We often plan for family vacations but what about a multi-generation family vacation – a family vacation with not just your nuclear family but also your parents or in-laws? No. I’m not drunk or crazy talking. I’m serious. I know, I know. Planning a multi-generation family vacation could be tricky for many reasons: blending personalities, combining interests, limiting your thoughts of karate chops to the throat to once a day, and finding a place to go that works for kids, parents, and grandparents. You’re trying to find something that is fun for all ages, that accommodates more than one category, all while packing as little as possible and everything you need. You want it to be kid-friendly while also romantic in case you and Husband actually get some time together, but also full of experiences that your older parents will enjoy. I admit – it can be tricky to find a place (that isn’t Disney). Lucky for us, I was looking to check off some places on my Live Life Uncorked List that would suit all our needs. Charleston and Savannah had long since been on the list of places I wanted to visit and since my parents’ time-share company has a resort in Myrtle Beach, we decided to make that the first stop on our trip.
So the rented minivan was packed and the kids did not nap that day (on purpose). At about 9:30, when they began getting nice and restless and cranky AF, we tossed them in the car and hit the road. Zonk! They slept most of the road trip (#parentingwin) and woke up in time for Waffle House. Oh, the Waffle House. A historical landmark, if you ask me. When I was a kid, my family drove to Miami every summer and I looked forward to 3 things on those road trips: (1)South of the Border – in all it’s cheesy, campy glory, (2) spending the money I saved up that year on beef jerky and peanut m&ms, and (3) Waffle House. To be sharing Waffle House now with my kids and my parents – well – let’s just say life goal.
M Y R T L E B E A C H
Myrtle Beach was to be a stepping stone in our vacation, a place to sleep and relax before going to Charleston and Savannah. It turned out to be a great first spot in our multi-generational family vacation. It gave us some much needed relaxing by the pool and in our comfortable condo-style accommodations at the Sheraton Plantation Resort, but balanced it out with major fun at the boardwalk, Broadway at the Beach, multitude of mini-golf ranges, shopping outlets, and endless seafood buffets. With a whole week there, we were able to configure our days in endless combinations. Sometimes we explored the area, sometimes we chilled out and made soap and spa salts at the resort (yes that actually happened). Sometimes my parents and I took the kids out (because Husband had the man flu), sometimes just my parents took the kids to the pool. On one day, my mom stayed home with the kids and we took my dad outlet shopping. Other times it was just Husband and I and the kids at a movie in the pavilion or for a round of mini-golf. My parents went out to dinner alone, then Husband and I had an evening together sans kids. Myrtle Beach certainly set the tone for a great start to the multi-generational family vacation. Bonus: there were no karate chops to the throat.
C H A R L E S T O N
Oh good heavens, Charleston. We had two solid days in Charleston and packed it full of history, good food, and fine boozy drinks. It was a city with something for everyone. My father, who loves to shop and spend money, had King Street. King Street, “the” street in Charleston, is 2-miles of fun energy. For my mom, who loves the water, spent some time at Battery Park surrounded by mansions so big you’d swear they were hotels. The kids got to trot around on a horse and carriage tour where Husband got to hear all about the history of Charleston and its place in the Civil War. And me? Easy. Food and drinks. Charleston’s restaurant and bar scene rivals any good city’s. On every block, there was something delicious-sounding, and Husband and I were not disappointed when we went out to drink up the local scene – by way of a cocktail cruise. (Check out an under 2 minute MicroAdventure of Spring Street, Charleston.)
S A V A N N A H
Our visit to Savannah was a “top” visit. We splurged at The Grey, a refurbished Greyhound bus depot turned cooooool restaurant with a ton of buzz since being talked about on the pages of the NY Times and Cosmopolitan and voted as one of the top 5restaurants in America. Even the kids behaved properly…ish. Then we walked to Leopold’s Ice Cream, named the #5 ice cream in the W O R L D. There was a 30 minute wait and a line out the door but my “honey almond & cream” scoop made by using Savannah Bee Company’s honey and fresh roasted almonds was worth every waiting minute. Speaking of the best, we also stopped over at Zunzi’s, a counter serve sandwich shop that locals (and tourists) line up for. Why? For their sandwich, The Conquistador, which was voted one of the top 3 sandwiches in America by the Travel Channel. From here – and because we didn’t realize Zunzi’s had a patio out back – we took our sandwiches to a park square down the block. Savannah’s got tons of these squares and they are just too much loveliness. We ate on a bench; the sandwiches were messy and it couldn’t have been better. Eating wasn’t the only thing we did in Savannah on our multi-generational family vacation, but it sure was a big part.
Sharing space with people is not always easy. The same could be said for vacationing. It can be a mess to plan a multi-generation family vacation, but – if you could get it to work – you’ll find there is a magic that is cast; one that builds memories and stories that last a lifetime.