Keep it Simple: 3 Best Family Vacations

Planning the best family vacation ever, year after year, can be time consuming and daunting.  After all, family vacations require activities conducive to a variety of ages, interests and attention spans.  On top of that, there’s a budget to contend with.

Luckily, I’ve discovered the solution to the planning angst, producing the best family vacation year after year.  We’re talking family bonding, togetherness, memories to last a life time…the works! So don’t despair. Whether overwhelmed with endless vacation ideas, or drawing a complete blank, the following fool-proof list will help.

Armed with the workplace training concept KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid), I’ve parred the best family vacation choices down to the very reasonable number 3.  These 3 best family vacations can be mixed and matched, rotated or otherwise selected throughout the years, and you can absolutely not go wrong!

Best Family Vacation #1: Lake House with Boat

Best Family Vacation - Lake House with BoatRenting a lovely waterfront vacation rental has to be one of the very best family vacations ever.  From the youngest family member to the oldest, there is instant entertainment.  Play a few games, eat some good food, talk and enjoy the view.  In between, play in the water, swim, layout on rafts, and spend fun times boating!

Before renting a home, I recommend asking whether a rental boat can be delivered to your dock.  The management company or home owner should be able to provide pricing, along with a lake map or suggested site seeing.  No one will forget this incredible family vacation.

Best Family Vacation #2: Theme Park Experience

Best Family Vacations - theme park experienceIf you’ve ever thought Disneyland has “been done,” or is too expensive, you’re right!  Prices are sky high, lines are out of sight…my question to those of you who are considering such a stressful, expensive trip is just WHY?

The largest theme park in the northwest covers hundreds of acres, including incredible roller coasters, family rides, games, attractions, shops, and even a full sized water park.  I’m talking about Silverwood Theme Park, just north of Coeur d’Alene in Athol, Idaho.  It is a must-see, unforgettable experience for the whole family – toddlers to grandma.

As someone who has been to theme parks across the nation, including Busch Gardens, multiple Six Flags, Knotts, Magic Mountain, Disneyland AND Disney World, I can tell you from first hand knowledge that Silverwood will not disappoint! You can spend several days there and nobody will be bored.  In fact, Silverwood my favorite theme park ever due to the quality and size combined with the great price and short lines.  Love.

Best Family Vacation #3:  Nature Adventures

Best Family Vacation - Back to Nature on the Hiawatha TrailSpending the vast majority of the year in an office, in school, in our house, and just generally inside…the best family vacation #3 involves spending active time outdoors.  There is nowhere better to get back to nature with all ages than the northwest.  The air is fresh, crisp and inviting.  The views are breath-taking and memorable.  And the variety is ideal to satisfy every taste.  Discuss your desired activity level with your local vacation rental reservationist for trail suggestions and maps.

My recommendation is to stay in a centrally located vacation rental.  After a day of hiking Chilco Mountain, biking the Hiawatha, or strolling the scenic Centennial Trail, there is nothing in the world better than a home cooked meal and evening in.  Ask for grocery delivery, a catered meal or even a private chef 🙂

Enjoy your best family vacation ever!!

vacation rentals, vacation rental, family vacations

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New Year’s Day in CDA

Polar Bear Swim 2013
Headed toward Lake CDA for the Polar Bear Swim
Eagles in Coeur d'Alene
New Year’s Eagles – They were everywhere! (Lake CDA)
Eagle eating a fish
Breakfast of Fresh Fish
Eagle Pic Overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene
Enjoying the Lake View
Flying Eagle in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Soaring Eagle

American Bucket List

American Bucket List

Seen a Bald Eagle Lately? There is nothing like viewing this American icon up close and personal. Winter is the time to visit Coeur d’Alene, ID. I recommend a private lake tour, which includes common Eagle sighting locations. Majestic! Photo courtesy of Kelly Smith Photography

Snow Baby – We Got It!!

Remembering Rough Waters on Lake CDA

Heirloom Kayak on Lake CDA - windy day in spring 2012A strong wind came up one day in early April, the sun was up and spring was here. The water temperature was still very cold but it was just what I was waiting for. I couldn’t wait to try out my new kayak in the rough waves. At least as rough as it gets here in Idaho.

I loaded up the two boats and we headed out to the lake. In no time at all we were in our boats in paddling out in the waves. We stayed close to shore we knew we weren’t experienced enough to be out there in those conditions. We had a great time splashing around trying not to tip over in the waves that crossed over the bows of our boats. Constant use of our paddles was required to keep the kayak upright and heading in the right direction.

We aimed at the high waves, driving through the one to crash down into the next. The kayaks rode the water well; the long boats would slash in the waves rising over each as the water washed over the bow. As we traversed along the beach, sideways to the waves, the boats would rise and fall with the waves supported by their secondary stability. The rounded bottom allowed the boats to remain in an upright position as we creased wave after wave.

We were soon tired from constantly having to keep ourselves stable using our paddles as quickly as we could to recover from each wave. The water was too cold on this early spring day to take any chances so we stayed close to shore and paddled to and from shore enjoying the splashing and exciting waves. Now anybody that has been in a sea kayak knows that they are very stable once you are in but they can be difficult to get in and out of while staying dry.

We paddled over to the beach having decided that we needed pictures of this great albeit tame adventure. In a moment of genius I decided to try and hand Cheryl my truck keys while still in our boats. I felt things were going well as I was able to fish my keys out of my back pocket and hold them out to Cheryl. Now remember,  constant use of our paddles was needed to maintain position and keep the boats heading into the waves.

I took a moment to grab my paddle and position my boat carefully alongside Cheryl who apparently felt she was already on shore enjoying a nice ice tea or lemonade in the summer sun. Forgetting her kayak was not an Adirondack chair she upended the kayak exposing the fine artwork along the keel.

Cheryl came up shocked from the cold water and out of breath. We were only a few feet from shore and in shallow enough water to walk out of. The fun of playing in the water quickly became a lesson in safety. We had been careful to stay close to shore and with the air temperatures well above 70 we were able to continue the fun.

I continued to hit the waves and try to surf my 18 ft sea kayak while Cheryl snapped the pictures we needed to remember that wonderful day.