Tag Archives: summer vacation

Here and Now {July 19}


> parents have arrived from Georgia.

> mom is singing classic children’s songs to my four-year-old  – and making up her own words.

> daughter is playing The Phantom of the Opera on the piano for her grandparents.

> stepfather is reading a Dora book to my four-year-old and getting corrected on his Spanish pronunciation by my four-year-old.

> mom is telling funny and sweet stories about her eldest sister – who is 14 years my mom’s senior.

> stepfather was mistakenly trying to explain how to take a picture, with his phone, to my twelve-year-old.

> mom and I rescued a beloved train costume, for my four-year-old, that hubby put into the giveaway pile.

> parents are asking my twelve-year-old if she is ready to become a teenager.

> parents are shocked my twelve-year-old has a babysitting job later this today.

> parents are gushing that today is my 13th wedding anniversary.

> four-year-old is telling my stepfather, “Monsters don’t have mouths in my world!”

> multigenerational family and my heart are full.





Summer Reading 2011

Confession time…

Now that summer vacation is here (well it is for us) – how many books to do you have on your summer reading list?

I have eight books on my reading list.

Yes, that’s a bit much, but I can be over the top. AND…my perfect summer day would involve me sitting in a comfy beach chair (on the beach of course), reading my books – all day long, having a friendly butler-esque person bring libations and tasty treats – while my kids frolic safely in the water and they don’t bother me because I’m reading.

If that were my reality, then I could easily knock out all eight books this summer.


Our multigenerational nest has so many books on our reading lists and we are overly excited about reading ALL of them. So, I’m in good company in getting all these books read.

All of us have signed up for the summer reading program at our local library. This is a great incentive because all five of us can participate, we love getting the prizes, and we all are a little bit competitive in tackling our summer reading lists.

Our book lists:


  1. The Silk Road by Frances Wood
  2. The Best American Essays of the Century edited by Joyce Carol Oates
  3. Mailer, his Life and Times by Peter Manso
  4. Chronicles by the one and only Bob Dylan
  5. Available newspapers and magazines and road signs


  1. True(…sort of) by Katherine Hannigan
  2. Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
  3. Abel’s Island by William Steig
  4. The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer
  5. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  6. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  7. Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  8. Letters to a Young Sister by Hill Harper
  9. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell


  1. Too Many Zucchini for Zachary Beany with Other by Tina Dozauer-Ray
  2. It’s Sharing Day! (Dora the Explorer) by Kirsten Larsen and Ron Zalm
  3. Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  4. Whose Knees are These? by Jabari Asim and LeUyen Pham
  5. Whose Toes are Those? by Jabari Asim and LeUyen Pham
  6. Because I Am Your Daddy by Sherry North and Marcellus Hall
  7. City I Love by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Marcellus Hall


  1. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  2. The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michel Watkins
  3. Second Wind: The Memoirs of an Opinionated Man by Bill Russell
  4. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  5. The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley


  1. Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law: Love, Hate, Rivalry and Reconciliation by Susan Shapiro Barash
  2. What’s Really Holding You Back?: Close the Gap Between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be by Valorie Burton
  3. How Did I Get So Busy?: The 28-day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with what Matters Most by Valorie Burton
  4. Self Coaching 101 by Brooke Castillo
  5. The Black History of the White House by Clarence Lusane
  6. The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
  7. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  8. Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families by Leslie Morgan Steiner

We also have our own in-house tools we are using to document our love of reading.

Here are some summer reading resources that may interest you:

Tell us what you are reading this summer and how you are sharing your love of reading with family members and friends.



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This Moment {6.3.11}

A Friday ritual.

A single photo bunch of photos – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Inspired by SouleMama.

{click on the pictures to enlarge them}

Summer camp – at home with Grandma!

Visit SouleMama to see more {this moment} posts.

Feel free to share your {this moment} link here.


National Senior Health and Fitness Day

Happy hump day, readers!

I have to be honest, I am having a hard time focusing on anything not related to my kids, fitness, life coaching, and summer. I’m in a great zone, but there is other stuff to do – like folding five baskets of laundry last night – while watching the Chicago Bulls lose another game. (UGH!)

My mother-in-law and I were talking about summer vacation and how things are going to slow down a bit, after May 26. Why? That’s the 12-year-old’s last day of school. Hallelujah! (The 4-year-old wraps up his school year today.)

summer 2008

As a long-time educator, one would think I would want the school year to go on forever. Nope, I surely don’t. Our multigenerational family loves summer time – the free, relaxing, kinda on a schedule time – to do whatever we enjoy doing.

