I’ve been out of school for some time now, yet every year around mid-August, I’m plagued by this feeling of dread. Why? Because it’s back-to-school time and the unofficial end of summer. Long, warm days; fiery sunsets; and heaping ice cream cones, are replaced by reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. And with the dread comes the inevitable question on the first day of school: What did you do over summer vacation? My daughter, Lucia, is starting pre-school in just a couple of weeks. It got me thinking: if Lucia’s teacher asks her what she did or where she went on her summer vacation, what would she say?
She took a slow ride on a mechanical bull (after watching her daddy get thrown off said bull) at a bluegrass music festival on a farm in Elburn, Illinois.
Along with her nonna and I, Lucia visited the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, and got up close to lots of huge and historic trains.
She captained a pirate ship through the treacherous seas of a water park in Des Moines, Iowa.
She watched her Uncle Dominick fly through the air over Bankson Lake, Michigan.
She tried to catch dinner for us from the Wolf River in Winneconne, Wisconsin.
She was mesmerized by dancing jellyfish at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
She wandered amongst dozens of antique and historic airplanes at the South Haven Area Regional Airport (Michigan), only to become upset because we weren’t getting on any of the airplanes to take a trip somewhere (she is her mamma’s daughter).
While Lucia didn’t visit any famous theme parks or earn a new stamp in her passport, she did spend a lot of time with family and close friends, and she had fun exploring close to home. Not a bad summer vacation for a 3 ½ year old.