When I met Rob, as I have said before, I warned him of my intense desire to travel.
I mean, warned like, “Honey, there likely won’t be fancy cars or electronics, or things like expensive shopping sprees, big home renos, or updating gadgets constantly going on. We will skip out on fancy restaurants and expensive weekly excursions. I’m all about travel and it’s only going to get worse.”
Luckily, I quickly passed along the travel bug, and he somehow was able to squeeze in taking care of his car and electronic needs (and we seem to be in sync with other things, although our home needs some landscaping badly…) Luckily, we have been blessed with the work hard, play hard mentality and blessed with jobs and discipline that help support our dreams.
I told him of my dream of two HUGE family trips I wanted to take with my boys: one to Australia and New Zealand; and then one to Africa. He supported that dream for all 7 of us and five years later, we checked the first one off our list when we went to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand in March of 2013. In March of 2015 the CDF’s take on South Africa!
A couple of years after we had been married, one of my best friend’s announced she and her husband were taking one of their kids to Europe. It was to be an “alone” trip with their 12 year old son, and they planned to do a “12 year alone trip” with each of their kids.
What a fantastic idea!!
I loved the idea of having some special time with just one child, especially with a blended family when there are 5 kids to compete with! I’m not sure if Rob rolled his eyes, cried, or jumped for joy, when I told him the idea and thought that we should do it too. But, I do know that he knew that if I set my mind to it, we would make it happen.
Of course, we needed to make a few minor adjustments…there was no way we could do it when they were 12 as there was just not enough savings to go around in such a short period of time. So 16 became the magical goal (and it has since turned to 15 for future logistical purposes for our family.)
We told the kids about our plan years ago, and they loved it. (They have all been bitten by the travel bug too). Most of them already have researched and planned out where they want to go.
That was part of the deal too. They get to pick the spot.
There are some travel logistics and cost restrictions of course, but generally, they get to choose.
I can’t say that they are not influenced though…
We have talked about these “16 trips” (recently converted to “15 trips”) for years and they seemed so far away.
Gabe turns 16 on July 4th.
We are leaving for Munich, Germany tonight!!!!
Just the three of us. With hugs and kisses and well wishes from all the other kids, who are totally excited for him rather than jealous, as they firmly know their time will come!
Gabe selected Munich, Germany with some heavy influence from his Dad, I have to say.
They are both car guys, so the allure of the German car was strong. They booked a tour of the Audi car factory months ago. I plan to find a nice cafe and read while they do that so I’m not a downer around them when I complain about how boring it is and ask when we are leaving a million times.
We are also planning a little side trip to Salzburg, Austria (home of the Sound of Music – which we will be sure to check out some favourite things), and I am making both boys come to Neuschwanstein Castle (inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle). (And wait until they see the princess dress I am planning on wearing. Just kidding. But not a bad idea….lol)
To finish off the week, we are heading to Venice for the weekend. It is our anniversary, and what better way to spend a romantic anniversary weekend, riding a gondola, getting lost in the Venetian streets…just the two of us lovebirds… and Gabe. Poor guy. I’ve heard rumours that he’s planning on singing us “That’s Amore”.
We were so worried in March when Rob had his heart attack that we would have to cancel this trip as it is one that we have been excited for for years. We were thrilled when we got the ok from his doctor last week (and feel blessed that our travel insurance still covers everything, not that we will need it, but it’s still a nice reassurance!)
Hopefully I’ll be able to blog along the way, as I know my other kids will want to live vicariously through us too!
I may try to post on our family instagram that we just started too! Follow along, if you’d like! We can be found on Instagram @CDFfoto (will eventually figure out how to link it up here!)