My dad and I all ready for some backpacking, circa 1992.

Vacations in my household growing up centered mostly around camping. We camped as a family but my dad also took my brother and I separately on backpacking weekends about every other year. We would hike up a mountain we’d been looking at on a map for months, bringing along everything we’d need on our backs. The kid left behind on these trips got to have time with my mom – shopping, eating dessert for dinner, watching movies past our bed-time, etc. It was a good deal either way.

As I got into high school I started working, dating, playing tennis, etc. and those trips started to fade away. We still did things as a family, but weekends were busy. When I was in college my dad and I started talking about taking a backpacking trip around Europe as my graduation present. We never made any finite plans but we always talked about it like it was going to happen. My dad even bought me the backpack for it for one of my birthdays leading up to the trip. And then, I met my husband and the plans changed to paying for a wedding instead of a trip and we never went.

Brian and I moved to California right after the wedding, and then on to Kansas City shortly after that. My parents still live in Maine. I get to see them about once or twice a year, which is great, but it’s hard to fit in a lot of quality time when you’re trying to see all your relatives at once. My mom and I have gone on a couple of trips together over the past few years – a Mediterranean cruise, a road-trip from Maine to Kansas City and back to Maine, a work trip I flew my mom down for – but my dad is usually working.

I started thinking about all this over the weekend and was getting a little misty-eyed about it. I was thinking about how I hate hearing those sad stories about people who once made plans and something happened and they never got to go/do wherever/whatever. I decided that I was going to change what (up to this point at least) was starting to sound like one of those stories.

So, my dad and I are taking a trip next September to Yosemite National Park to do a volunteering vacation through the REI Adventures. Neither of us have been to Yosemite before and I am excited to check it out together. I realize that to some people doing manual labor and tenting sound nothing like a vacation, but for my dad and I, it will be perfect. Thanks for stopping by!

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