Family Vacation: A Beach Vacation with the Grandparents

family funtravel

One of the main reasons my husband and I thought about having children right after we were married was because we wanted our kid's grandparents to be able to enjoy their grandchildren. I'm not so sure how many people think this way, but being the youngest of four certainly got this notion in my head early. I also had reason to believe that having children could be a long and difficult process, so we wanted to get right to it.

Asian grandma and grandchild

Unfortunately, my Dad only got six short weeks with my oldest daughter, Emily. He passed away suddenly at the age of 67, but I am comforted in knowing that I gave him the one thing that was missing in his life, his very own granddaughter.

Losing my dad so suddenly validated that notion I had about grandkids; I want to be able to play with my own grandkids, too, someday.

This past August, we were able to do something really important as a family. We took our first annual (I'm hopeful on the annual part) Stow family vacation, consisting of our family, my husband's brother's family, and my wonderful in-laws. This was the first time my kids got to spend extended time with their nine-month-old cousin. And the best part of all for me was watching the grandparents enjoy every little moment with their four grandchildren. And what could be better than a week away at a cottage on the beach in Cape Cod? NOTHING, if you ask me.

There was no need to leave the beach. (Well, except for the few times Grandma and Granddad kidnapped our two oldest children to take them out for lunch and ice cream.) Time was spent digging in the sand, walking the Brewster flats, splashing in the ocean, eating family dinners on the deck, reading stories together, eating lots of ice cream, and watching spectacular sunsets while enjoying a good glass of wine. We had it all. We made memories that will be cherished forever.

splashing in the ocean with Grandad

All week long, Grandad kept asking each of us, "So what's the best thing about Cape Cod?" I've come to a conclusion that his favorite thing was the same as my favorite thing. The entire week was about us. It was about family. "Grandad, what was your favorite thing about Cape Cod?" His reply, "Playing with your kids, of course."

Looking for a good book to share with your children in honor of Grandparents' Day?  You'll love everything about The Hello Goodbye Window, by Norton Juster. This award winning picture book will help foster a heart-felt discussion with your children about trips to their grandparents' house. It's one of my favorites.

Are grandparents a big part of your child's life?  Have you ever thought about taking an extended family vacation together?  I'd love to hear your ideas about what you do to build family traditions and create fun memories with your kids!

Annie Stow Annie Stow is a working mom of three small children who are six, four, and two. She is a reading specialist in the public schools and blogs at Follow her on Facebook and find her on Twitter. Don't forget to check out her Pinterest page!

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.
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