Now that I’m retired, I have more to time to go on vacations, and Mother/Daughter vacations are a special kind of getaway for me.
These vacations are special to me for many reasons.
- I never had this kind of relationship with my mother.
- I know they won’t last forever.
- She gets and accepts me (the good and the bad)
- We like to do the exact same things on a vacation and never get sick of each other.
Our first getaway together was in 2014 for my 50th birthday. We went to Universal Studios for a few days during our Spring Break from school. We love rides, and since it was my first time traveling alone with my daughter who was 15 at the time, I felt comfortable having the Mears Shuttle pick us up from the airport and bring us back. I definitely didn’t want to start renting a car or anything. I’m not that adventurous. As my friend Lorie says, “Jennifer lives under a well-appointed rock.”
The very next year my daughter turned 16. Instead of a party we went to Hawaii as a family in August, but my daughter convinced me to take her for her actual birthday to Disney which fell on Columbus Day Weekend. This was really nice because we had been to Disney many times, but not during the Halloween season. They had special parades and fireworks. We even got to trick or treat in the Magic Kingdom.
These two trips were a success so I got it in my head to travel to Puerto Rico on a 4 day weekend in February the very next year. This was a big change and a transition from parks to beaches.
We were back at Disney when my daughter graduated High School, and we returned one last time to Universal when I retired from teaching.
I almost forgot my daughter’s birthday getaway weekend at The Mohonk House in New Paltz, NY. This was our very first road trip together where we hiked about 10 miles in 2 days, went horseback riding, and had some great mother/daughter bonding time.
Well, now that I think about it, we actually have been on many trips together, but things changed in a big way when I retired.
January has always been my least favorite month of the year because I despise the cold, and I got it in my head that my daughter and I would travel together every January for as long as she’ll have me. Traveling in January was never an option for me as a teacher, but now I can travel anytime. As a college student, my daughter is free most of this month too.
On Thursday January 2, 2020, the day all my teacher friends returned to work after the Christmas Break, we were on a plane to Puerto Rico. This would give us two full beach days before our Royal Caribbean Cruise that Saturday.
We were happy just to soak up the warm sun and lay on the beach all day. It was way better than January in New York, and little did we know that we were closing in on a pandemic.
On Saturday, January 4, 2020 we started our 7 day cruise. Once again, were unaware that this would probably be our last cruise ever, or for a very long time.
In Cruise Travel, I wrote all about this trip. How we accomplished one of our mutual goals of visiting one beach at a time, and always going on one rain forest hike per vacation.
This trip ended up being the trip whose memories basically kept me together during the heart of the pandemic. These memories gave me hope that one day things would be back to normal again. My normal as a retiree is dog sitting and going on vacations.
All spring we stayed close and explored Long Island together as I wrote in Planting Fields Arboretum, Long Island Hiking Trails, William Cullen Bryant Preserve , and others. These were little mother/daughter staycations which were special in their own right.
Well I’m always thinking, and I’m a true believer in always having something to look forward to, so I came up with the idea to take a road trip. In Why Not Take a Road Trip?, I wrote all about our adventures in Binghamton, Animal Adventure Park, and Buttermilk Falls.
This trip was so successful, we decided to visit a different kind of beach. Before my daughter headed back to school, after being home from March, we drove to Cape May, New Jersey. This trip together was just as good as any Caribbean vacation. We really liked this place as I wrote in Cape May/Angel of the Sea.
Our most recent trip was our now annual January getaway. This year we spent 9 nights at The Coconut Bay Resort in St. Lucia. This is a great all inclusive resort that we had gone to as a family about 4 years ago.
This trip was magical. We had hot sunny days everyday and a choice of 7 pools and the beach daily. Our morning walks and talks on the beach are to be cherished by any mother and daughter hoping to have a loving friendship and strong bond.
We did what we do best on this trip, turn bronze in the sun, sample an endless list of island cocktails, dress up at night and indulge ourselves.
This trip our excursions were horseback riding which we both love to do, especially on the beach, and we tried something completely new to the both of us – Island Exploration on ATVs.
We got the hang of this pretty quickly, and to be honest I think horseback riding has the potential to be far more dangerous. We zoomed through a rain forest, got a little history on a historic sugar plantation, and visited a black sandy beach. I definitely prefer a white sandy beach any day.
Now it’s time for my daughter to return to college for her final semester. I will miss her, but this trip like all the others provide me with memories to endure. My tan will fade but the memories we created will stay with me forever.
Who knows how many more mother/daughter vacations there will be? One day she will be married and have a family of her own, and I bet vacations with my grandchildren will become my next favorite kind of getaway.
For now, I’ll cherish all the times we had together and I’m sure there’s still plenty more to come. We’ve have lots of ideas and I’m sure we’ll be making memories again soon.