First Weekend Vacation to the In-Laws

by Drew Jackson
First Trip to the In Laws

Anytime I read an article on visiting in-laws, I come across suggestions such as “set time limits on visits,” “stay at a hotel,” “don’t let them get to you,” and “establish your own space.”  The tone is always portrayed in movies and daytime television as painful to go through.  For our family, that’s not the case, and my first weekend vacation to the in-laws was tons of fun!

Breakfast time

Mental note: when going to your in-laws for the first time, assume that they will invite over all of their closest neighborhood friends to show you off.  Also, assume there might be homemade waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, and a fruit assortment to accompany them!  Did I mention homemade waffles??!!!

Breakfast at the In Laws

Competition at its finest

After breakfast and everyone was full, we needed something to pass the time.  Something fun yet challenging, something creative yet competitive…the great idea sprung as from the well of amazing ideas itself! Let’s judge who has the prettiest feet (on the left one of our In-Laws neighbors, in the middle my wife, and on the right our 10-year-old!).  No shortage of competition in the contestants here.

On to the neighbors

After the group is fed and our bellies are no longer flush with our jeans, it’s time to exercise off some of that morning goodness with a walk up to the neighbors.  No Pokemon GO for this trip, just the open air and family!  First, you run up the hill, and then you run all the way back down.

Syncing Footsteps On Our Walk

Once you get to the top, run back down!

Running Down The Hill

And once you run back down the hill, and your 10-year-old legs are too tired to carry you back up, you get to test out the golf carts and take a ride down the street.

The pets are on the loose

Finally, we made it to the neighbors, and we were greeted by what I can only imagine is some trained form of a mythical beast from prehistoric times…okay, there might be a slight bit of exaggeration there, but look for yourself!

After a little pet entertainment, we reached our destination and fed a flock of ducks from the back of the house balcony.  Although they didn’t eat any of our offerings, it was fun filling the pond with lots of it (apparently the neighbors just got done feeding them and they were quite full).  We sat on the back porch, lounging in the sun and listening to stories of what all of our parents do while we are away.  They also told us exciting tales about their current quest to take over the neighborhood Home Owners Association to make sure they can pass some fun house decoration amendments.

A picture is worth a thousand words . . . framed.

My wife’s father used to own a business framing photos, paintings, and portraits for people and businesses across the country. He ran a business of many employees and did this for over 20 years until he sold it and got out of the framing business, or so we thought.  He took Dante (our son) and I down the road to “Tigger’s Picture Framing” which he has kept going in his free time.  My wife’s father just turned 85 and showed me that you can still enjoy your passion and hobbies at any age.

A happy 85th birthday weekend

By Sunday morning, we were full of waffles, got a bit of exercise, and had fun with the family–which is the most important part.  I know we don’t all have ideal family situations, and we can’t always like every family member we are given, but you can make the most of your moments and the most of your time because you never know how long you have them around.  We made sure not to spend time during this trip flipping through Facebook or online, but spent time as a family outdoors enjoying each other.  I know that I am looking forward to our next trip back.

During the trip I was taking photos nonstop, so if you want to see the full gallery, check it out here!

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