On Instagram recently, a friend commented on a photo, "I wish I was one of your children, I'd like to see what trip I'd get to go on."
She was referring to the fact that Luke and Mike were in Seattle, WA at the NFL kick-off game with between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks .
Which I must explain...
In June 2013, we went on a family trip to California. We had an okay time, but for the most part, it was a nightmare.
More than once Mike and I looked at each other wondering what in the world we were doing, and I'm quite sure Mike swore on his life that he'd never go on a family vacation again.
With the combination of that less than stellar family vacation experience, and a high number of airline rewards points we have experimented with a new style of travel this year. In the winter, I took the two little boys to Disneyland, and we have been anticipating a trip to NYC this fall with our girls. One night in July, I started brainstorming about "trip ideas" for Luke and suddenly thought of a football game. His two favorite teams are the Packers and Seahawks, and so I looked at the schedules of each.
I could not believe my eyes that late Sunday night while laying in my bed, with my i-pad in my hand, when I saw that the Packers and the Seahawks were due to play each other on a THURSDAY night and in SEATTLE. (A much more desired destination than Wisconsin?) We had enough miles for free flights, and not knowing anything about typical NFL football ticket prices, it seemed like it was a trip worth making happen.
I take full credit for the idea, the booking, the accommodations, the preparation, the activity agenda, the printed directions, the instructions, the packing, etc. Mike gets full credit for paying for it.
Little did I know that when I bought the tickets, it was the NFL kick-off game. A pretty big deal in the world of NFL.
Megan is an avid football fan herself (this is just her 2nd season), but she is far more excited about an upcoming trip to NYC. She rallied the siblings around her for the big game and they watched it on tv, on slightly damp couches that had been professionally clean that day. (Our whole house was in complete disarray from the carpets being cleaned earlier in the day.)
The rest is pretty much history. Although I must make a disclaimer--that there are no spoiled children around here. These trips are no different than a family trip somewhere for the seven of us, and no trip would happen if we had to actually "pay" for the plane ticket. (We haven't "paid" for a plane ticket for a couple of years now...)
(I totally take credit for their plane seats being on the side that had a great view of Mount. St. Helen's volcano. Go me. (Sheer coincidence/luck.))Anyway,
Back to Mike and Luke...
(The view from their room. They're welcome. (Again...pure coincidence/luck.)
(I loved visiting Seattle last September, and was so excited they got to see the Gum Wall that I had told them so much about.)
They spent a wonderful time together in Seattle last week. Luke wore his Packer's jersey to the game with his Seahawks t-shirt underneath. The day after the game, as they explored the city, Luke wore a Packers hat with a Seahawks shirt. Mike said he got humorous comments all day long from passers-by.
Mike loved it. And even though he did choke a little at the price of the trip, I know he is glad they went and
"It was all so low-key. It was really nice, just being Luke and me. Even you there would have changed the dynamic drastically. We were both really laid-back, relaxed and had a great time."
Separately, Luke reported to me, "It was so fun just me and dad. I hope you know what I mean, but I'm even glad you weren't there."
Not quite sure exactly HOW to interpret either of those comments.
And that my friends is probably why full-seven-member-family-vacations are not really in our plans anymore.