This summer we decided to take a low key vacation to the beach. It was a much needed time of relaxation, but my itch for our next family bucket list adventure continues! Next up...New York City! One of my favorite places to visit, if not the favorite for me. Most people think big city, bright lights, Broadway, iconic landmarks. All of that is wonderful, but NYC offers so much more!
I booked our NYC adventure for Thanksgiving week. So, they will have the added bonus of experiencing this special city all decked out for Christmas. I am particularly excited about this family trip. My husband and I had a wonderful opportunity and experience of living in the city in our early married years (it was a blast). My oldest son's first real word was "boat" because our apartment overlooked the East River. Besides loving so many things about the city, NYC holds a special place in our hearts. I have been back many times since for couples trips and girls trips. NYC is always a winner! I can't wait to watch them experience it for the first time (isn't that half of it for us parents). We will be taking them to the classic NYC sites, but I'm even more interested in them experiencing NYC well beyond the Empire State Building and Times Square. The hidden gems, the history, the charming neighborhoods and uniqueness of the atmosphere that can change within blocks.
Since we have the entire Thanksgiving week off, I am taking a unique approach. We will drive to NC to visit my husband's (Matt) big family for our annual Garrett Thanksgiving dinner and skeet shooting contest. Matt had to hand over the winning trophy last year to his Uncle Mark. My middle son has become quite a good shot himself, so the NC stop was a must on the agenda! :) After a couple nights with the family, we will drive to Charlottesville, VA (which is a fantastic destination in itself...more on that later). We will spend one night in Charlottesville then hop on Amtrak for a 6 hour train ride into Penn Station. Train travel is always a big hit with the kids! I love the idea of arriving right smack in the middle of the city instead of the airport. Not your usual path, but it will be a fun adventure and save us at least $500. One more added bonus is that Matt can get some work done on the train (perfect since we are traveling to NYC on the Monday before Thanksgiving).
My family bucket list continues and I hope yours will as well. One piece of advice that I told myself a lot before taking my kids overseas...this is an adventure, not a vacation. Let's be honest! Traveling with your kids is not always a leisurely vacation. At times, they may drive you nuts (insert: ice cream)! But, in my opinion totally worth it!