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  #21  
Old October 12th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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Usually these threads are a bit more balanced. I guess most of "us" are off cruising with our kids this week. I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values. However, I am also an older parent and want to give you that perspective. (My wife and I are currently traveling with toddlers in our early 40s. I'm assuming that you are in a similar age bracket because of the age of the older kids.)

We've both traveled, seen many places and done many things. Zip-lining, deck-puking, sun-burning, midnight buffet, late shows, etc, etc, etc. We've had our 20s (and most of our 30s) to do whatever we wanted. Then we chose to have children. Now, a cruise that would be relaxing... but boring because we've done it all 10 times... is a totally different experience.

I would never give up the memory of my son getting a dolphin snout in his mouth because he hadn't learned to pucker yet. When they said "kiss the dolphin" he gave an open mouth kiss. I would never give up the memory of the look of wonderment and joy on my daughters, face when she got to pet a turtle larger than she was. With 4 cruises under our belts, I have dozens of those memories. As the commercial says: "priceless"

I won't lie and tell you that it's easy. It isn't. I won't tell you that you can do anything you want to. You can't... well, you might have better luck since you have 4 adults and one child. Generally though, there are trade offs to be made and that is for you to weigh.


As far as the suggestion(s) that a toddler wouldn't enjoy a cruise... let's see: almost unlimited time with parents, one or both of whom work the rest of the year... a literal buffet of food choices everyday... crew members and passengers fawning over them... finally a decent opportunity to wear a tuxedo... endless entertainment in the form of people-watching, bells and whistles everywhere, etc. What's not to love?

Toddlers don't "get" the cruise/travel experience, but they most certainly have a ball on a cruise ship. Mommy and daddy, perhaps not so much. But that is what we signed up for, and IMHO the permanent memories far outweigh the temporary difficulties.
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  #22  
Old October 12th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mikesteg View Post
Usually these threads are a bit more balanced. I guess most of "us" are off cruising with our kids this week. I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values. However, I am also an older parent and want to give you that perspective. (My wife and I are currently traveling with toddlers in our early 40s. I'm assuming that you are in a similar age bracket because of the age of the older kids.)

We've both traveled, seen many places and done many things. Zip-lining, deck-puking, sun-burning, midnight buffet, late shows, etc, etc, etc. We've had our 20s (and most of our 30s) to do whatever we wanted. Then we chose to have children. Now, a cruise that would be relaxing... but boring because we've done it all 10 times... is a totally different experience.

I would never give up the memory of my son getting a dolphin snout in his mouth because he hadn't learned to pucker yet. When they said "kiss the dolphin" he gave an open mouth kiss. I would never give up the memory of the look of wonderment and joy on my daughters, face when she got to pet a turtle larger than she was. With 4 cruises under our belts, I have dozens of those memories. As the commercial says: "priceless"

I won't lie and tell you that it's easy. It isn't. I won't tell you that you can do anything you want to. You can't... well, you might have better luck since you have 4 adults and one child. Generally though, there are trade offs to be made and that is for you to weigh.


As far as the suggestion(s) that a toddler wouldn't enjoy a cruise... let's see: almost unlimited time with parents, one or both of whom work the rest of the year... a literal buffet of food choices everyday... crew members and passengers fawning over them... finally a decent opportunity to wear a tuxedo... endless entertainment in the form of people-watching, bells and whistles everywhere, etc. What's not to love?

Toddlers don't "get" the cruise/travel experience, but they most certainly have a ball on a cruise ship. Mommy and daddy, perhaps not so much. But that is what we signed up for, and IMHO the permanent memories far outweigh the temporary difficulties.
My outlook on this is quite different from yours. OP is in a different position than you are, they have 2 older boys who are celebrating major milestones in their life....graduating from high school and college. This trip is in celebration of their achievements and the OP wants to make them the focus of this trip not their 18 month old who has most likely stolen the limelight (understandably) for the past 18 months. I see nothing wrong with leaving their toddler in the loving care of Grandparents to spend some quality time with their older children. There will be plenty of time and opportunity in the future for them to spend with their younger child and generate those special memories you talk about with him. This is an opportunity for them to create some special memories with those older kids.

