Friday, May 25, 2007

A Vacation Show and Tell

Welcome to Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better! Visit my friend Kelli to participate.

I grew up in a family of six. There was never extra money for vacation. Most years, my mother would take us to an amusement park for one day. I never stayed in a hotel until I was married.

My husband and I will be married for eighteen years in August. We have four children, one income, and not much money for extras. Throughout our children's lives, we have tried to do things that were fun, but inexpensive.

A weekend camping trip.

Trips to Lake Erie when we lived in Pennsylvania.

We bought a family pass to a local children's museum when we lived in Ohio, and visited other museums that offered free reciprocal benefits. (If you have not looked in to this, you really should!)

One time, we spent the weekend in Ft Wayne, Indiana using a free night in a hotel room that my husband had accumulated while traveling on business. We visited a science center for free because of the pass that we had with our local museum. We also took a free tour of Gene Stratton Porter's home on that trip. (She authored Girl of the Limberlost.)

We travelled from Ohio to Florida and spent the week with friends. We enjoyed their pool. We helped with groceries, brought a wonderful hostess gift, stayed in one hotel on the way down, and one on the way back. Most of the trip was free.

We've taken our children to an amusement park several times over the years. When living in Ohio, we asked my in-laws for season passes to King's Island. We enjoyed an entire summer of fun.

Last Sunday, we enjoyed a free open house at a local cave.

Every one of these times were enjoyable. We've made lasting memories. Not spending a lot does not mean that we have suffered.

I have NO desire to go to Disney World. I think that each person has their own idea of relaxation. That is not mine.

All of that being said, I have dreamed of taking a week long vacation where our family isn't staying in a house with another family. I've dreamed of being able to relax and enjoy a week, instead of a weekend. I've dreamed of spreading out in a house instead of crowding six people into a hotel room. This year my dream is coming true.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for a twelve hour drive to the east coast. We'll spend the night with my aunt and uncle who live about half way. After we worship on Sunday, we'll drive the rest of the trip to arrive here:

This will be our home for the next seven days. We'll be a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, but we have a private pool at the house. There's an air hockey table in case it rains or we've had too much sun.

I'd rather be away from the beach for several reasons. First, you can rent a much nicer home for much less money. Second, beach attire isn't always modest. We can visit the beach, but if we feel uncomfortable, we can return to the house with our own private pool.

I can't wait! I don't think that I am the most excited though. Our children are all smiles. My husband is counting the hours. I'm so happy for him. He works so hard to provide for us, and I'm thrilled that he will be able to relax and enjoy this time.

So, I'll not be blogging much starting tomorrow. My hubby IS taking his laptop, and if I can I'll post about our trip. If not, I'll give you lots of details when we return home again.


Kim said...

WOW!!! That looks beautiful!!

Mrs.Garcia said...

Tracy, My Family and I will be praying for you and for your family.
God Bless,

Penless Thoughts said...

It's more special because you've waited for it. Have a grand and wonderful time. Looking forward to the upcoming post about it :o)

Lori B said...

I agree with you. You don't have to spend a ton of money to have fun family vacations. We've done many of the same things that you have done. Stayed with family, found things to do that are free or inexpensive.
You have a wonderful trip and break.
The place you are staying looks beautiful. You will have a wonderful time away.
I'm pretty much signing off to for the long holiday weekend. I have my garage sale today plus we want to spend family time doing fun things like boating and fishing.

Jenn4Him said...

Oh, my goodness! I am so happy for your family. I am in a similar situation growing up and now married, no money for vacations. I love all your free ideas. This year we are going to see grandparents in Arkansas. Last year we stayed with my MIL at Lake Michigan. One day we will get that beach house! Maybe?

Anna S said...

Looks like you are going to have an awesome trip, Tracy!! I hope you have fun!

... and I do believe we enjoy the simple things most. We don't really need too many fancy things to be happy.

LBP said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip. When he go to the beach we do not stay right on the beach either. Just a couple blocks over and it saves a ton of money! Have fun and be safe!


charish said...

can I come too. It looks amazing. How much fun you and your family will have.

Momma Roar said...

Your family's travels make me eager for when my children get a little older. We have been camping every summer with our church group, but some of the other places sound great. Your place looks fantastic Tracy! I hope you guys have a wonderful time! I look forward to seeing pictures when you get a chance!

Tracy said...

