Trips, Not Gifts

While the holidays are lots of fun, involve seeing family (perhaps tolerating family), and are always full of delicious goodies. There is one portion that is just a little too overdone at times…the gifts. Stuff. Things. Dust catchers. Closet dwellers. Blah. Instead, how about two amazing trip options to consider as gifts?  Done.  

Road Scholar

One peek at this website (or catalog) will reveal trips for you and the kiddos OR, the ultimate, for your kiddos and the GRANDPARENTS.  Yes, they plan Intergenerational trips!! HOW PERFECT! 

The kids are in an age range so they can make new friends – like my Lil Man did this past summer with my folks.  They had a lovely 5 day trip to Chattanooga, TN.  Yes, that is in our backyard, but it offered the mix of educational and activity levels they wanted. Travelers just have to get themselves to and from the check-in point. The rest of it has been planned and runs like a well-oiled machine. They met families from all over the US during their forays to Lookout Mountain, the Tennessee Aquarium (the kids even spent the night!), one of the few remaining restoration sites for hand-carved carousels and rides upon steam engines. Most of them had never been to the South and were amazed at the countryside, the music, and the manners.   

There are out of country trip opportunities as well and price tags that run the full gamut. Some are focused on specific topics (environment, art, music), others in areas or even activities (cooking, anyone?). If your family functions like mine where family members are happy to pitch in for that one big gift… maybe this is the year the kids and the grands get to shop together!  If your littles are too little, just put this one on the back burner for later. 

Western River Expeditions

And, for the adventurous couple or those with older kiddos who love the outdoors, I personally cannot rave enough about this group. While they offer rafting trips on several rivers, I was spoiled this past summer to spend 3 days on a raft in the Grand Canyon with my daddy. Again, another perfectly orchestrated event – we only had to show up with the recommended gear. A helicopter flight into the canyon?  Two nights sleeping under the Milky Way on a cot? Freshly cooked meals from a crew that could not have been more fun, attentive, and informative? Yes, yes, and yes. By far, one of my most memorable trips ever – and I am ready to do the 7-day version next time!

The government strictly limits the number of people who get to touch the waters of the Colorado as it runs through the Grand Canyon. There are few to no words to describe the raw beauty of this space, nor the sense of timelessness that still exists there.  The well-seasoned and well-spoken crew will put even the most timid camper-to-be at ease over the management of their cot, tent, utensils, and food and waste disposal.  Besides, they will be too amazed by their surroundings to be worried about any of it.  

Happy shopping for family memories!  

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Catherine is a 40++ year old newlywed with a newly adopted 11 year old son. Bred, born and raised in Carrollton, GA, she left town in a cloud of dust at 17 for college, graduate school, marriages, stepchildren, jobs/careers, and almost double digit number of moves that took her all the way to Colorado by way of Tennessee and Kansas. All in all, 23 years of well-lived, well-learned life - with great memories and lessons to share. This threesome returned to Carrollton in 2014 to be closer to family and raise Little Man in a strong, but smaller community with access to bigger city items when desired. And it has been wonderful - except for the humidity.