DH and I are in our mid-forties. We have 2 kids, DS(18) and DD(15). I didn't have the grandparents available to leave my kids with when they were younger, but I do have a wonderful Aunt who has been a caregiver for my children while we work since they were born. I have not hesitated to leave my kids in her care for some adult vacations with DH. We try to take one of these type of trips every one or two years since they were born. That said, we have also had many, many more vacations with our children. At a minimum one a year...more if I can swing it. We have all those special memories you are talking about with our kids, plus some valuable memories for just the two of us. To me the key is balance. It is ok to spend some quality time with others away from your children.

IMHO it is good for them to develop deeper relationships with others close to you, like Aunts/Uncles/Grandparents. I had that type of relationship with my Grandparents, which became very valuable to me when my parents were divorced and step-parents entered the picture. My kids have a very special relationship with my Aunt and her family. A relationship that has taken nothing away from their relationship with us, but has given them more love and support in addition to our own. I also believe limited seperation is healthy for all involved.

OP...the first few times are the hardest, but when you see the loving bond form between your child and his Grandparents, it makes the seperation much more easier to handle. Just realize that the bond they are forming takes nothing away from your relationship...but gives your child so much more love and support in his life in addition to yours. As the Mother of 2 independant, healthy, happy teens...I can say that using balance in vacation time worked wonderfully for us.
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  #23  
Old October 12th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Warm Breezes View Post
My outlook on this is quite different from yours.

I see nothing wrong with leaving their toddler in the loving care of Grandparents to spend some quality time with their older children.

To me the key is balance.

It is ok to spend some quality time with others away from your children.
I agree. No problem with that.

I agree. I don't see any indication in my post that I think leaving DS3 at home is "wrong". I explicitly said "I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values."

I agree. I'm just trying to add some balance to this thread.

I agree.



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Originally Posted by Warm Breezes View Post
This trip is in celebration of their achievements and the OP wants to make them the focus of this trip not their 18 month old who has most likely stolen the limelight (understandably) for the past 18 months.

This is an opportunity for them to create some special memories with those older kids.
The OP didn't say they wanted to make the older kids the focus. The OP said they wanted to celebrate the graduations. Not to minimize the accomplishment, but that takes one dinner at best, not an entire week.

The reason the OP explicitly offered was that the toddler doesn't travel well and can't go to Camp. No other reason was given. For all we know, they don't expect to see the older kids all week except at dinner. We've seen that thread many times also, for much younger kids, right?

It's also an opportunity for the older brothers to create some special memories with the lil' one. One may have been away at college and will be moving out of state for a job, we don't know. The other may be going away to college in the fall, we don't know. This may be there only real chance to take a vacation with lil' bro... you guessed it: we don't know. For all we do know, the older sons would prefer to have DS3 onboard to enhance their vacation. It's actually a pretty good setup: you get all the playtime of being a dad-type-person, and none of the ... uh, crap.


Again, this is totally up to the OP and family. If I had a vote, it wouldn't count. I was only offering an alternative viewpoint to the rest of the crowd.

OP: you are definitely NOT crazy to leave him.
You would also NOT be crazy to take him along.
Driving 11 hours to port? Jury is out on that one...
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  #24  
Old October 12th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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I think that the older boys would prefer the baby to stay with the grandparents. It would really not be alot of fun if they have to plan activites around an 18 month.
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  #25  
Old October 12th, 2012, 08:23 PM
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We left our 5 month old with grandparents for a 5 night cruise and have left him once a year for a cruise. It is so nice to recharge our batteries.

When he was 4 we ended up being gone 8 nights which seemed like a long time away for us. When he got home he said "you are back already? No too soon I want to stay with grandma and grampa."

Clearly the kids handle it much better than the parents
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  #26  
Old October 12th, 2012, 11:14 PM
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I agree. No problem with that.

I agree. I don't see any indication in my post that I think leaving DS3 at home is "wrong". I explicitly said "I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values."

I agree. I'm just trying to add some balance to this thread.

I agree.





The OP didn't say they wanted to make the older kids the focus. The OP said they wanted to celebrate the graduations. Not to minimize the accomplishment, but that takes one dinner at best, not an entire week.

The reason the OP explicitly offered was that the toddler doesn't travel well and can't go to Camp. No other reason was given. For all we know, they don't expect to see the older kids all week except at dinner. We've seen that thread many times also, for much younger kids, right?

It's also an opportunity for the older brothers to create some special memories with the lil' one. One may have been away at college and will be moving out of state for a job, we don't know. The other may be going away to college in the fall, we don't know. This may be there only real chance to take a vacation with lil' bro... you guessed it: we don't know. For all we do know, the older sons would prefer to have DS3 onboard to enhance their vacation. It's actually a pretty good setup: you get all the playtime of being a dad-type-person, and none of the ... uh, crap.