Starting around 12pm (MDT) on May 26, my kiddos will be enrolled in grandma camp, and mother-in-law totally knows how to bring the fun. I’m not sure what they’ll be up to, but I am expecting sticky surfaces, wacky creations, and amazing new memories of adventures with their grandma.

summer 2008

I have to give my mother-in-law big kudos for preparing herself mentally and physically for summer vacation. She’s been checking out books from the library to increase her skill set in making different crafts and using new art mediums. She’s been taking swimming lessons and working out more at the recreation center – to stay fit and healthy – and to also be ready for a physical summer with her grandchildren. (She’ll be with all 6 of them in June.)

So, I salute my mother-in-law, on National Senior Health and Fitness Day, because I’m so proud of her! Anyone who is into self-care definitely gets a gold star from me. Also, anyone who is a role model for a healthy and happy lifestyle for me and my family can live with me  – and ride the chaotic train of love and life.

Here are some healthy activities we’re committing to this summer:

  1. Plant a garden
  2. Make it to the local pool (indoor or outdoor) at least 3 times a week
  3. Camping and hiking
  4. Shopping at our local farmers’ market
  5. Riding our bikes or walking to do errands – as much as possible
  6. Slowing down and staying mindful

What are ways you help the active and mature adults (a.k.a seniors) in your life stay fit and healthy? I’d love to hear your  ideas and stories.


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.


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

Click here to find out more about submitting your story.


Multigenerational vacation in Italy {guest post}

by Andrea Salvo

In our family, we are not strangers to multigenerational travel, and certainly not strangers to Italy. However, our trip in the summer of 2007 was unique to me in that I hadn’t been to Italy with my grandfather and had never been to the town in which he was born.

The trip started out with a bang, our flight to Philadelphia was canceled, which meant we would not be making our connection to Rome, and would need to reroute13 people  to Italy in the middle of July, not an easy task. With 6 people working simultaneously we all ended up in a limousine to Toronto, to catch a plane on a different airline, our bags following in their own bus behind.

Once we actually arrived, luckily no-one was left in Rome as was threatened by the airline, the adventures began! We piled into two large white vans, ours was dubbed “The Magic Bus” and we navigated these beasts through the narrow streets of Reggio Calabria, in the southernmost part of Italy.

By the time we arrived at our home away from home, Sayonara, I was surprised we were all still talking. Whatever stress we had was forgotten as we approached our destination and my broken English speaking grandmother stated, “There it is, I told you, go straight, straight then turn around.” Thank goodness for her navigation skills!

We visited with our cousins and great aunt who still live in San Ferdinando. We met old neighbors and extended family. For the most part we remained a large group which meant considerable dinner tables. The dinner crowd grew to massive proportions when our Italian family members joined. We had one evening of pizza, french fries (the Italian side dish to pizza), and salad with approximately 29 people at the table. It was a typical Italian scene.

On day five my Mother decided we needed an adventure. My sisters, cousin and parents loaded into the Magic Bus and we made our way to the breathtaking landscape of the Amalfi Coast. If you ever find yourself in Positano in the middle of July, and you stumble upon an old man selling homemade lemon ice from a cart, get some, and then go back for more.

The trip culminated in yet another road trip. This time I hopped into the bus with my grandmother, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, and three cousins. Our destination was Montadoro or mountain of gold, where we would spend three days celebrating the feast of St. Joseph. My maternal grandmother and my father were both born in Montadoro, so when we arrived, we were greeted by my father and his entire family.

We spent three days with my father’s family and my grandmother stayed with her family. On the night of the feast my grandmother had tears in her eyes as she walked in the procession, through the streets of her town, two generations in tow. She pointed out the house she grew up in and the balcony from where her grandfather was once assaulted by a woman’s dirty water, a story we heard often as kids.

On our way back to the main land, which included a six hour drive and one hour ferry ride, we made sure to stop at a gas station and get Panini. In Italy, the best Panini are sold in the gas stations. Add to that the most decadent snacks and exquisite coffee and you might begin to understand why I always look forward to an Italian road trip. My grandmother treated us to yet another of her famous one liners when she stated, “I feel like I was born and raised in this bus.” We quote all of her pearls of wisdom from that trip to this day.

Not only were we multigenerational we were multifamily. In total we had three generations and members from five different families intertwined at any given time. To be certain, I will never forget that trip. I may go back to Italy once a year, but Italy they way it was in 2007 will be a place I visit only in pictures and memories.


Andrea Salvo is a wife and mother who lives in Broomfield, Colorado. Andrea enjoys reading, cycling, dancing, cooking, and spending quality time with the ones she loves.  Andrea’s days are filled with taking care of her beautiful daughter and working as a School Counselor. She takes pride in mentoring young teenagers to find their purpose and talents and to live their best life.


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

Click here to find out more about submitting your story.