A Three Generation Vacation in the Endless Mountains

Water balloon toss in PA.
The water balloon toss was held on the lawn.

I’m back from a week’s vacation with 20 or so members of my extended family and what a time we had!  I had worried a bit about the old sophomore jinx…could this trip be as fun as last year, when we first came to this gigantic  house on a lake for a week together? I had never taken a vacation as an adult with all of my sisters, their spouses, my parents, children and grandchildren…but egged on by my daughter Kate, we took the plunge.

Last year was fantastic. And this year was just as marvelous. Why?

Because of the many moments we got to connect to each other. A setting like that allowed for lazy time on the front porch, all of us sitting and reading, and occasionally sharing a thought or a passage.  Big dinners around a huge table that seats more than 20,  a chance to find out about our lives, and to find out how we are all doing.  It was late nights, where we would sneak off to bed with a laptop and a movie, while other family members played Scrabble or cards, and others sat talking on comfy couches.

Team Albania
Team Albania

One afternoon, my nephews organized a family olympics. We set up teams and competitions of games like a frisbee game, and throwing rings at a hoop, running with eggs in a spoon, and tossing water  balloons at each other. Then we combined two teams on one side against another and we played capture the flag. Then dodgeball.  Capture the flag with three generations was a good as it gets.

All of this was in a setting where for the most part our iPhones didn’t connect. So we had to connect, and we spent the time we might have been staring at our screens instead, talking, sharing, telling stories and reading.  There is a marvelous beach at this summer cottage. We got there by taking an old motor launch called the “Hardly Able.”  We’d get over to the beach and it would be like the 1960s. A snack bar. Kids activities. A big long dock you can walk out on, and out there, kids endlessly jumping into the clear mountain water, so clean you can drink it.  It was a heavenly vacation and a wonderful thing to prove–you can have just as much fun the second time as you did the first!