We just got back from a wonderful family vacation in Ocean City, NJ (America’s Greatest Family Resort).
What made the week even more special is that we (myself, my wife, and our three sons) were able to share a house with my wife’s sister and her family (six kids), something we used to do quite frequently when the kids were younger. But with our oldest son living in North Carolina and our middle son living in Hawaii, just getting our own family together at the same time is difficult, let alone my sister-in-law’s family and her kids. Fortunately this year the stars were aligned and all nine cousins were back together again in Ocean City.
Being together helped me recall past vacations; playing hide and seek, digging ditches in the sand to create our own tide pool, bodysurfing in the waves, catching crabs in the surf and in the bay, playing board games, having our own Beach Olympics, watching the kids go on the rides, playing mini-golf, getting pizza on the Boardwalk (Manco & Manco, of course), getting ice cream several nights during the week, getting Brown’s donuts several mornings during the week, and depending on when we vacationed, watching either the X Games or the Little League World Series.
While we managed to keep many of those traditions alive (pizza, ice cream, donuts, mini-golf), all the “kids” are now older and have different interests, and so some of those activities have gone by the wayside.
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all of them grow up to be outstanding young men and women, some of whom are working full-time, while others are still going to school. But I must admit that it was a little strange one night watching my nieces prepare a Mexican Monday dinner for everyone; where had all the years gone?
After a busy yet relaxing week, we spent part of our last night looking at some old vacation pictures from years gone by on a large flat screen TV (thank you Apple TV for making it so easy), and the sense of happiness, togetherness, and shared memories was powerful.
I recently wrote a post that looked at why Danish people are consistently among the happiest people in the world. One of the main reasons can be found in the word hygge.
Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. (from the Visit Denmark site).
So while it is exciting to think about what the future holds for our kids and our nephews and nieces, it is also nice to occasionally look back and to remember our roots and the special times we have shared. And that’s one of the best things about family vacations, the ability to experience hygge.
Thank you everyone for such a great week; I look forward to many more!