The Best Vacations

Our family was not big on vacations.  Kramer was a farmer and farming crops and cattle is not conducive to vacations.  Put on top of that, he was a workaholic.  So, any vacations we did take were short and close to home except for one vacation in Washington D.C.

We went to a hotel that had a waterpark several times during the school break at Christmas.  The kids loved that.  We always went with friends so the kids had other kids to hang with and we adults had friends to hang with too.  It was so fun.

But…if you ask my kids what their favorite part of the vacation was…and what they looked forward to most, I’m sure most of them would say the stop at Barnes and Noble.

Barnes & Noble will trim number of stores; fate of Waterloo store uncertain  | Business - Local News |
We were a reading family and books new from the store, were always a real treat.

I regularly …took the kids to the library.  I regularly let them buy books from the thrift store and they got books from the book order from school but Barnes and Noble was the holy grail for them.

We would go in and all part ways.  Everyone was allowed to get a book or two.  We’d seriously spend an hour or more in the store with everyone contentedly browsing.

Karl would likely get a dinosaur factbook.  You know, the big resource type books.  For days he would recite fun dinosaur facts.

Buck would get a resource-style book too.  His were always about war and guns.  He loved reading about WWII.

The girls were always into some type of series of books for crafting books.

Barnes and Noble had something for everyone including me.  I always picked out a new book or two as well.

Barnes and Noble was truly an important stop on any vacation we went on.  Happily, all of the kids don’t get car sick when they read so after the stop, everyone was happily contented to read their book.  That made the trips even nicer for us adults.

Imagine the smile I had after I saw Kalissa post this picture with this caption:

You ever get so excited about the new book you sit down on the floor to start reading while you’re waiting to check out at Barnes and Noble?

This boy is obsessed with reading!! 📚

(Before you at me about not wearing a mask – it broke in the previous store and is in his pocket)

They were on their way to Wisconsin Dells on vacation and stopped at Barnes and Noble so Carver could pick out a book.  It looks like the family Barnes and Noble tradition lives on.  That makes me so happy-  One that he’s reading and two that we created a tradition that still carries on.

It’s hard to beat a good Dick and Jane book when you’re four years old.

9 thoughts on “The Best Vacations”

  1. Love this posting. That’s a wonderful family tradition! I remember when we traveled (mostly to visit relatives in Creston, Stanton, or Omaha), my father would drive and my mother would read to us three kids in the station wagon. Her favorite book was first volume edition of “The Better Homes and Gardens Storybook.” Years later I found a copy at a thrift store and reread with much fondness some of the stories. It brought back memories of her voice and those trips.

  2. Judith Fairchild

    Yes going to a book store is always a treat. A whole lot better than a candy store or donut shop. It would make a a vacation even more special . Good tradition.

  3. Reading is so very important and when children are read to at a very early age that love of reading is ingrained into the child. My boys loved to get books whenever possible no matter where the opportunity presented itself for them. Now my sons are grown up but still the love of books is still with them. Both my late husband and I loved to read so I am very happy that this love of reading has been passed on to them.
    Parents need to set a good role model when it comes to books and reading.

  4. As a reader and a reading tutor/mentor, this post makes my heart swell with joy. Good work, Jo! Fostering a love a reading is the BEST gift a child can receive. (Sadly it only “took” with one of my two boys.)

  5. Kathy Shelton

    I love to read and would read to my children
    Every night when they were little. My daughter would read all the time growing up and in the summertime when school was out she would read the encyclopedias when she didn’t have any books to read. She is a research librarian now.

  6. Such a wonderful tradition and so nice to see it in the next generation. From the time they were little until my kids graduated from college they received a gift card to a bookstore in their Christmas stocking each year. We always took a trip to the bookstore during the week between Christmas and New Years Day. Once they were in school it was a way to make sure they read at least one book during Christmas break. As they got older I would pick a theme for summer reading based on their ages. One summer it might be Classics, books like Anne of Green Gables, The Three Musketeers or Tom Sawyer. The next summer it might be Series books, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Little House on the Prairie. My kids are no longer kids but at 47 & 42 they still love to read and our 7 year old grandson has followed as well. He asked his AG & Gigi (what he calls us) for books for Christmas last year!

  7. Hi Jo!
    We are big readers in our family too. After our kids moved out, we started having Sunday afternoon dates, and alot of those dates were to Barnes and Noble. Love that store, and the smell of books. Great to see Carver so happy with a book!

  8. Reading has always been important in our family. You just never know what will get their interest. My son was really into Egyptian history, pyramids, gods and goddesses. My middle dd read what ever peaked her interest at the time but didn’t really love reading until she was older. My oldest would go to Barnes and Noble straight to the bargain table! LOL!
    My grands love reading too – one granddaughter loves the Narnia series – one loves animal books.
    It’s too bad bookstores are few and far between. Whenever we find one, in we go.
    Love and prayers

  9. What a lovely tradition for her family to carry on. Our family loved books and my parents gave them as presents or if they were traveling they would send the kids books about there journey. One year they went to a lot of caves so each grandchild got a postcards about the caves and then bat books for Christmas.

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