My son turned 14 today. And he started 9th grade a few weeks ago. He is always the youngest in his class, but has always been ready for school. For the first day, we have do a photo on the front steps of our house. Although, as I went back through the years, not only did I get sentimental looking at how teensy he was compared to the young man who is now almost as tall as me - I realized that we didn't do his first day of school photos on the stairs every single year like I always thought we did. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you. [envira-gallery id="13804"] Which is one of the reasons I am "donating" a post on my kid's birthday for one of my favorite free services, Signup.com (formerly VolunteerSpot). I have worked with these guys as a designer, and used their site both as an organizer and a volunteer and I love how they help me stay on track.
A few weeks ago, my family and our best friend's family did a tag-team road trip to Mount Rushmore. Neither of us had ever been, and the area is a quick 5-6 hour drive from Denver. So we decided to pack as much as we could into a 3-day weekend... but as I started to research the Black Hills area of South Dakota, I realized there were many things we would not be able to fit in! I will describe where we went, and some alternatives/add-ons you may consider if you have more time. I definitely recommend planning at least the driving route fairly well because we lost cell service many times over the weekend - and, as always when driving in the west - be mindful of how full your gas tank is. [caption id="attachment_13118" align="alignnone" width="700"] My teenager. Hanging out with buffalo. As one does.[/caption] We pretty much did a loop, since we were coming in from the south. The map below shows our route, and while this seems like a huge amount of ground to cover, we did Hot Springs to Deadwood in one (long) day.
We just got back from Costa Rica! It was my second time, and the first for my boys. I had gone last year for a conference, and was able to do some excursions, but I was determined that this trip would be all about family travel fun, especially for parents of tween and teen kids. After lots of planning, I really feel like we were able to see a huge part of the country in only 10 days. We missed Tortuguero National Park on the east side, but it just was too far to go out of our loop. (So keep that in mind as you look through our itinerary, if that is really important to you.)
You just have to take a trip down memory lane when your son becomes a teenager.
I know, weird right? Why go to a ski resort for summer travel? The thing is, many of us locals head up into the mountains in the summer to because there are lots of fun things to do this time of year too. When we visited Keystone during Spring Break, we hit the end of winter season but also got a preview of things to come. There is so much!