Vacation Day One

For the first time in over five years I’m taking a week’s vacation. Not since we took our girls to Disney, when Olivia was only a little over a year old (she is six now) did I take a whole consecutive week off. It is definitely needed, work is stressful and my wife and I decided we needed to have family time for a full week. Before this most of our time traveling together has been for soccer tournaments. Sure we were away from home in a hotel but usually only briefly while we went to games.

Since our goal is to move into a new house by the summer of 2016 we didn’t want to spend big on a vacation. However, we didn’t want to just sit around the house doing nothing. We planned things to do each day with today being the first day. Some people would refer to this as a “Staycation,” those people should be immediately punched in the face.

Day one I went for the first time to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The fact that is the first time is odd considering I have lived in New Jersey since 1986, and have lived within 45 minutes of both. To give it even more of a family feel we invited my Mom or has she is known to the girls, Nana. We picked up Nana and arrived at Liberty State Park in time for our 10 o’clock timed tickets.

I love taking our girls to historical and educational places. Sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that I love to go to historical and educational places as does my wife. Besides that I think it is good to expose our daughters to these kinds of places and damn fine parenting if I do say so myself. The problem of course with educational places, there is a lot of reading and walking. You know what are two things young kids don’t always enjoy doing? reading and walking.

While we walked around the exhibits the girls for the most part were troopers. However their Dad likes to try and read everything but quickly abandoned the strategy knowing the girls were getting bored and cranky. Listen my girls are great students and love to learn, but there is only so much immigration information they are going to sit (or stand) around for. My wife gets major props because she is the one who usually stays with them and sacrifices being able to really enjoy and learn as much as she would like.

Quick tip: Try and eat a HUGH breakfast like a breakfast that almost makes you puke so you aren’t starving at Ellis Island. Why? Lunch cost over $80 for six people. Apparently they want their guests to go through the same hardships the immigrants went through. After finishing Ellis Island we went to the Statue of Liberty.

We only had tickets for the base since going to the crown required reservations three months in advance. Luckily, there was even more walking involved. Olivia had trouble making it up the steps to get to the top of the base but she was able to do it. Being on the base gave us a great view of the New York City (which by the way still isn’t has great as Philadelphia), which was breathtaking. Nana had to take the elevator on the way up and the way down and Mia and Olivia joined her on the trip down.

It was a great day and on the whole the bickering and whining level was very low. Sure I would love there to be none but I would also like to be at least 20 pounds lighter and a hell of a lot richer but I digress. The best part was the girls had a great time and I think whether they realize it or not it was because we were together has a family. Tomorrow’s vacation destination? Hurricane Harbor. I know the girls will not get bored tomorrow.

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