Since it is that time of year when people are either on, returning or planning a vacation, I thought it would be interesting to think back on some of the best vacations I have had over the years, and why. There are too many to count, but I'll try and run down some of the top ones.
In no particular order:
Top 10 + 1 Best Vacations:
- Colorado (2010). The Rocky Mountains were the most inspiring natural wonders I've ever seen. Breathtaking vistas around every bend. The pictures we took from the top of Trail Ridge Road are singed into my memory forever.
- South Dakota, 2007. I love that area. The Black Hills, Needles Highway, Custer State Park, Wind Cave and the beautiful house we stayed at on the top of a mountain. It will always stand out as one of the best vacations I took with my brothers Tom and Rob and their kids. I'll never forget seeing the Buffalo after losing hope that we'd ever see them in anything but a pen. There were hundreds. Sarah almost cried with joy.
- Pennsylvania, 2008. Philadelphia was amazing with all of its history. The Poconos mountains were beautiful with wooded gorges and lots of water. Whitewater rafting, again with my brothers and their kids was a blast! Throw in NYC and Hershey, PA + Amish country, and you have a perfect vacation.
- Myrtle Beach, SC. We used to go down every other year or so at Spring Break. Nothing like bumming on the beach for a week to bring the Blood Pressure down. A bit touristy, but a nice, relaxing climate. Go to Charleston if you get a chance. A nice, historic side trip.
- Adirondacks-Thousand Islands (2011). Camping and hiking in the Adirondacks was amazingly fun. We hiked a small peak (Mount Jo) and camped with our Sister and Brother in-Law and their kids. Good cousin time, despite the rain. The Thousand Islands portion of the trip was great too. The area we stayed in was like it was from a postcard or a snapshot from 1930. Quaint, friendly, people walked instead of driving, swimming in the St. Lawrence Seaway, catching Northern Pike with my friend Rich Moose, and seeing my wife's old college friends. It was fabulous.
- The BWCA (Many years). Too many good memories and trips to recount. The most recent with our kids and Nick goes down with one of the best, for so many reasons. The Chainsaw Sisters, the Hoary River, stops at Courage North, trips with friends, trips with kids, beautiful sunsets and amazing scenery.
- Maine, 1991. A whole lot of driving, but very much worth it once we were there. Bar Harbor, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia (camping next to an RV with a generator = not so fun) Whale watching, good food. Great trip.
- Los Angeles, 1983. Drove out with two friends from Montgomery Wards where I worked at the time. This trip was huge for me in that it was my first time seeing California. I went over St. Patricks day and could not believe the weather. Being a MN boy, it was all so cool. Palm trees, Hollywood, 12 Lane Freeways, Long Beach. We also toured the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose. Cool stuff for a sheltered St. Paulite.
- Uchi Lake, ON Canada, 2006. A fly-in fishing adventure with my friend Steve, made possible by our loving wives as a graduation gift to him and a "forever want" gift to me. Fishing started out tough the first day, but that night we found a hot spot and that night will forever live in me as one of the best fishing experiences ever.
- Disney World, 2005. I was a Disney cynic going in. Thought it was totally for kids and it would be a nightmare. After 3 days, I still couldn't get enough of it. Great fun with our kids at a great age. (Sarah 10 and Ben 7). As corporate as it is/was, they treated us right and we had a BLAST!!!
- Mercer, WI (aka "The Cabin"). Pine Forest Lodge is the place of so, so many good family memories. Swimming, fishing, basketball and shuffleboard, screen doors slamming, canoe trips to the flowage and the little island and I can't forget the Wampum Shop. It's all good, and it is one of my kids' favorite places on earth.
As I said, there are many, many more trips that I am likely forgetting. Trips home to Minnesota and New York, (Niagara Falls, Taughannok Falls, Watkins Glen) have special meaning to both of us and our kids. Several other smaller trips to Chicago, Door County and other places. Forgive me if I've left out a major one, as I feel I may have.
It's important to take these vacations when you can with your kids/parents because time is precious. Where are your top 10 vacation spots?