I have two sisters. One lives out west. One lives in the east. It is not very often that we have been able to all be together. Busy lives, families, jobs and schedules that seldom coincide didn’t help. When our dad passed away, we decided to plan a big vacation trip with our mom to celebrate her milestone birthday that would be coming up in a few years. But we asked ourselves “why wait until then?” Life can be too unpredictable.
So four years ago we all got together; mom, east sister, and I at west sister’s house for a long weekend. While reminiscing about various places mom had traveled with dad over the years, we asked her where she wished she could have visited. She mentioned having passed through Savannah, GA and thinking it was a place she would have liked to have spent some time exploring. Since none of us girls had been there and not knowing much about it, a plot began hatching to schedule a trip there during the next year. Mom never suspected a thing.
So, we surprised her with a week of vacation in Savannah. We rented a carriage house in the heart of the historic district and had a wonderful time exploring the city and learning much of its fascinating history (that we probably had studied in school but forgot.) That week proved to be so much fun, we decided a mom/sister vacation would be a yearly event.
Last year, our original plans were to spend a week in the mountains of Colorado, but had to change plans at the last minute because most of the places we planned to visit were burning or being threatened by wild fires. So we changed directions and rented a house on the Finger Lakes in upstate New York in the town of Skaneateles. This time, however, my other daughter and her baby got to join us for the week. It was another delightful week of exploring, reminiscing, laughing, and relaxing.
While making plans for 2013, each of the job situations for my sisters and I was up in the air, so we decided they would come to Branson, Missouri for a shorter time together. Since mom and I live in the same area, we would not have to pay for lodging for the group. Melinda was able to participate in some of our activities this time (along with her kids, who think their great aunts are awesome.) The best part of meeting here was that we did things that we had never done together in this area. Usually when their families have come to visit, it is during Christmas or Thanksgiving and we end up doing the same things we’ve always done. It was again pronounced a successful vacation together, just not long enough though!
On each of our vacations together we try to find places to eat that are unique, popular with the locals and off the beaten path. And definitely not chain restaurants! One of the places we heard about in Savannah sounded like it was “the” place to get barbecue. We circled the block several times on foot trying to find the address that was listed and could not find it. Finally we asked and were directed down an alley. And they were right; it was some of the best BBQ we’d ever eaten!
The first get-together, my west sister pulled out all of her card making supplies. We had a blast trying out techniques she learned in some classes. Mom had not made cards before and got hooked. Now she doesn’t buy cards, she custom makes them! In Savannah and Skaneateles, my east sister found Stampin’ Up®! workshops for us to attend and we had a great time making cards in the homes of the demonstrators. This year my sisters brought some of their supplies and each demonstrated their card techniques for the rest of us to try. Every flat surface in my home was covered with card making!
I haven’t written down everything we’ve done on each of our mom/sister vacations, though I have intended to put together photo highlight books of each of our trips. Someday I will get caught up (sigh)! But the memories of each of those times together are written on our hearts. We don’t know how long we will all be able to be together, but we will continue planning yearly events with each other and include my daughters as well!
What memories are you writing on your heart?