My favorite family vacation.

Wildwoods, NJ
Living in New York and New Jersey growing up, it was pretty much a given that our vacations were spent at the shore.  Our weekend getaways could be any of the numerous beaches, but the longer ones tended to be spent in Wildwoods. 

They were all fabulous and each has their stories to tell, but the very best one was the vacation that we took my grandmother with us.  She was a delightful, beautiful lady and everyone who met her couldn't help but to fall in love with her.  The epitome of class and graciousness, she always had a kind word and smile for everyone.

She lived with diabetes and had her thyroid removed so was on a very strict diet of foods she could and couldn't eat.  She never complained about her limitations and was extremely good about limiting the good stuff (as we kids called it), but for that one fabulous week, she broke the rules she lived by every day of her life. 

Mornings were spent at the beach, and every afternoon we spent back at the hotel, resting up for going to the boardwalk in the evenings.  My parents and grandmother usually stayed in their rooms while we kids went to the pool, and for some reason we went to Gramma's room when we needed a break, always one at a time, and when I was ready to go back swimming and playing, grandma would give me some money and tell me to sneak myself an ice cream cone and could I get her a soft serve vanilla while I were at it.  We giggled as we at them, like we were really getting away with something. Come to find out, she also did that with my brother and sister, so three cones every day!

Soft Serve Ice Cream Cones
Having her there with us was enough to make it my favorite vacation, but the memory is now even more poignant.  We didn't know it at the time, but she later told us that it was the first real vacation she had ever taken in her life that wasn't to visit family and she had decided that for that one week, she would indulge herself and us in things she normally wouldn't, and she had the best time of her life.  She was so amazing, knowing that we had some small part in giving her something special makes it one of the memories I cherish most.

Do you have a favorite vacation memory?  Are you doing anything special to make memories for your family?  We'd love to hear about it.

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