Leigh Ann,

You need to take your kids to Sesame Place! I always wanted to, but it was far from us in western PA. We loved Idlewild, though! You ride to Mister Roger's Neighborhood on Trolley. It's very cool.

Becky said...

Only 15 hours to go! I LOVE vacations. Part of the sweetness of a vacation is coming home (for me) because home is my favorite place to be.

I don't blame you at all for preferring a nice relaxing, sand free, cooking free, cleaning free vacation. Camping is great for those who love it. But I prefer to do LESS work in a vacation than I do at home :)

OH! DO Have fun Tracy. Can't wait to see all the pics and hear all the fun. Be safe!

Beach Girl said...

And I can't wait to meet you and your family!!!

I was going to send you some more info on Ocracoke, but decided you should just borrow my book when you go over there. I can meet you at the ferry dock if there isn't time to stop by here on the way.

See you next week! :-)


Trella said...

That is wonderful! I am so happy for you.

It will mean so much to your family because y'all have waited for it.

I can totally relate to your post.

Have a lot of fun, and take pictures.

Tracy said...


My favorite place to be is home, too. I really wouldn't care if we just vacationed here every year!

Kelli said...

What a wonderful blessing, Tracy! Your home for the next week looks beautiful and it will be so nice to be close to the beach!! Have fun and we will miss you!

Sandra said...

Wow can I come too, goodness that is a gorgeous house.

Have fun :)

Patrick & Rachel said...

I am so, so excited for you!!!! I hope you have a marvelous time and don't worry about posting or not until you return. Just relax and enjoy the beauty of God's earth all around you. Last but not least, don't get burnt!!!!

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful time as a family.

Bless you...

Angie said...

That is awesome! I enjoy reading your blog....and your my my my my! I pray you have a wonderful time! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I added you to my blogsite because I enjoyed reading from yours so much, I want my friends/family to share in your pictures/photos!


Diane said...

Have a GREAT trip and time together!!! Looks like an amazing house!!! Blessings, Diane

Sheri said...

Oh Tracy, what a beautiful place to have a family vacation!!! It looks so peaceful and HUGE... it also sounds like you've had some very special family outings in the past. May this be the best yet! Have a fantastic time and we look forward to hearing from you when you return home!

Lyndy said...

Wow I am so excited for you and your family. Can't wait to see the pictures.

Have a fun and blessed week.

Sharon said...

I am so happy for you! I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing time together.

Bless you!

Beemoosie said...

Oh I will miss you, but I am just so happy for you! It's nice to appreciate stuff like this, isn't it!!! Blessings to you and yours!

Kelley said...

Oh fun!
Have a wonderful time and know that you will be missed!
Enjoy yourself and relax! *Ü*

"Early Bird" said...

I'm glad your dream is coming true! What a fab looking place!
I live in Ohio ;)
PS...I've always loved The Girl of the Limberlost"!!

Barbara H. said...

I agree -- vacations don't have to break the bank.

That house looks like a wonderful place to stay! Especially with its own pool. I love the beach but we don't go because of the modesty issue -- I have 3 boys. Once our Christian school's spring break was a different week than the public schools' and we did go then even though it was still a little cool. We had most of the beach to ourselves -- it was wonderful.

Have fun!!

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

Myrna said...

What a wonderful trip! Your family will enjoy it and have such good memories to cherish. Enjoy!

Emily said...

Oh that's wonderful Tracy, I am so pleased for you! You and your family deserve such a great vacation! Hope you all have a truly lovely break, and come back refreshed! Blessings to you.

Jodi said...

I can relate to your vacation history thus far. Praying for a safe, fun-filled, relaxing vacation. Enjoy your big, private house ~ it looks beautiful! :o)

Ruth said...

Oh, I am SO excited for you all. I hope you have the best time and make tons of memories. Enjoy yourselves!!! I can't wait to see the pictures and hear the stories.

Gena said...

Praise God! I'm so happy for you. Our family has only taken one family vacation in 15 years that has not been spent with family (relatively free, except for groceries). I know how excited you must be and that is an absolute gorgeous place.

Have a wonderful vacation and a happy and safe Memorial Day.

Jennifer said...

Have a great time!!

HsKubes said...

What wonderful memories y'all have made and will be making. Enjoy your long awaited trip. We live by the Atlantic but it never loses its beauty.
Have a wonderful weekend!
~ Christina