Friday, May 18, 2012

Traveling with Teens - (Five Days of Blogging)

We just got back from a small “edu”-cation.  You know, those outings that are designed purposefully to educate the kids without them realizing it.  They think they’re on vacation.  :-)

Actually, my teens are on to me.  They know when they are being educated rather than taking a gentle respite.

Traveling with teens is very different from those days when the kids were younger.  We can go longer distances without any crying fits or potty breaks.  We are able to go stroller free, which rocks!  People on planes no longer cringe when they see us coming, and they can carry their own luggage – love it!

However, traveling with teens brings its own set of expectations.  They aren’t adults yet, but they are young adults and therefore want to be more involved in the plans.  Well, typically, they want the right to veto plans. 

I find traveling with teens is a blast.  Sometimes I do drag them to places like museums, but, typically, they walk away realizing it wasn’t that bad.  In fact, often, they end up finding they enjoyed it.  Of course, sometimes things just don’t work out (read opera) where they really don’t appreciate my attempts to “culture-afy” them.

This trip was to Atlanta.  I knew they’d love the aquarium.  IPods were on the ready snapping shots of the whale sharks, belugas and otters.  They didn’t want to see the dolphin show and pronounced it lame when it was over.  (I kinda have to agree.)

Coca-Cola was a blast.  Youngest, still a kid at heart, wanted to hug the big polar bear.  Middle found the artifacts boring, but had a ball sampling sixty different kinds of soda.  If they had been toddlers, the sugar rush would have been unbearable.  As it was, they took it in stride.

They voted for monster cheeseburgers from HardRock Cafe for dinner.  Another fun experience we wouldn’t have tried without a McDonald’s Playland before. 

CNN was fascinating.  They actually were able to get what it took to bring us the news.  Not young kid friendly, but teens are all in to tech.  Youngest even got to try his hand at being a weather forecaster with the giant IPad like screen – he was manipulating the maps like a pro!

The zoo was funny.  Youngest took the map and became our tour guide.  Middle was focused on getting pics of the pandas and a souvenir for his girlfriend.  How times have changed!  Visiting the gift shop is no longer about trinkets for tots but souvenirs for significant others.

Traveling with teens means letting them be in charge some.  They can guide, they can choose a venue, pick the meal, or even spend a little downtime on the wi-fi back at the hotel.  It’s less chaotic and much more adult.  I kinda like it.  I do miss being a kid with them, but I am really enjoying teaching them as young adults.

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