow older I feel like we all need time to explore our immediate world and the people that make our world so special. Take our time to appreciate, to internalize and to thank our close and dear ones for making this life journey so pleasant.
We wish you all a Happy New Year and don’t forget to plan a special vacation for the coming year. Do share your plans with us so we can blog about it.