Family travel bucket list

At the end of 2011, my husband and I realized that life with three kids at home was flying by!
In just a few short years, our oldest son would be leaving for college
{insert hallelujah chorus!}
and what seemed like endless years of child rearing, was actually beginning to look a little bit like a light at the end of the tunnel.
Knowing that when Aidan goes off to college, his school breaks will likely be very different than his {then} middle school aged brother and freshman sister.
And hopefully, his summers will be filled with employment or internships.
All of these things will inevitably make travel as a family of five more difficult.
So, we made a family travel bucket list.
Five places we wanted to take the kids 
{some of the places were duplicates of places we have already been but we wanted to experience again}

1. Washington DC
2. Disneyland
3. Great Midwest
4. Hawaii
5. Mexico

Washington DC

The other Washington {as we Washingtonians like to call it} is an amazing city packed full of history.
My son Aidan and I had the opportunity to tag along on a quick trip to our nations capital and loved getting to quickly see the highlights of the city.
You can read more about our 36 hours in DC in this post.
Fun fact, my great great great great Grandfather has a statue of himself in the Capital rotunda courtesy of the great state of Michigan.
We visited him.
We still need to take the younger two kids to experience the city, but I think it's fair to say we can cross that trip off the list for right now.


We are lucky that when the kids were little, my parents lived just minutes from Disneyland.
We took three different trips to the famous park when the kids were younger, the final one when our youngest son Owen was just four months old.
Because Owen was just a baby on our last visit, we decided that we needed to have a Disneyland re-do now that the kids were older and could all enjoy the rides and magic of Disney.
So in May of 2012, we packed up, and traveled to the happiest place on earth.
The kids were the perfect ages to enjoy the park {6,9,12} and the best part, they were all the perfect height to enjoy any ride in the park that they wanted!
You can read more about our Disneyland trip here.

Great Midwest

I spent 21 years of my life in Indiana.
My husband and I met when we attended Purdue University, we got married and moved across the country after graduation. 
I don't get back "home" very often.
When you are growing up, you take for granted the area that you live in.
I always assumed that I would be able to take my family to some of my favorite places when I was a kid, but because of the distance, the stories of my youth were just that.
We had the opportunity to head to the Midwest this past summer for a family reunion.
We turned it into a two week long road trip, flying into Indianapolis, renting a mini van and driving 1500 miles through Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. 
We got to see lots of old friends, walk through the 150 year old house that I grew up in {a highlight}, eat at every fast food place and diner I remember loving as a kid and be a tourist in the cities and towns I remember.
Take a tour of my old house complete with drawings I made on the wall in the 80's, here.
Read more about our great Midwest trip here, here, here and here.


Just after graduation from high school, my parents took my brother and I to Hawaii for a month.
It was a fantastic vacation filed with great family memories,  but it wasn't until 20 years later that I had the opportunity to return to the islands.
I have a fantastic friend who has connections with the airline and is able to let us travel for cheap with her.
Last Christmas, I was able to spend 5 days in Maui with her and another good girlfriend soaking up some sun and enjoying some girl time.
In February, my daughter was invited to the best birthday ever, and she was able to accompany her best friend Grace to celebrate her 10th birthday on the big island.
We have some amazing friends don't we??!
The fact that the girls get to check Hawaii off of the list, just isn't cutting it for the boys.
We are excited that as a family of five, we get to check this one off the family bucket list on a trip to Maui this summer!
We will be spending a week with my parents enjoying this beautiful island and making lots of family memories.


One of our favorite vacations as a couple is to visit an all inclusive resort in Mexico.
Several years ago, we spent a week at Club Med Ixtapa with my husbands family and after free flowing {non-alcoholic} "peanut collatas" the kids have a hankering to go back.
This spring break, our oldest son will be serving on a mission trip with Azusa Pacific in Mexico, but his trip will be a far cry from the all inclusive resort lifestyle that he once experienced.
We don't have this trip planned yet, and we may not even end up in Mexico,
there are plenty of all inclusive resorts that I'm sure the kids would love to visit,
but the countdown is on.
We only have until 2016 to cross all these locations off the bucket list.
But I must say, being able to cross off four of them in the first three years, far exceeds my expectations!
I love that we have the ability to give our children an opportunity to see the world.
Do you have a family bucket list?
Anywhere you want to travel with your family?

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