Category Archives: Trip

Parents Need to Go on a Trip, and Not a Guilt Trip

Spending quality time together as a family is quite possibly one of the most important things in life. On the flip side, it is just as important for parents to enjoy each other’s company alone, without the little ones. On a daily basis, it is difficult to accomplish this because so many other things demand attention – children, careers, finances, health, home ownership, friends, etc. Unfortunately, those things trigger stress, which is often times taken out on your spouse.

So what’s the solution to ensure a happy and healthy marriage? – a parents-only vacation! This is not all encompassing of course, but it certainly can’t hurt. Not to mention, there are budget-friendly getaway options available, so the “We can’t afford it excuse” simply isn’t allowed.

If you are one of those parents that would feel an overwhelming amount of guilt for going on a trip without your kids, just think of it this way – you are strengthening your marriage, which in turn benefits your children directly. Plus, there are plenty of other opportunities for a family vacation. We’re talking about a weekend getaway here folks, not an eternity. If you’re still on the fence about even acknowledging the notion of a parents-only vacation, consider the following:

1. Extra Baggage. More often than not, family vacations are focused on the kids, and end up causing more work and stress on the parents. Face it – traveling with kids is exhausting!

2. No Fear. It is completely normal to fear leaving your children, but having a family member or close family friend house sit while you are away should ease that fear at least a little bit. The other option is to have your kids stay with someone else. They might actually love the idea of spending a few nights at their best friend’s house. Not only is this the kind of favor that friends and family willingly do for free, but the moment when you are reunited with your kids is priceless.

3. Rekindle the Flame. Any couples counseling book or professional will be the first to advise parents to improve their relationship and strengthen their marriage by spending quality time together, without the children. What better way to do that than with a romantic weekend getaway?

4. Finance Schminance. Vacations can quickly break the bank, but when it’s just you and your spouse traveling, there are actually a number of wallet-friendly options available. An RV rental and a visit to your local sporting goods store can provide you with the perfect practical getaway.

Once you decide that an adults-only vacation is just what the doctor ordered, then you just need to figure out where you’re going to go, and where your kids are going to go. Make this a family-friendly conversation so that your children are aware of the plan. Allow them to have as much input as possible in regards to the arrangements that will be made while you are away. The ultimate goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves, but from different locations.

Where to Go Off Island – A Sanibel Day Trip Guide

There are dozens of side trips that can be made from Sanibel, if, indeed, you are willing to leave Paradise.

For most travellers who come to Sanibel Island for a week or two, a trip off island is of no interest. As mentioned in an earlier blog post there are many things to do on island and many boating excursions to other islands right from Sanibel. Why leave Sanibel at all, and especially by automobile?

But for renters who spend a month or more on island, there may come a time when they just have to explore.

And there are several nice destinations that one can drive to in relatively short time that really offer something different.

Very near and off island on stunning McGregor Boulevard, an avenue of Royal Palms, are the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. These are not lavish homes, but the homes and the grounds are beautifully maintained and give the visitor a good sense of the area in the times when Thomas Edison and Henry Ford frequented. Most definitely deserving of the 30 minute or less drive from Sanibel.

Heading south, it is worth a drive into Naples to visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Although it is unlikely you will see any animals or birds you can not see on Sanibel, the environment at Corkscrew Swamp is very unique. The perfect eco balance of the swamp keeps it mosquito free….or at least seemingly so. It’s a nice micro environment of the whole of Florida , only 1.5 hours, from Sanibel, and one which the visitor can experience in a comfortable and quick trip.

And, if you really want a special treat, drive north up to Sarasota to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. This truly is worth the 2 hour drive, though you may want to consider staying overnight near by to better see all the exhibits. The Ringling’s home on beautiful Sarasota Bay, Ca d’Zan Mansion, is a lavish estate filled with art and decorative pieces purchased by the Ringlings. In addition to the art and decorative pieces in Ca d’Zan, there is a separate museum of fine art on the grounds which features some splendid work by Titian, Veronese, Rubens, Hals, and Velazquez. But perhaps the most charming aspect of the Ringling Museum is the miniature circus on the gounds.

The Howard Brothers Circus model is a replica of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1919 – 1938. Complete with eight main tents, 152 wagons, 1,300 circus performers and workers, more than 800 animals and a 59-car train, the model is built in ¾-inch-to-the-foot scale replica and occupies 3,800 square feet. The “world’s largest miniature circus” was created over a period of more than 50-years by master model builder and philanthropist Howard Tibbals. It is absolutely amazing and if you really wanted to pay attention to all the details, it could absorb hours of your time.

Of course, you can always forgo any trip off island and plant yourself into the sand on Bowman’s Beach. And who would blame you?