Tag Archives: Georgia

St. George Island – an annual multigenerational gathering {Guest Post}

By Monica Manning Miller and Caroline Manning Miller

This guest post is dedicated to Mrs. Pat Manning of Leesburg, Georgia in honor of her 70th birthday. Mrs. Manning is Monica’s mother and Caroline’s grandmother.

For the past 16 years our three generation family of 13 (2 parents in their 70′s, 3 daughters, 3 sons-in-laws and 5 beautiful granddaughters ages 10-23) have vacationed together. We spend one week together a few hours from my parent’s home in South Georgia on St. George Island off the Florida Gulf Coast.

Caroline in pink

St. George Island is very beautiful with development kept very low to protect the environment. One old motel, a B&B, and rental houses are the lodging choices. There is a grocery the size of a 7/11, a few t-shirt/bait stores, and a handful of very casual seafood restaurants. Everything is very mom and pop. Don’t go looking for a Starbucks, McDonalds, boutique, golf course, movie theater or cabana boy – not here. You come here to decompress, escape and be with the ones you love. It is casual R&R at its very, very best.

Over the past 1.5 decades, we have perfected the art of 13 people in one house, but everyone does need a little space. We have rented the perfect house for 12 years now. It has:

  • 6 master bedroom
  • two additional baths
  • two laundry rooms
  • a kitchen with two dishwashers and two ovens
  • three media rooms (2 of which we never use)
  • multiple decks and porches round out the creature comforts

Monica in the center

Our days are very freestyle. Some are up early for the best shelling and fishing while some wake up in time for a tomato sandwich at lunch. Usually by mid-day everyone has convened at the beach. Afternoons are spent talking by the water’s edge or reading on a shady porch.

We all take turns cooking fresh seafood dinners. The emails fly in the weeks before we leave discussing menus and adding to the grocery list. We do the majority of the shopping before we leave my parents. We pick up fresh seafood, bread and ice cream at the market on the island.

The five granddaughters have a daily chore list including taking turns emptying the dishwashers, trashcans, and sweeping the kitchen and stairs. They are also in charge of clean up after dinner.

After dinner is when the fun goes to a new level. It is time for cards, dominoes, stories, teasing and outrageous laughter. The competition can become quite ferocious.

Our lazy, crazy, happy, joyful days of the beach week fly by. Before we leave, we pull out a calendar to choose a week for the next summer. My husband lovingly calls this our fam”damn”ily beach vacation, but it truly is the best week of the year every year.

This is a dessert we make at least once during the week. It is very yummy and easy for kids to help make. Enjoy warm with vanilla ice cream.

Fruit Cobbler

  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups fruit (blackberries or cut up peaches are our favorites)

Spray 9×13 pan with Pam.  Put fruit in bottom of pan. Whisk remaining 5 ingredients and pour over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for about 45 minutes.
Check center of dough to make sure it is done. Sometimes if fruit is very juicy it may take an extra few minutes.



About the authors

Caroline is a 23 year old graduate of Vassar College with a degree in Neuroscience and has been accepted to the Master’s program in Biomedical Science at Regis University. She is currently employed at National Jewish Health in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

Monica is the very proud mother to Caroline, a retired caterer, and current trophy wife of 27 years to her loving husband, Dave.


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Traveling with grandparents {multigenerational travel}

Summer 2009 – Fun in sun with two parents, 2 kids, 2 grandpas, and 1 grandma.

Hubby and I are fairly selfish with our vacation time. Yup, I’m putting it right out there.

We’ve communicated this sentiment with our parents which means they fully understand how important and special it is when we invite them to vacation with us.

Because hubby and I have demanding careers, we make sure our vacations are actually spent vacationing. We like to relax, play, do a bit of sightseeing, and spend quality time together as a family.

During the summer of 2009, we spend about three weeks between Georgia and Florida for a mega multigenerational vacation.

The top planning tools we kept in mind were:

  1. Everyone was responsible for their travel expenses (well, not my kiddos, of course).
  2. Everyone had to be clear about what they wanted to do during the day. There was no expected mindreading.
  3. We did not have to have set plans for each day. We could go with the flow.
  4. We could spend time together as a big group and family members were also free to make plans on their own.
  5. Extended relatives could participate in some events but we wanted to limit this so the grandparents could have enough quality time with our kids.
  6. Meals had to be easy – otherwise we would order takeout or go out to eat.
  7. Cocktail hour would be held every night (alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages). This was not negotiable.

The first part of the trip was spent in Georgia with my parents.

We stayed at their house, did some sightseeing, had cookouts with other relatives, and kicked back. Hubby and I had the opportunity to escape and date each other, which was the icing on the cake.

About five days later, hubby and I drove with our kids to Florida for our beach vacation. We did very little sightseeing and spent most of our time playing in the sand or at the pool.

It was a great time, except for when the then 2-year-old went missing in a department store and we had to call Code-Adam. Yeah, I had a bunch of cocktails later on that particular night.

My parents drove to Florida (about a 5 hour drive) and stayed in a hotel a few miles away from us.

They took my kids for two nights, and hubby and I were free to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. It was the best gift ever.

We all drove back to Georgia and my father-in-law flew in from Minnesota. That’s right, my nuclear family and my father-in-law were all staying with my parents in Georgia. My cousin’s two daughters stayed with us for a few nights too (they are the same age as my daughter). We were a loud, laughing, and loving group.

How’s that for a summer full of multigenerational travel?

Share some of your multigenerational travel trips or stories from your multigenerational travel. We’d love to hear from you.

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