Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Road Trip!

Well, tomorrow's Thanksgiving Day! It's been a long time coming! I'm looking forward to this holiday season - as I do every holiday season. This one is really special though. It's our son's first Thanksgiving. And our daughter will be with us for the holiday as well. So I'm really looking forward to it.

And best of all, we're taking a road trip! We live in Miami, Florida and my parents, brothers, their families and other family members live in Houston, Texas. We're driving with several members of our extended family from Florida.

So as I type we're in north Florida. Don't worry - I'm not typing and driving! For now I'm a passenger. But in a short while I'll be driving.

As I mentioned on yesterday's post, this is a week of Thanksgiving for the dads in our lives. One staple in the American family experience is the road trip! There's something about this time on the road that brings a unique level of bonding not known otherwise.

Did you see the early 1980s movie National Lampoon's Vacation with Chevy Chase, Beverly DeAngelo and a young Anthony Michael Hall? That movie ought to be preserved in a museum so that generations of Americans to come can enjoy a classic, memorable family road trip. Things didn't always go quite right with that family. But they got to their destination despite some bumps along the way.

Do you have any special recollection of family road trips? I recall as a child growing up in Jamaica, my dad always took us on road trips - sometimes to the big city, Kingston. Sometimes to the zoo. And of course to the beach.

Then when we came to the United States and lived in Houston, our road trips took us to different destinations but the experience was just the same - we grew closer as a family.

You see, back then, there was no cell phones; no iPods or iPads; just the radio and a captive audience - each other.

As an adult now, some of my best childhood memories were from those road trips. So I'm trying to keep the cycle going for a next generation.

Our son is a few months old now. In a short while, I'm sure we'll begin making a periodic "pilgrimage" from Miami to Orlando to visit Mickey Mouse and his friends at Disney World! I know when my daughter was much younger she enjoyed those experiences.

Do you have memories of family road trips? Some of us are fortunate to have had that experience but I realize that not each of us was so privileged.

If you're a dad, what are you doing to create lasting memories with your children? Road trips are great and you should try them. But on a day to day or week to week basis there are simple things you can do. Go to the park. Or to the zoo. To the community pool. Or fishing.

We're thankful for our dads and our families for helping to create lasting memories. In this season of thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for. And we're thankful for the opportunity that some of us have to create lasting memories with our own families.

Before I close, remember (from yesterday's post) to submit a 3 to 5 sentence greeting or tribute to your dad. And on Friday we'll share it with the world in our "Upbeat Dad of the Week" feature.

We'll be in touch tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day! Have a great one!

The Upbeat Dad

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