My wife and I were looking for a special place for retirement. We began talking to each other about this subject in the early thirties, after we took our first annual family vacation with our children. Things became more interesting when my parents watched our children while my wife and I were leaving for the first vacation. It was a wonderful trip to the Caribbean island, and launched our annual budget search and for a family trip and for a few excursions each year.
In most of the years we did it, but now that our children have grown up, a family trip is usually close to home, usually in a rented house on the beach. Our children and their families, an extended family and some loyal friends come and go during that week to share food and entertainment with us. Vacation for couple has become more and more exciting. Among dozens of journeys, we were in Alaska, three Hawaiian islands, in Germany, and so far we enjoyed five cruises. All of them were excursions to special places, yet we noticed something missing in a stunning landscape.
There were no families or friends with us on couples. Without any special relationship with us to share the experience, we felt the emptiness. When we returned, we shared them with pictures and told stories, but we did not see the excitement in them that caused it in us when we were there. It was fun to watch the sunset in the Bryce Canyon and talk about retreating into the red country of Utah. A striking view of the Jackson Lake Lodge's coast allowed us to hear the invitation of Wyoming from the wilderness to live there forever. Bermuda has enchanted us with balsamic temperatures and unusual British parties. Key West's experience was to enter Hemingway's novel. Both Charleston and Savannah took us back to a more gentle time of Southern charm and grace. Can we live in any of these places until the end of our day?
We started to realize that if we did, our children would no longer come with their families on Sunday dinner. There will be no more family games, an old tradition I started when they were little, and still nurture and practice it. We still do not have grandchildren, but when we do it, I want to call me the Old Bear (not grandfather or grandfather). My wife and I have names for pets. She is the Little Bear and I'm the Big Bear. I want to know a little dessert (my Unun) as Old Bear.
If my wife and I are moving so far away from them, will we miss a little dessert? We started talking about such things. We still love to plan and make new adventures on places where we have never been, but we realize that what is a special place for people in our lives is special to us.
And you? Where's your special place?