On July 11, 2017, Madison, Jacob, Allan and I left on a 2 1/2 week trip through Italy and Greece to celebrate Madison’s high school graduation.
Traveling with our grandchildren is a wonderful bonding experience. Even if we have visited a destination before, everything is new when we see it for the first time with our grandchildren. Hearing first impressions. Venice was not what they had imagined. Rome was a favorite. Private transportation trumps public. They both know their way around airports and train stations. Downtime, especially beach time, is a good thing.
I was so excited when Jacob found Zakynthos and Shipwreck Beach, on his own, while doing trip research. Shipwreck Beach has been on my bucket list forever. I had decided not to include the stop this trip, since the visit would require a detour. Zakynthos was a favorite of everyone.
History is Allan’s thing and he loves sharing with his kids and grandchildren. “Papa A know’s everything! More than the guides.” True! He answered every question our guides asked and then expanded.
Grandparents are the keepers of family traditions and heritage that gets passed from one generation to the next. Traveling together is a great way to impart that knowledge. From personal experience, I know they will soon forget most of the gifts we buy them, but taking them places and making memories together, they will never forget. Many great conversations.
And then there was the “road trip.” This quote pretty much nails it.
“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the way.”
- Toll booths that eat money.
- Restricted areas.
- The best pasta in Italy.
- Winding roads through Tuscany that give you the most incredible views all the while making you car sick.
- Quaint villages with amazing spas.
- Hotel valets in Rome that sneak up behind you.
Our hotels were chosen based on several criteria. We needed one room with twin beds which limited our choices. Air conditioning was a must. I remember the heat when Patricia and I were in Italy and Greece in college. We wanted to be close to the attractions we were most interested in seeing, which generally meant city center. Views were also important.
I am a private tour person. I want flexibility and control over my itinerary. It’s also about efficiency, comfort and avoiding crowds. We had outstanding guides.