A classmate named Sarah recently told my four year-old son…
There are times when several of the things my son loves align. We call this vacation. Eddie loves air travel, hotels, and elevators. When we travel he gets to experience three of his favorite things.
Eddie has improved greatly when it comes to air travel. As an infant in a baby carrier he traveled with few problems. When he turned two years-old, though, we grounded ourselves due to his unruly behavior on planes. This year we resumed air travel and he’s done well. It helps that we live in the middle of the country and can get almost anywhere within three or four hours.
A few years ago, we bought into a program called Hilton Grand Vacation Club. It’s essentially a timeshare program where you can visit a few dozen Hilton resorts around the world using a bank of points given annually by the timeshare gods. These aren’t hotels, but well-equipped resorts. It’s been a wonderful experience and we are fortunate to have it available to us.
The properties are condos (essentially hotel suites with kitchens.) Eddie refers to them as “hotel houses.” I can’t think of a better term. They offer the convenience of a hotel and all the comforts of home. We usually bring in groceries and prepare all of our meals in the condo.
When we go off-program and stay in a standard hotel room, Eddie looks around for a kitchen and is confused. He has first-world problems, this kid.
High on Eddie’s list of faves are elevators. If allowed, he will take the elevator up and down all day long. We spend a great deal of time negotiating the number of times we will take elevator rides. And, as adults, we never get to press the buttons. That is strictly Eddie’s job. When we have to share an elevator and someone else presses the button, Eddie shrinks a little from disappointment. God forbid we ever get housed on the ground floor.
The hotel houses we’ve visited have been great for family vacations. On some trips, such as one to Hawaii, we took two of Eddie’s grandmas with us. They had a room and we had a room. It worked out well and gave the grandmas a week’s worth of face-time with their grandson.
We’ve also gone to snowy places, like Park City, Utah where ski lifts swooped in close to the hotel house and flew people off to the slopes. Every property is different and all are wonderful in their own way.
My son is experiencing things that I didn’t experience until adulthood. I was 17 years-old before I did any sort of traveling, domestic or international. I have since done fairly well at making up for lost time. I’m no jet-setter, but have been to a number of places.
My son is only three years-old and has taken about a dozen flights. I’m sure he won’t remember some of the places he’s been, but it’s still a good experience for him to travel with his family and spend time floating in “hotel house” pools and splashing around with his daddy and papa. We’ve been to the beach, to the mountains, and to the islands. We will certainly go on many more trips, as our timeshare program continues to dole out points to us every year. My hope is that we raise a boy who appreciates the opportunity to travel, explore, and have fun, whether we’re in a “hotel house” or wherever we may land.