Ever since my son was six months old, I have loved taking him on trips. For his first birthday, we went to Atlanta, Georgia. Not super thrilling but I had a business trip and he got to go to the Coca Cola factory there. Oh wait, that was more for me. Have I mentioned how much I love Coke Zero? After that trip he has been traveling each birthday and then some.
I am not naive. I know that my son will barely remember the majority of his trips thus far. He clearly remembers Germany because it was so cold. He loves the cold. I, on the other hand, thought I was going to die of frostbite. I am not too sure why I chose to go there for Christmas a few years back but it was a lovely trip despite the fact that I had to wear three pairs of wool socks at a time.
What makes me giggle is what my son remembers about the places that we go to. Or rather what he determines, in the moment, what it is that he likes.
For the weekend, we went up to the California Danish town called Solvang. It is about 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. It is in a valley and there are wineries and wineyards everywhere. There are also a ton of Danish bakeries and shops. It is a great place to get away, for the day, from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. And a getaway was, indeed, needed.
As soon as we got to our hotel, my son declared that he loved the place. At the corner was a theatre and a McDonald’s. He was thrilled by that. We warned him we would not be having lunch there. But the fact that it existed, was cool enough for him. Plus, he is an optimistic, hopeful child. We managed to have a super early check-in to our hotel and this thrilled him even more. He wanted to rest for a solid twenty minutes before we headed out. He is very specific these days. That is definitely a big change from when we could travel with him on my back or in a carriage. We got up to the room and then he definitely didn’t want to leave it. It had two rooms and each had a television with netflix access. That doesn’t thrill me. But an eight year old is beyond happy by this room layout.
We eventually got him to agree to go drive into town. As we got into town he did love the windmills and the dogs that sauntered about. He loved that every restaurant we looked at had a children’s menu. Meanwhile, we were excited to try some Danish food.
We wen from toy store to toy store where we got to buy some goodies. Well, of course, he used my wallet to do so. He got to play around on the streets in wooden clogs. Then we went to a family friendly wine tasting gallery where they allowed dogs and had toys for kids.
We walked. We talked. We were a family on a weekend outing. He said he loved this trip for it had everything he wanted and needed including that spinner toy that all the kids are going crazy over. I have no doubt he will remember this trip. But I find it amusing what he will remember it for. I will remember that and smile into my old age.