Dooce just put up a looooooong and lovely picture post about her family fall break to an isolated cabin, her ten year old and four year old in tow. Then she listed top ten places she’d like to visit once her four year old is no longer basically a nuclear tantrum bomb waiting to go off and slink out of her chair like a wet spaghetti noodle over some imagined insult inflicted upon her by her morning bowl of cereal.
Got me thinking about my own list. Presuming one day our student loans no longer suck the marrow from our very bones and cast a long and chilly shadow over our existence (and I don’t know that that day will ever come, but I am not quite ready to give up hope), where would we travel once this third kid is a manageable age? I need a daydream to get me through the morning (can anybody name that song?), or rather, to get me through the next 8-10 weeks without biting anyone’s head off in a pregnancy-fueled rage. So here’s where I’d take the kids on family vacays in the next few years, if money (and vacation time) was no object.
- The Virgin Islands. (I’d love to go here WITHOUT the children as well.) The beaches are glorious, and really that’s all you need.
- Montana. I want to take all three of them to visit my good friend out in Missoula, go camping at Glacier, see the epic natural glory of this great country of ours. Alabama is lovely, but it ain’t exactly known for its sweeping landscapes.
- Portland. So many of my bloggy friends live in Portland, they’ve got me curious and itching to see it. Ditto Seattle, actually.
- Northern California. There was a period in my life when I led adventure trips for middle schoolers through Northern California, and I’d love to do that itinerary with my kids. Muir Woods, Bodhi Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Tahoe, Yosemite, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, the Marin Headlands . . . breathtaking.
- Some little beach cottage in New England. I’ve driven through New England one time on my way up to Maine and Canada for a glorious trip almost ten years ago. Charming, and I’d love to explore.
- London. I lived in England for a year, and spent a great deal of time in London, and it is my favorite city in the world. This we’d do when the kids are older, because it’s hectic and I’d have to rely on them not to wander into traffic, but I’d love to show them my favorite city in the world. We’d take a side trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, which is where I actually lived during that year, and see some old friends who I still keep in touch with.
- New York City over Christmas. Something about the big city, all dressed up in her holiday finery . . . I was thinking San Francisco over Christmas at first, because when I used to live in Northern California I remember trips to go up there, walking through FAO Schwartz, seeing the square all decorated. But then I thought – it should be cold! So we can go ice skating outside, like in the movies! So NYC it is.
- San Diego. I was born there, spent a great deal of my early life there. Balboa Park, Mount Julian, Seaport Village, Old Town, the Zoo and Wild Animal Park – I remember going to these places as a child, and again I’d love to connect my children to my own childhood in some way.
And now the children are awake, and begging me to play trains with them, so I’ll have to stop my list at 8.