Last weekend, Mini Me and myself had a great little getaway. The key word being “little.” It wasn’t long, it wasn’t expensive, it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t far. But it was the perfect simple family getaway!
We are lucky to have a family friend who has a house on the Caney Fork River in Southeastern Tennessee, just about a two hour drive from our house. This friend was nice enough to let us stay in a guest room for a couple of nights so we hit the road. Just packed a small suitcase and we were gone.
The Charm Of A Simple Family Getaway
When we got there, we stopped in the small town grocery and got food, snacks, and supplies for the weekend. After shopping, we cooked on Friday night, played in the river, sat on the porch, and stared at the sky.
On Saturday we slept in, had breakfast on the porch, swam, took out the paddle boat, played games, fished, jumped of the dock, took a nap, took pictures, cooked pasta for dinner, watched some TV, had some snacks, and then went to bed.
On Sunday we slept in again, then drove 20 minutes to a Fall Creek Falls (a great state park) and had breakfast in the car on the way. At the park we hiked, climbed, got soaked in the water falls, saw the sights, took selfies, checked out nature, and basically acted like fun loving kids for a few hours.
By 2pm we headed back to the house, swam some more, got cleaned up, packed our suitcase, and headed home. Along the way home we got ice cream, played games in the car, sang songs, and talked about life. 48 hours after we started, we were back in our house and back to our daily routine.
I tell you all of this for the simple reason… that it was all so simple. Nothing extravagant, nothing outrageous, no heavy lifting, no extreme planning. We spent maybe a $100 on gas and supplies and that was it. But the memories, laughs, photos, and smiles were priceless.
You don’t have to go “all out” for everything. We all get so caught up in trying to plan the perfect trip, perfect vacation, perfect experience that we often times forget the most perfect thing is simply being together with friends and family. My son loves planned, “big” adventures but I would almost guess that he likes these small, spur-of-the-moment moments even more. Quick, easy trips that let us bond with no pressure and no expectations. I know it certainly is easier for me as a parent.
Some of my greatest childhood memories are when my parents and I would simply get in the car, drive to the “big city” an hour away, see the sights, have dinner, play miniature golf, and stay in a Holiday Inn for the night! Yes, it was a simpler time but there is no reason why you can enjoy that simplicity today.
I will always cherish those little moments as much as I cherish the big trips – maybe even more. In some way, those little getaways always felt more personal and intimate. I truly felt like I was spending real quality time with my mom and dad instead of trying to stay on a schedule, see every attraction, and fulfill every vacation expectation!
I encourage you to worry less about a vacation and think more about simply spending time together – any time and anywhere. I am still smiling about the memories from last weekend and I know my son is as well. It was such a joy to just hang out and be together – even doing nothing. My son didn’t care at all about how “big” the trip was, all that mattered to him was that we were together and it was fun.
So, jump in the car sometime soon for a simple family getaway, even if it is just for a Saturday drive. See where the road takes you, laugh along the way, and live in the moment – now and for years to come! Have you taken a simple family getaway lately?
Rob Youngblood is a Single Dad, Keynote Speaker, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Reality Coach, Communication Expert, Writer, and Storyteller. Follow him on Twitter to keep up to date on his latest work.