Again, this is totally up to the OP and family. If I had a vote, it wouldn't count. I was only offering an alternative viewpoint to the rest of the crowd.

OP: you are definitely NOT crazy to leave him.
You would also NOT be crazy to take him along.
Driving 11 hours to port? Jury is out on that one...
You did such a good job of trying to add balance to this thread that I didn't see anywhere in your post where your beliefs were in agreement with mine as you stated above . In fact I felt like you were laying a guilt trip on the OP for even thinking about leaving her toddler at home by stressing the memories that wouldn't be made by leaving him at home and how she should overcome the difficulties of taking him because the memories out weigh the tradeoffs. By stating "I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values." and then going on to state why you would not leave your child at home and impress on the OP the value of overcoming the difficulties of taking a child, it just left me feeling like you were questioning the values of anyone who would leave their child at home. My post was in reaction to the guilt trip that I didn't feel was justified or necessary. If you didn't mean it that way, I apologize. But I was reacting to what you wrote in that post.

As I said at the beginning of my post, my outlook was different from the opinion you posted (which is not apparently what you believe) and then I posted my reason why. You say you believe in balance...I'm sorry I just don't see any balance in your post. I saw a lot of guilt being laid on about why she shouldn't leave him home with Grandparents. No the OP will not be crazy for taking her child or for leaving him at home. Like I said...I have done both in my kids lives depending on the purpose of our vacation. The OP stated that the purpose of this trip was to celebrate her older sons graduations. Yes a dinner out would do for some people...but she chose to celebrate by giving them a cruise, which IMHO is making them the focus of this vacation. You are right that the ulimate decision to bring the youngest child is hers to make, but no one should give her a guilt trip for deciding to leave him at home, no matter what her reason for doing so is.
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  #27  
Old October 13th, 2012, 12:00 AM
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I read many of these replies and simply marvel at people who would want to consider travelling without their kid(s) -- to me it would not be something that would never cross my mind. I genuinely like my kid and love spending time with her.

I find it hard to believe anyone could love her more than DH and me, and NO ONE could take care of her better than we can.
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  #28  
Old October 13th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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I read many of these replies and simply marvel at people who would want to consider travelling without their kid(s) -- to me it would not be something that would never cross my mind. I genuinely like my kid and love spending time with her.

I find it hard to believe anyone could love her more than DH and me, and NO ONE could take care of her better than we can.
While I love my children deeply, completely, unconditionally and IMMENSELY, I also don't have the illusions that NO ONE else can take care of them. THey may not care for them exactly as I would but they would be able to care for them competently and caringly. We have traveled mostly with our children, mostly because we do not have grandparents readily available to watch them. I would not leave them with just anyone but a responsible, capable and loving grandparent-you bet!! IMHO kids who are used to people other than their parents caring for them get to see that there are a lot of people who love them, they learn to respect adults other than their parents, and they get various perspectives on how things are done. It also allows parents to recognize that while they love their kids and would maybe spend all the time with them, that they are partners first and spending time with your partner (not in parent mode) is very valuable too (since hopefully you will have many years after the kids are out of the house as partners by yourselves again)
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Old October 13th, 2012, 03:22 PM
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I read many of these replies and simply marvel at people who would want to consider travelling without their kid(s) -- to me it would not be something that would never cross my mind. I genuinely like my kid and love spending time with her.

I find it hard to believe anyone could love her more than DH and me, and NO ONE could take care of her better than we can.
I love my five children, and I do believe my parents and IL's love them just as much as we do, and have watched all of them overnight for vacations (both as a couple, and leaving babies behind). A large family like mine has a very different dynamic that one with just one child. We like being all together, but we also like dividing up (oldest vs. youngest, boys vs. girls). It's nice to focus on one or two children at a time.

