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Traditions are so important because they say, “This is who we are.”
They give us a sense of history.
Carol and I started life-long traditions from our first month of marriage.
We had many different traditions and traditions with vacations were important to us.
For as long as the kids can remember we have gone to the same place for our family vacation.
Vacation means a weekend trip to Cedar Point, the world’s greatest amusement park. Which means we spend the nights at The Breaker’s Hotel, which is on the Cedar Point peninsula and though the hotel is over a hundred years old, they have kept it gorgeous.
Some people’s important tradition may be to go to a different location every year, which honestly I think is great. But for us, the same vacation spot is still our tradition.
When we arrive at the hotel we go for a walk on the beach, looking over the fence at the amusement park rides that we will be on the next day.
That first night is always a special dinner 15 minutes from the park in Sandusky. And we would start the next day with the same ride when the kids were growing up.
We have been doing this since 1993 and our vacation a month ago found us once again at Cedar Point. The seven of us, our future daughter in law and four great friends had the time of our lives.
Threats of rain scared people away and we had the park to ourselves. Ten minute waits for the greatest collection of roller coasters on the planet!
We were celebrating 25 years of family vacations and our kids made it a point to tell Carol and me that this year was in the Top 3 of all time best vacations.
As the kids were growing up there were always reasons not to go on vacation, the biggest one being finances.
So we put it right in our budget and saved each month for our once a year vacation over a long weekend.
However, I will say there were two different years where we just couldn’t swing it financially. So we did a Staycation both times and stayed the nights at home while visiting local parks, the zoo and going to see a ballgame or movie.
Carol and I and the kids loved it all the same.
What are your next plans for vacation?
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Some people may think the picture above is photoshopped. It’s not, it’s authentic. I know this because it was taken by one of my favorite photographers and I have followed his work for years.
He and his wife Sandy are very close friends of ours.
He was doing this photo shoot for one of our favorite ministries (Dutton Farms) and as he focused on the Lavender candle, this chicken (I think it’s a hen but it may be a rooster? I should know this) jumped up and into the picture.
Click! Wonderful! Yes!
I love this picture so much because it is authentic.
Allow your family to be authentic. This was a huge goal for Carol and me.
We were a family in the spotlight often (because of our ministry) as our kids were growing up. It was very important back then that Carol and I teach them how to respect other kids, grown-ups, each other and us as their parents. It was also very important to us that they be polite and not rude to the people around them.
However, with that said, we never asked them to act differently when the spotlight was on and everyone was looking. We always encouraged them to be themselves and never pressured them to act a certain way in the public eye.
Being a family on tour with my speaking ministry and meeting new people in every new city along the way was pressure enough without us being obnoxious, fake parents.
We wanted our family to be authentic.
Yes indeed, teach your children to respect people and be kind and polite to the people around them, and then let them be real and not put on a show.
The photographer of the chicken and the candle (Greg McDonough) is one of my favorite photographers.
But much more than that, he and his wife Sandy have an authentic young family with three children who are wonderfully polite and allowed to be themselves in front of all of us around them.
And it makes a world of difference in their children’s lives.