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Road Trip with Mom – Building Lasting Memories

For as long as I can remember, my mom would share her trips as a child about how she, her parents and siblings traveled over the years. When she was five years old or so, she went to Italy with her parents and siblings to live in Sicily for a year or two. Imagine traveling across the Atlantic on a ship! It was like jumping on a plane to get from place to place, not just to take a cruise for vacation.     

Photo when they were heading to Italy

When my mom was in her 20’s, her dad decided to travel with the family across the country from New York to California to live for a little while; but they didn’t live there too long because my grandfather missed New York City. California wasn’t like New York, where you could walk to most places to get what you needed without using a car.  

In Arizona on their way back to New York from California on Route 66

After my mother and father married in the 1940s, they still liked to go away on weekends, most of the time with their close friends Sylvia and Sam. The Catskill Mountains was one of those places.

My Mom and Her Best Friend Sylvia

This photo below was in the 1960s; then in 1995, I wore this exact dress that my mom was wearing in this photo for my rehearsal dinner. It was a classic dress; she reminded me of the pictures I saw of Jackie Kennedy growing up as a child. She would dress up so pretty, and my dad would wear a suit, Mad Men days! Date nights and weekends away were essential to them raising four children. My dad was a blue collar man and worked very very hard.

My Mother and Father in the 1960s

In the later years, the children became adults; each of us lived in different states and at one point, different countries. Even in my parents’ later years, they still loved to travel,  and they would visit us all.

When I lived in New York, my parents traveled to visit me, and we had a blast going around the city, and then to upstate New York where I grew up. We also visited places they lived before they had children, and of course, we visited our relatives.

Traveling to New York from North Carolina

When my mom was in her 90s, yes 90s, she still loved to travel. I was able to take her on some trips she wanted to go on, either for the first time or back to places she loved. She loved LOVED Disney World; she was like a kid in a candy store! My mom and dad, both in their late 70s, would go on rides like Splash Mountain in the Disney’s Magic Kingdom even I would not go on that ride! Adventurous for sure!

My Mother, I and her Two Sisters at Disney World 1980s

One of the trips I loved taking her on was to Asheville, North Carolina. We are Sicilian, so we kind of love wine! While there, we went on a tour at the Biltmore Estate; then we went to a wine tasting at the Biltmore Wine Shop. My mom truly enjoyed it, a great memory for me to treasure.

Front of the Biltmore Estate

My Mother at the Biltmore Estate

The Sunsets are so Beautiful – This was a Sun Dog Sunset
Having a Wine Tasting at the Biltmore Wine Shop

We stayed at one of my favorite places, the Omni Grove Park Inn. They have a beautiful lobby with a grand piano, a long bar, a massive stone fireplace, and a priceless view. We would sit in the big rocking chairs near the fire stove while my mom would have one of her favorites, Kahlua and Cream.

It was Christmas time, so the lobby was decorated beautifully.

My Mom Enjoying her Kahlua and Cream

The Huge Fireplace at Omini Grove Park Inn

I took her a few years before that to Disney World with my niece who also loves Disney World! We got to take her on some of her favorite rides like It’s a Small World and many others. She just enjoyed them all!

I truly enjoyed these times with my mom and both my parents. Now that they are no longer here, I love to reminisce on the great times and the memories we built and the fun we had together. The point I am making is to take your parents whether together or separately on trips that you will cherish and build those memories you will look back on and enjoy forever.

What was a trip you took with your parents in their later years?

25 Comments

    • Yes, she was a Disney fan for sure…probably still is in Heaven. Disney is the best place on this planet!

    • Yes true, me and my husband’s belief is that we invested in traveling and making memories with our children. I was fortunate to do it with my family too.

    • Yes, I just regret we didn’t do more, but then again grateful for the trips we did take together.

  • I love this! We take my parents on a ski weekend every year to Northern Michigan and have so many great memories from those trips. They still travel all the time on their own – cruises are their favorite as they don’t have to worry about transportation, etc.

    • Ski trips! Wow, they must be very active, you too! Good for you all building family memories together while having a great experience.

  • This is a really, really special story. How nice that you have it written down and documented to remember good times!

    • Yes, really that is what I care about the most family and friends and the memories we build together.

  • I love to travel with my family too! Just this past February I went to Disneyland with my Mom, Dad, and sister. It was like old times before I had kids and grandkids of my own!

  • It was difficult for me to read your post. My mom loved to travel, too. We took cross-country trips with my parents when we were young and she loved Disney World. My mom has had dementia for ten years and she’s only 81. We took her to Disney one last time about 5 years ago. I’d take her back to NH to visit my dad in the nursing home, but he passed away. Now, her dementia is so bad she won’t be able to travel anymore. Thank you for sharing these precious memories with us.

    • My heart goes out to you. I had an aunt with Alzheimer’s and it is so hard to watch them leave before your eyes. Glad you have those earlier memories of good times. Life it difficult especially when we love our family. so deeply. My mom has been gone for years now and my dad over 20 years, definitely miss them both. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • What a sweet tribute! Such a lovely lady she is. We love Disney World also, and now that I’m grown and have a family, we took my parents and my hubby’s parents to Disney World a few years ago so they could experience with us and their grandkids. Great memories!

    • Those times are not only set in the books but in the hearts for all in your family. So heartwarming that you will have those magical memories with them all.

  • My mom and dad went to Disneyland for the honeymoon, and I grew up going to Disney World almost every Easter between the ages 5 and 18. Now we live in Florida, and my parents moved here shortly after we did. We get to enjoy staying at Disney together still.

  • I loved reading this post! I want to be just like your mom and still be traveling into my 90’s. It is so nice that you have such great memories with her 🙂

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