My mother recently took dd11 overseas to a dance competition - I made my mom a lovely photo book with the pictures she took. It was a trip the two of them will never forget! We will always value extended family - it takes a village, and ours is filled with a lot of love and support.
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  #30  
Old October 13th, 2012, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Warm Breezes View Post
You did such a good job of trying to add balance to this thread that I didn't see anywhere in your post where your beliefs were in agreement with mine as you stated above . In fact I felt like you were laying a guilt trip on the OP for even thinking about leaving her toddler at home by stressing the memories that wouldn't be made by leaving him at home and how she should overcome the difficulties of taking him because the memories out weigh the tradeoffs. By stating "I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values." and then going on to state why you would not leave your child at home and impress on the OP the value of overcoming the difficulties of taking a child, it just left me feeling like you were questioning the values of anyone who would leave their child at home. My post was in reaction to the guilt trip that I didn't feel was justified or necessary. If you didn't mean it that way, I apologize. But I was reacting to what you wrote in that post.

As I said at the beginning of my post, my outlook was different from the opinion you posted (which is not apparently what you believe) and then I posted my reason why. You say you believe in balance...I'm sorry I just don't see any balance in your post. I saw a lot of guilt being laid on about why she shouldn't leave him home with Grandparents. No the OP will not be crazy for taking her child or for leaving him at home. Like I said...I have done both in my kids lives depending on the purpose of our vacation. The OP stated that the purpose of this trip was to celebrate her older sons graduations. Yes a dinner out would do for some people...but she chose to celebrate by giving them a cruise, which IMHO is making them the focus of this vacation. You are right that the ulimate decision to bring the youngest child is hers to make, but no one should give her a guilt trip for deciding to leave him at home, no matter what her reason for doing so is.
You are way out to lunch on this one. I said:

Quote:
I totally believe that this is a choice you need to make for yourself based on your values.

I would never give up the memory...

I would never give up the memory...

I won't lie and tell you that it's easy. It isn't. I won't tell you that you can do anything you want to. You can't...

... there are trade offs to be made and that is for you to weigh.
I was sharing my experience, period... and with a good dose of YMMV. How a couple of sentences about my memories out of 4 paragraphs become a guilt trip is beyond me. Certainly that is better than making a bunch of assumptions about what the OP meant of what they're family would prefer.

You can read whatever you like into my post(s). That doesn't mean it is there. Just like you assumptions about the OP and family. Which is all irrelevant since (I think) the OP wanted our experiences, not our judgments or assumptions.

As far as balance: My post is balanced within itself. However, I was trying to add a counterpoint to the 12 or 15 posts stating the opposite opinion. Hopefully the OP can see that. If not, they can ignore.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Onessa View Post
I read many of these replies and simply marvel at people who would want to consider travelling without their kid(s) -- to me it would not be something that would never cross my mind. I genuinely like my kid and love spending time with her.

I find it hard to believe anyone could love her more than DH and me, and NO ONE could take care of her better than we can.
Are you implying that everyone else doesn't feel like that about their own kids?

Guess you just wanted to balance as well

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Old October 14th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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I read many of these replies and simply marvel at people who would want to consider travelling without their kid(s) -- to me it would not be something that would never cross my mind. I genuinely like my kid and love spending time with her. I genuinely like my kids and like spending time with them too. That is why we do take most of our trips with them.

I find it hard to believe anyone could love her more than DH and me, and NO ONE could take care of her better than we can.
Fortunately for my children, they do have others in their lives that love and care for them as DH & I do. It was truly a blessing to us to have these people willing and able to care for our kids when we needed to reconnect as adults and partners, which IMHO is healthy for every marriage. We could leave them knowing they would be cared for just as if we were there....and spoiled on top of it. This is all in addition to our love and caring and takes nothing away from the love and support we give our kids. My kids are now 15 and 18. They have taken trips with us from the time they were 6 months old....we have also had adult vacations every year or two from the time they were a year old. There is no doubt of our love for each other....or the love of others in their life. The reason I could leave them behind on a trip was because I did believe that others could love my kids and care for them just as much as I do.

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  #33  
Old October 14th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving a child/children with family or close friends that you know will care for them! It has nothing to do with how much you love them and enjoy being with them!!!

I love my DD (20 months) more than anything in the world!! I have to leave her nearly every week for work which I have come to accept (she stays home with DH), but initially struggled with leaving her with my parents when we went on a 3 day cruise last month. They are great with her and she spends time at their house all the time, but I was feeling guilty since I do leave her for work. I came to realize that my DH and I needed a few days alone together (had not happened since she was born).

She had a fantastic time with my parents and we had a great time. She would not have enjoyed the cruise as she'd just have wanted to go to the pool or play with the kids that we saw around the ship with the kids program which she could not have done. We will be taking her on her first cruise next year once she's potty trained and we are looking forward to enjoying that adventure with her.

