"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." Bilbo Baggins

Family Vacations

What to get our adult family members for birthday and Christmas gifts?  Not sure any of us need another tie, trinket or any other “thing”.  Some time ago, we all decided it would be more fun to share experiences than to exchange gifts so we started a vacation fund. Each birthday and Christmas, we put a set amount into a savings account and let the amount build.  On Jennifer’s side of the family we have been doing this for almost 20 years now.  Then every few years we use it to help offset the cost of a group vacation somewhere.

Every other year the past 10 years, we would escape the cold of the Midwest and head to the Florida Keys for a long weekend of sun, food, beaches, and hanging out.  But this year was a little different.  Since we had moved to Tucson and everyone’s schedules had gotten crazy, the family decided to all come here for a stay-cation.  Since there were no hotel costs, we used “the fund” to pay for our entertainment and filling our stomachs.


Otis and Judy arrived early and we spent some nice days playing cards, sitting on the patio and just hanging out.  Jennifer’s Dad was 85 this year and it is always good to get to just visit with him. Although he did seem to notice that it was cooler in Tucson than in Alamo, TX.  Even so, it was great to just rest, visit and relax.


Chuck and Julie, Jennifer’s sister, showed up on Friday afternoon and the first thing they did was shed their “Iowa” clothes, put on shorts and sit out in the sun drinking margaritas. It was a glorious day of 75 degrees and bright blue skies.

Craig was on a business trip and did not get home until late on Friday night, so he had a lot of catching up to do.  Each day on the weekend started off pretty much the same, Bloody Marys in the morning, out for breakfast at a local favorite, sitting in the sun and visiting, playing cards, out to eat at our favorite restaurants, then back home for evening drinks and a game of cards.




Chuck and Julie, those poor full-time working members of the group, had to leave on Monday to get back to work.  It was great to see them and hope they can come down again this winter when the novelty of the snow and fireplace wears off.  Otis and Judy stayed an extra day.  So, we headed out to Saguaro National Park east to get them a taste of the Sonoran Desert.  It was a wonderful day and we even saw a couple Saguaro blooms, very unusual for November.


All-in-all it as a great stay-cation.  It met all of our goals of warm weather, sun, cards, entertainment, relaxation and just enjoying time together.  Can’t wait for our next vacation fund event.

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