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Readers share memories from their getaways with the grandkids

A trip to SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove proved memorable for Donna and Irv Zelig and their two grandsons.

Times files

A trip to SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove proved memorable for Donna and Irv Zelig and their two grandsons.

Here's a sampling of memories your neighbors sent in to share:

The Panhandle

My wife and I accompany granddaughters Jessica and Nicole to Destin, in the Panhandle, so their parents can take scuba lessons. Jessica is 6, a year older than her sister. I take the bright-eyed dynamo riding while Nicole naps.

A nearby children's amusement park has sort of a waterborne equivalent of bumper cars. Jessica insists. We join a dozen "Water Tubes'' circling the swirling pool, and it's great fun, until we bump into a wall. Jessica slips out of my lap and against the wall. The crying doesn't stop until back in the motel, where my wife declares, "Jessica has a black eye! Explain that to her parents."

Ralph Morrison, Palm Harbor

Walt Disney World

On a family vacation to DisneyWorld, I had some time alone with my 5-year-old granddaughter, Sophie. But it was hot and my back was killing me.

We were sitting on scorching pavement watching the Christmas Parade, Sophie excited on my lap, stretching to see who was coming next. I knew who she was waiting for — Cinderella!

Finally, her carriage arrived and there she was, smiling and waving like Miss America. For a second, Cinderella looked right at Sophie — eye contact!

Sophie looked up at me and though she said nothing, I understood: In a world of make-believe, this was real. Cinderella was real. Suddenly it didn't seem that hot.

Donna Callaghan, Dade City

Washington, D.C.

Eight years ago, when our grandsons were 7, we took them for a week to Washington, D.C. Our congressman provided tickets for the White House, the Capitol tour and a chance to eat in the Senate dining room.

As we walked along the Mall one afternoon, it was lightly raining and the two boys started to run ahead of us. We yelled for the boys to stop, but they continued to run. My husband took off after them but slipped in the wet grass, breaking his umbrella in half. He was such a funny sight.

Each holiday since then, one of the boys wants to buy grandpa a new umbrella as a reminder and says that it was the best "bonding moment" he has ever had!

Donna Moore, Clearwater

Boston, Next stop:
New York City

2007: Off to Boston with our grandchildren who were 7 and 9 years old. What a wonderful trip it was! Highlights of the trip for the children included a private tour of the Freedom Trail and the Museum of Science.

As grandparents, we especially enjoyed watching the excitement of the children as they learned about American history and their enthusiasm about visiting a place they had not been to before. We all loved the opportunity of sharing this experience and making memories together.

This year, the four of us are headed to New York City for more adventures.

Marilyn and Ed Warner,


San francisco
and new york city

When my granddaughters were 8 and 9 years old, we began the tradition of annual "Grandma's vacation," and we are still going strong 12 years later.

Ashlei and I toured the San Francisco area. Another time, we enjoyed two weeks in New York City, seeing eight shows and deciding which restaurants served the best escargot.

Jessica and I spent three weeks roughing it on an island in Lake Champlain . . . and three weeks in Ireland.

The girls are now in college and we still enjoy traveling together. Wonderful memories!

Barbara Isham,


Train ride from
Denver to Utah

During August 2007 I visited my grandchildren in Colorado. Prior to the trip, I had contacted their other grandfather about taking them on a train trip from Denver to Green River, Utah. He thought it was a great idea, so we climbed aboard for the 10-hour train trip.

I don't know who was more excited, the grandkids or the grandpas. Plenty of room onboard to roam, eating in the dining car, the beautiful scenery and wildlife, and the smooth sway back and forth were just part of the excitement. An overnight stay in Utah and the return trip provided a great bonding experience.

David R. Pauley,


south america

Last year I traveled with my 14-year-old grandson to South America. It was a long trip — 25 days. He was pretty much ready to go back home after we visited Machu Picchu and we still had almost three weeks left.

Also he was very apprehensive about flying. We had 11 flights all together, and by the time we flew home it was just one more flight.

One of the best moments of the trip was a dinner in Lima. There was just the two of us and we talked about him, his family and his concerns.

One of the best things was that he brought his laptop with him. This kept him occupied, especially the day we spent 10 hours in the Lima airport waiting for a plane to take us to Santiago, Chile. One of the worst thing was that he brought his laptop with him. He would be up until 4 a.m. and wouldn't get up in the morning to tour. He never left the hotel in either Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro.

Barbara Wood,

Tarpon Springs

Discovery Cove

Since our son and family is in the military, we don't often see our two grandsons. When they visit we plan a special adventure.

When Brian (13) and Matthew (7) visited, we took them to Discovery Cove, at SeaWorld, to "swim with the dolphins." Matthew was ecstatic, but Brian, "THE TEENAGER,'' was anything but happy.

Brian was following behind us about 20 feet as we proceeded to the dolphin cove. Begrudgingly he did swim with the dolphins. Afterward, he met a couple of girls and they enjoyed swimming and floating around Discovery Cove. His attitude changed immensely.

And the next school year, Brian's science choice was marine biology!

Donna & Irv Zelig,


Readers share memories from their getaways with the grandkids 05/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 12:06pm]
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