To the OP - do not feel bad about leaving the little one behind. It sounds like everyone will enjoy their time the most by doing it that way. If it makes you feel better, plan something special (a special day or weekend) with the little one before/after you go.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 11:12 AM
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I appreciate everyone submitting their opinions on my post. I do have to say that my dh and I love all of our children very much. I absolutely love spending time with our youngest son however, my dh and I already know how much your life changes when you have a child leave for college as our oldest has been living away from home for almost 4 years now and yes we want to spend time with our two oldest sons and do what they want to do to celebrate their great accomplishments!! I do not think in leaving our son that in any way we are being bad parents or that it will affect our son in a negative way. ME as the parent is the one struggling with being away from him!!! I have no doubt he will be 120% taken care of and spoiled by the grandparents!! Also, some of the posters do have a good point about being husband and wife first and it will be good for my dh and I to have some time to ourselves as well as spend time with our two oldest sons!
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  #35  
Old October 15th, 2012, 07:52 PM
flhokie flhokie is offline
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[quote=justbeme2001;35719717]I appreciate everyone submitting their opinions on my post. I do have to say that my dh and I love all of our children very much. I absolutely love spending time with our youngest son however, my dh and I already know how much your life changes when you have a child leave for college as our oldest has been living away from home for almost 4 years now and yes we want to spend time with our two oldest sons and do what they want to do to celebrate their great accomplishments!! I do not think in leaving our son that in any way we are being bad parents or that it will affect our son in a negative way. ME as the parent is the one struggling with being away from him!!! I have no doubt he will be 120% taken care of and spoiled by the grandparents!! Also, some of the posters do have a good point about being husband and wife first and it will be good for my dh and I to have some time to ourselves as well as spend time with our two oldest sons![/QUOTE

I know that if I were in your shoes I'd probably be doing what it sounds like you're planning to do---leaving the youngest with loving and caring grandparents. It is hard, but think of the special memories you'll have with the older ones before they head off in the world and the special memories the littlest will have with grandparents.

My mom emailed a picture of DD each day (we were only truly gone 2 days) which was nice. If the grandparents can do that it might be a way to stay connected. Also, look into adding an international plan on a cell phone for the duration of your trip so that you can call to check in without breaking the bank. We did fine with just email, but if we had been gone longer I probably would have wanted to call--just to make me feel better.

Have a great trip!!
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  #36  
Old October 15th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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Warm Breezes Warm Breezes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justbeme2001 View Post
I appreciate everyone submitting their opinions on my post. I do have to say that my dh and I love all of our children very much. I absolutely love spending time with our youngest son however, my dh and I already know how much your life changes when you have a child leave for college as our oldest has been living away from home for almost 4 years now and yes we want to spend time with our two oldest sons and do what they want to do to celebrate their great accomplishments!! I do not think in leaving our son that in any way we are being bad parents or that it will affect our son in a negative way. ME as the parent is the one struggling with being away from him!!! I have no doubt he will be 120% taken care of and spoiled by the grandparents!! Also, some of the posters do have a good point about being husband and wife first and it will be good for my dh and I to have some time to ourselves as well as spend time with our two oldest sons!
Have a great trip and enjoy the time with your older sons. Your younger child will be having a blast with his grandparents....I knew I wasn't reading into your post wrong, thanks for reinforcing my take on the situation .
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  #37  
Old October 16th, 2012, 12:43 AM
Onessa Onessa is offline
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I read many of these replies and simply marvel at people who would want to consider travelling without their kid(s) -- to me it would not be something that would never cross my mind. I genuinely like my kid and love spending time with her.

I find it hard to believe anyone could love her more than DH and me, and NO ONE could take care of her better than we can.
Hey, I'm just saying that I have never considered taking vacation without DD and as often as I read threads discussing this matter, I still cannot imagine any reason why I would want to take a vacation without her and DH and I have never felt the need to vacation without her.

It is not as if my DH or I never have to travel (for business or for personal reasons such as family emergencies), but we've always just really enjoyed our vacations as a family -- sharing the experiences and having great times together.

My parents are gone, but when they were alive when she was younger they spent a lot of time with them -- but Gma and Gpa would often accompany us on our trips so we all had great memories.

Do whatever works for your family, but as I've said, I just cannot imagine doing it myself.

Last edited by Onessa; October 16th, 2012 at 12:46 AM.
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