Posted in Monday Blog

What are your Travel Plans this Summer?

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My daughter will be visiting Hershey this summer with Driftwood Day Camp

As the summer races to its end, more people are going on vacation. Some take week-long trips; others, weekends. There are even those who enjoy staycations in their local area. My daughter is participating in a day camp that includes several overnight trips to such pre-teen favorite places as Medieval Times and Great Adventure in New Jersey; Hershey and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania; Mystic, Connecticut; and Newport, Rhode Island. I’m glad she’ll get a chance to see some of the world or at least part of the East coast. We’ll take our own short trip at the end of the summer, before she starts 7th grade, to the Renaissance Faire upstate in Tuxedo, New York. She liked it so much that we decided to go again.

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Me on my honeymoon in Bermuda (1992).

Before we had Holly, we did a lot of traveling on our own including our honeymoon in Bermuda. I have fond memories of many of the places we visited–Chicago, Atlanta, Cape May, The Poconos, the Amish country, Boston, Wahington, D.C., Virginia Beach, and many other places. With her, we’ve only traveled to Sesame, Disney World, a one-day stopover in Canada on a cruise, and the Hudson Valley.

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Me, my daughter, and husband at the Rockefeller Estate in the Hudson Valley last year

 

 

 

 

I’ve always enjoyed traveling, but I’ve also found it can be tiring as much as relaxing and something that requires a good deal of preparation and planning. It’s best to take a few days off before and after a trip. I’m also the type of person who likes to create an itinerary and purchase tickets beforehand. My husband would just wing it if I let him. Like most men, he leaves most of the travel details to me. I’m the one who creates the packing, cat sitting, and emergency lists. I print out the sightseeing info and maps. Even though I deal with all these details, I also leave room for spontaneity. After all, you have to allow for a substitution of activities in cases of bad weather, sights that have closed, or other interesting things you come across as you travel.

mapblogI have some dream vacations in mind for the future. Europe, of course. I’ve only been to England and Wales after college. I’d like to see the Grand Canyon one day and the West. I’d like to see more of Canada–Montreal and Quebec. I’d also like to see more nearby attractions. I’ve been out East on Long Island and to New York City, but these are the types of trips that require more than one visit. I’d love to visit Montauk again, and I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never been to Shelter Island. Now that the city boasts cat cafe’s, I’d love to visit one of those, but seeing another Broadway play or visiting the Statue of Liberty and the New York Public Library would also be on my itinerary.

Also, since I’m an author as well as a librarian, visiting new places can inspire me to feature them in my story settings. However, if I haven’t been somewhere that I’d like to write about, I can always try to plan a trip there. For instance, a novel I’m currently working on takes place in South Carolina. I might have an opportunity to travel to Myrtle Beach next year for a writing conference so that could be ideal timing for my background research. Speaking of conferences, they are a good opportunity to see places you might never consider visiting. If the conference is work-related, it could also be a tax deduction.

Vacation travel whether it’s near or far, affords people a chance to unwind and experience new sights and educational opportunities as they have fun and enjoy a much-needed change of pace from their hectic day-to-day routine.

Whatever your plans this summer, stay safe, and have a great time!

 

 

Posted in Monday Blog

Camp’s Coming. Are you Ready?

summer-1403071_1280As the school year winds down, parents’ minds turn to what to do with their children during the summer. Even if a parent is home, having the kids around full time is not something good for parent or child. For working parents, there aren’t many other alternatives to summer camp. Luckily, there are now a variety of choices from day camps to sleep-away camps, part-time and full-time camps. Making the decision about the best one for your child can, however, be as confusing as selecting a college and sometimes almost as expensive. Many camps open registrations in the winter and enrollment can close up before school ends. Deals are also usually offered for returning campers, multiple campers, and early registration campers.

My daughter is trying a new camp this year. She’s going into 7th grade in the fall and will be a pre-teen camper at the Driftwood Day Camp which is a highly-rated camp. As part of the program, campers take many overnight trips to places such as Hershey Park, Mystic Seaport and Aquarium, Gettysburg, Newport, Penn Caves, and Dorney Park. Shorter trips include the Bronx Zoo, Medieval Times, and Six Flags Great Adventure.

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Holly at Thomas School of Horsemanship, Summer 2011
Holly at Camps-R-Us, Summer 2012
Holly took Graphic Arts as part of Hofstra’s summer camps program at BOCES, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previously, my daughter attended Hofstra Summer Camps and enjoyed the experience especially the wonderful counselors and programs, but she wanted to change this year. Her very first camp was Thomas School of Horsemanship. She also loved it there, but it became very expensive and her interest in horses lessened as she grew older. The only camp that she didn’t like was Camps-R-Us that was based at her old school. Although the price was reasonable, she had a problem with one of the counselors.

Starting a new camp can be much like starting a new school, something my daughter also did when she switched from Catholic School to public Middle School this past year. It can be intimidating at first because people may know one another from previous summers, but camp is a different environment from school. Friendships are made more easily as campers participate in fun activities. It’s also a great learning experience because kids, as well as adults. learn easier when they are enjoying themselves. At Driftwood, campers also must leave their cell phones and other anti-social devices at home to unplug and socialize with others.

Although most people consider summer camps as places for kids, there are camps that cater to adults. Driftwood is actually sponsoring a one-day Camp Mom experience this July. Although I’m working that Saturday, I may consider it next year. There are also adult sleepaway camps and camps for adults and their children. An article about adult summer camps was featured in this New York Times article and this Travel and Leisure story. Below are some links of camp directories of all types. Here’s hoping to a great summer for you and your kids whether it includes a summer camp or a staycation at home.

http://find.acacamps.org/

http://www.kidscamps.com/

http://www.summercamps.com/

http://www.grownupcamps.com/