|Can you have too much of a good thing?|
Family travel is fantastic. Learning new things at the same time has created a common bond between us because we have “AH HA” moments together. We witnessed how jelly fish hypnotize, how sea otters eat, and how easily someone could fall over the side of a cliff (Pacific Coast Highway’s or Grand Canyon’s.) However, too much of a good thing can make you want to do a little nudging along life’s cliffs so I have come up with a new travel tip for family trips:
Everyone needs a PERSONAL DAY!
Or hour... or twenty minutes. Any time your schedule allows for each person to retreat to their separate corners and relax is needed by parents and kids alike to cope with the extremely close quarters, the traffic, the waiting in line, the “seeing one more thing before we eat”, and especially the “let me take another picture.”
While in Phoenix for a week, we took advantage of spending a little time and space from each other. After a trip to Barnes and Noble, the kids each retreated into their books with Anabel and Wyatt reading the latest installments of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Dork Diaries in one day. Greg took daily solo bike rides through the lakeside neighborhood with its beautiful parks and culverts and convenient bike path to Starbuck’s. I looked at art.
At times while traveling, everyone is not on the same page so whenever possible it's important to be flexible and try to meet everyone's needs. For example, Greg and the kids wanted to visit Alice Cooperstown Restaurant....
|Wyatt tackling the "Big Unit"|
|Happy Family... away from Mommy|
And I did not. I wanted a Girls' Day!
|by Liz Tran at the Bonner David Galleries|
My favorite art spot was the Bonner David Galleries where an old friend of Anne's family, Claudia Hartley, had an exhibit. I loved her happy colors and pointillistic style and knew right where I would put one of her colorful interiors in my dream home. However, it was the work of Liz Tran that caught this art novice's eye. My first reaction to her unique form of mixed media paintings was to smile. Simply put, her art made me happy. Then, on closer inspection, I was intrigued. Her combinations of ink, acrylic paint, graphite and layers of Japanese art paper were candy to the eye. For the first time, I wished we weren't spending all our money on travel this year. I would have loved to take one of her pieces to my real home, no dreaming. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners of this charming art gallery, Christi Bonner Manuelito. She and I had instant rapport discussing our kids, movies, baseball, family travel, and of course, art. I hope to visit the gallery again when art is in our budget.
|Relaxing at the Historic Arizona Biltmore|
Continuing our personal day of culture, Anne and I luncheoned at the Arizona Biltmore, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's contributions to the Southwest. As consulting architect for four months, Wright oversaw the masonry bricks created on site; however, Wright's apprentice, Albert Chase McArthur, designed and built the original 1929 building. While enjoying my salad al fresco, I tried to imagine Irving Berlin composing songs poolside while Marilyn Monroe strolled by. It doesn't take a great imagination to have a little fun in beautiful, historic places.