On the beach in a small town in Delaware (USA), sits a little house. Basically untouched from the day it was built. That house belonged to my husband’s fraternal grandparents and we are thankful that it still remains in the hands of family today.

This year we went on our first multi-generational family vacation. It included husbands and wives, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers. All under one roof.

My husband often tells me stories from his childhood of summer time at “the beach house”, as he refers to it. His memories include walking to town for ice cream, playing mini-golf with his friends, fishing with his dad and brother. This year, we were fortunate enough to spend an extended amount of time on the East Coast (we live in San Francisco, CA) and vacation for a week at the beach house.

While my husband reminisced about the days of old, our little girls had the opportunity to build their own memories. We made castles and mermaids in the sand. We splashed in the water and went “surfing” in the kiddy pool. We caught blue crabs off the pier and ate them for dinner. We walked to town and enjoyed ice cream dripping off our faces.  We fell asleep each night to the sound of waves crashing on the beach. We watched 4th of July fireworks with our toes in the sand. But best of all, we spent this time surrounded by our extended family.

Living on the other side of the country, this is not something we get to do often or for an extended period of time.

The girls sat down to breakfast each morning with their little cousin. My oldest went searching for mermaid purses (which are actually skate eggs) with her uncle. They got to go fishing with their grandfather, although they were not much help. The listened carefully as their grandmother crafted them personalize poems off the top of her head.  I got to go for long walks on the beach with my dad and simply discuss life.

And after a long day in the sand and the sun, doing our best to keep the children to their “regular schedules”, we would meet up again for a family dinner.  We would all sit around the tiny table, elbow to elbow, and enjoy a lovely meal that everyone would pitch in to make possible. Which was then often topped off with a walk to town for ice cream for dessert, just like my husband did as a child.

But it was the time in between that was the most special. The idle time – when you are just sitting around talking with each other about the mundane of life vs. the quick weekly phone call with the status update and rush to move on because someone is screaming.  Just talking about life while floating in the water trying to stay cool under the summer heat.  Or while walking down the beach with nothing else to do with my time.

For me, it was best of all to watch my husband revel in his memories of childhood during our week vacation this year. I can only hope to return the next year and the one after that to help our girls build family memories of their own.

How do you connect stay connected with your extended family?  And have you ever gone on holiday with them? Tell us about it.

This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Angela Y of San Francisco, California.

Photo credit to the author of her daughter pretending to be a mermaid next to their sand mermaid.

Angela Y (USA)

Angela Y. is in her mid-thirties and attempting to raise her two daughters (big girl, R, 3 years; little girl, M, 1 year) with her husband in San Francisco, CA. After spending ten years climbing the corporate ladder, she traded it all in to be a stay-at-home mom! Her perspective of raising a child in the city is definitely different from those who have been city dwellers all their lives, as she grew up in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) surrounded by her extended family. Angela Y. and her husband are on their own on the west coast of the United States — the only family help they receive is when someone comes for a visit. But, the lifestyle in San Francisco is like no other for them, so there, they stay! This exercise conscious mom is easily recognized, especially when she is riding around her husband-built bike with two seats on the back. And, when she’s not hanging out with the girls, you can find Angela Y. in the kitchen. She loves to cook for her family, especially dessert, and then eats some herself when no one is looking! Sneaky, mom!

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