Our family took a Grand California Adventure earlier this summer to visit the place where my Hubs + I grew up, fell in love, graduated college, married and made lifelong friendships. But, with our size family, it has become increasingly difficult to take long trips for extended periods of time--cost, time, cramped car quarters with big teen people:) But after the big plunge this year, we have decided to seek out small ways to have little adventures of our own, close to home.
We have learned a few things from our simple mini adventures with our teens:
- It doesn't have to be far to be fun.
We have a few beaches within driving distance + love their waves as much as Cali.
- It doesn't have to cost a fortune.
I always pack water + simple snacks knowing my teens eat more frequently than newborn kittens. If a full day is on the agenda, we pack a lunch and find a family friendly joint for dinner to add to the experience.
- Laughing is a wonderful stress diffuser.
Make a purposeful decision to have FUN.
- Food is usually a part of the adventure, so plan accordingly.
My Hubs likes researching food places that are known for something or that are off the beaten path--no fast food chains.
- Give the teens some say in the course of the day.
Usually there are a few hot spots in an area that we visit, so we take a poll and go from there.
- Be flexible.
Traffic happens. Lots of bathroom breaks could be a fact. Relax + Enjoy are the rules.
- Bringing a friend along can brighten a family adventure.
8. Even the mundane can become an adventure.
My boys needed school uniforms--boo. Not a fun shopping experience, but when you add grabbing a beloved burger + fries to the mix, a mini adventure can begin.
9. Pull out the calendar and PLAN a few adventures for the coming months.
I find that events may actually happen if I am intentional about planning them. It's fun to be spontaneous, but having something on the calendar can give everyone something to look toward.
Food is always an adventure for me. I love trying new places and flavors. This mini adventure was a double-date with some friends of ours that wanted to share a Tapas restaurant they frequent. It was such a delightful evening!
And when a new ice cream shop comes to town, you have to pile in the hot car and plan out flavor combos. It's been a deliberate decision to look at our little family moments as mini adventures. They don't always play out the way I had hoped, but being TOGETHER is the point, and one day these little stolen moments will be what our children will remember + share with their families.
Keep on keeping on, Mama's. School is just around the corner!