Fun Living strengthens your family, your marriage, your relationship with your kids and makes you a better worker. Happy people are more productive and frankly more fun to be around. A positive attitude and fun go hand in hand. Here are a few more tidbits for Fun Living.
THE VACATION FAIRY
When our kids were young and we took them on driving vacations, there was a present for each of them left by the Vacation Fairy on the hotel beds on the first night of vacation. It was either something fun to play with in the hotel pool or something to keep them busy when riding in the car. The entire first day of vacation they looked forward to it and talked about what might be left by the vacation fairy. The first day of driving consisted of an early morning start and 6 to 7 hours of driving, so any distraction was good. I would wait in the car with the kids while my husband would “check in” to the hotel and of course sneak to the room with the bag of toys. Then he came back for us with the keys and we would go to the room and there were the toys on the bed from the Vacation Fairy. Even though the kids are now all in their twenties they still talk about their fond memories of the Vacation Fairy.
We actually had a vacation theme song in our family and the kids still consider it the Vacation Song. It is Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf. It is a fun song. We would play it rather loudly at the beginning of any driving vacation and numerous times during the vacation, when we needed an uplifting jolt. Now you are going to think I am making this up, but I have witnesses. On a vacation to California, we got up at three a.m. to catch a plane to San Francisco where we were to rent a van and travel around to the Redwoods and Yosemite. We probably left at that time because it was cheaper to fly at that time with all of those kids. When the alarm clock went off at three in the morning, it was set to the radio and the vacation song came on. I literally gasped and I looked at my husband and accused him of calling the radio station to have that arranged. He swore he did not and to this day we still talk about how cool it was that the Vacation Song came on. It was meant to be.
THE ULTIMATE PLAYLIST
My husband and I are empty-nesters and can finally listen to the music we like, instead of children’s songs when they were young and loud rap and other inappropriate songs we had to listen to when they were teenagers. To develop our awesome, ultimate playlist we listened to our favorite radio stations in the Yukon every trip we had for months. We took notes and kept a list we wanted to create. Every few weeks we downloaded the songs on ITunes and onto our iPods. We call it our YukonXL playlist and it has everything we like from Fleetwood Mac to Bob Seger, to Dylan and the Eagles. We play it outside when we are doing yard work and we play it on the boat and in the car. We continually add to it and occasionally remove one when we get tired of it. It is our playlist and when we put it on it sets any mood for us.
We used any excuse to call dinner special or have cupcakes or cookies or go out, or have a picnic in celebration of anything. We celebrated everything. Some examples are: We celebrated that everyone was out of diapers. Everyone was in school. Everyone could drive. Any time one of the kids got a job. Someone was on the honor roll. Someone received a ribbon at the Science fair. The dog stopped peeing in the house and acceptance into college. Celebrate all of the small and big things it is fun and shows an appreciation for accomplishments.
TOOTH FAIRY DUST
When the tooth fairy came to our house she left colored glitter as fairy dust spread on the floor around their night stand and it trailed onto the floor and towards the door. It was more exciting than the money they got. The kids would find a little container and try to collect as much of it as they could. It was every color including pink purple and green. It was magical.
ROAD TRIP NECESSITIES
When the kids were young we went to the dollar store for different cheap toys to have in a bag for when the road was getting a little boring or taking too long to get to our next stop. They could pick something from the bag on such occasions while sitting in their car seats. Do not remove them from the packaging. That took the kids 10 to 20 miles just to get the toy out of the packaging and then the toy was played with buying us plenty of time to get to the next destination. Also there were certain treats that were driving vacation treats such as hot tamales and smarties.
BEER AND CHEESE
We have a pack that attaches to our bicycles. We take along some crackers and cheese and a few beers on some bike trips and then stop in a park along the trail now that we are empty nesters. It is part of our Empty Nest Shenanigans.