“What I did on my summer vacation”

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.

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0 Responses to “What I did on my summer vacation”

  1. Margaret August 28, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Sometimes, these are the best kind of summers to have. Short, fun trips to interesting locales, rather than the one big trip that becomes the single highlight of summer.

    • Francesca August 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      I really like the way you put that, Margaret. And even though school is starting soon, our adventures are far from over! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Laura Passini August 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Great post! We did not travel when I was a kid but my mom always made sure we had a great summer. Whether it was trips to the zoo or museum, to the library for a new pile of books or the occasional treat of lunch at McDonald’s. You don’t always have to go far to have a great summer.

    • Francesca August 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      You said it, Laura: “You don’t always have to go far to have a great summer.” It’s part of my belief in what I call “hometown travel”. And it doesn’t only apply to summer; it holds true year ’round!

  3. D.J. - The World of Deej August 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Yeah….sounds like a great summer to me:) Obviously, this used to be my favorite part of the first day of school…

    • Francesca August 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      lol… mine, too 🙂 Not surprising, right?

  4. Ana Silva O'Reilly (@mrsoaroundworld) August 30, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Sounds like the perfect summer to me. Family is the most important thing you have – and she surely must have enjoyed it. Lovely post

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

      Thanks, Ana! It’s so true: family is most important.

  5. Leah Travels (@L_e_a_h) August 30, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Hell, I wish my summer was as exciting as hers. Loved all the beautiful photographs, especially the jellyfish. WOW!

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Girl, your summer might not have been exciting by your standards, but you’ve got one helluva fall/winter lined up! Thanks for the compliment on my photos. I kinda dig that jellyfish shot myself 🙂

  6. travelrinserepeat August 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Looks like a great summer vacation. Shedd is one of the best aquariums…i have many fond memories from visiting it as a child.

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      That was my first visit to Shedd Aquarium in years. The Jellies exhibit was very cool!

  7. Raul (@ilivetotravel) August 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    This is awesome, Francesca! That lil girl of yours is ready to see the world thanks to you guys!!

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      I sure hope so, Raul. What a great compliment, too; we definitely are trying to prepare Lucia to see the world. Good to know our efforts are paying off.

  8. Tawny- Captain and Clark August 31, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    What an incredible summer. I might actually be a bit jealous of all of her awesome activities. She’ll definitely have a lot to share with her class.

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Ha ha, don’t be jealous 😉 Now we’re working on plans for some awesome fall adventures!

  9. Kieu August 31, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Not a bad summer vacation at all. In fact, a 3 1/2 year old’s summer vacation sounds like my kind of vacation.

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      lol… it’s all about having fun. We all can learn a thing or two from a 3 1/2 year old in that regard, huh?

  10. elatlboy August 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Fun summer, lot’s of great times for you guys! 🙂 She’ll have a lot fun travels to talk about at school.

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Definitely, Aaron! Only thing I’m worried about is that she won’t stop talking at school. I have a feeling she’s going to be the chatty one in her class!

  11. Pola (@jettingaround) September 4, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    What a summer! No doubt about that. Traveling, after all, has many meanings.

    • Francesca September 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      Absolutely, Pola. I’m a firm believer in the notion that travel is a state of mind. We may not have ventured far from home this past summer, but we definitely had some awesome adventures.

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