Summer Travels

Camping in Oregon with Go Gingham

We usually travel during the summer – it’s our big budget splurge – and after a dozen home exchanges in 10-years, our family has traveled to several countries and states. But, with two teenagers, we are not taking a family summer vacation this year.

A friend of mine told me recently there’s no such thing as ‘vacationing’ with teenagers. It’s really more of a ‘business trip’ when it comes to family trips and teenagers. This really speaks to me. If you have teenagers, maybe you can relate, too. On a home exchange trip to Spain, my teens felt the need to give me set of rules. Imagine!

Camping in Oregon with Go Gingham

The teens are doing some traveling on their own. Both flew (separately and alone) to the east coast to visit family and friends. Gaining independence with time away from home and negotiating around without me to hawk over them are all good things.

Both of my teenagers are in high school – one will be a senior and the other a sophomore. My daughter, the younger teen, tried to convince us she needed a cell-phone for the trip and I almost gave in. At 15-and-a-half, she knows the old-timer skill of how to call home – collect. (Do kids need cell phones? I’m not sure.) My son, who will be a senior, is looking at colleges on the east coast. Our dear friend’s dad is taking him to tour several schools around Boston.

Since both kids were gone, Brad and I headed out of town for a camping trip last week. Just the two of us. It was a blast! We did a 10-mile hike, hit a couple of swimming holes, and got shut-out on the fishing. All this without any complaints. It was heavenly.

Camping in Oregon with Go Gingham

When we got home from camping and did the mounds of laundry, Brad flew to the east coast to meet up with the kids and his family while I’m enjoying a few peaceful days in the house – by myself.

That sound you just heard? It’s me – skipping about the empty house.

Camping in Oregon with Go Gingham

So, no big family trip for us. Maybe we’ll go on another vacation when it’s more fun to travel as a family. Until then, happy travels to you!

What are your vacation plans for the summer? Any big trips planned?

Go Gingham related links:

6 Essential Items for Air Travel” including how to limit drooling on your neighbor!
Camp cooking supplies and what I cook with
Our first home exchange is here
Travel tips for a trip or stay-cation around the Northwest


Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.


  1. College on the east coast? I’d have very mixed feelings about that in your place. But I know you are raising your children to be responsible and independent and that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

    We are leaving for a 2 day camping trip today. We tend to take a lot of smaller camping trips as a family–sometimes the camping itself is the goal, and sometimes we use it as cheap lodging to visit a tourist highlight. It’s always fun. We had our bigger trip already this year–my nephew got married in southern Indiana, so we went there, then to St. Louis (yes, we did the Arch) and then to my in-law’s in Illinois. It was fun, we saw lots of family but still got to get in alone-time as a family in St. Louis.

    My daughter never traveled easily when she was younger (VERY homesick for the cat!) so now that she’s getting older, we are hoping to step up the travel. Probably no international trips for us, but we are hoping to go to Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Kentucky/Georgia, in the next few years. I feel like we need to make this a priority in the next few years before I have high school students with hectic schedules.

    LMK if you have any brilliant thoughts about cell phones and teens. I’m wondering when to introduce that to my kids. Also, any thoughts on Facebook and teens?

    1. Kris,
      Several years ago I probably would have felt that east coast for college was too far but the older (and closer to adulthood) my son gets, the more I realize it’s fine. We’ll see where he ends up…It’s such a family decision now because it’s so expensive. Cross fingers for scholarships!!
      And, I have lots of thoughts on Facebook and teens – and it involves teens not having it. πŸ™‚
      Hope you had fun on your camping trip!

  2. Hi Sara,
    We’re not doing a big family vacation this year, either. But we are taking some time to relax (I’m on vacation at home this week — with the help of two daughters to do cooking and cleaning), throughout the summer.

    September is a better time for us to get away for a day or two, and this year we’ve chosen to do some day trips, visiting towns and sights within a 1-2 hour drive for the day. We’ll save on lodging, we won’t have to pack everything we own (you should’ve seen our car last year on our family vacation), and everyone gets to sleep in their own beds. The key for us is to just make it interesting, relaxing and skip all work for that day. That works for us.

    For our area (Seattle), summer is the best time to just hang out here.Mid-winter will be a better time for us to have a real getaway — lower cost to travel and get out of the gloomy weather in winter.

    To get that “family bonding” time in, we’re doing family Sunday evening dinners every week. We watch movies, play scrabble, sit around a campfire and make s’mores — that sort of thing. It seems to be working for us.
    Lili@creativesavv recently posted..You are sooo lucky!

    1. Hi Lili ~
      Well, that sounds like a lovely plan for summer! You’re smart to schedule in time for family dinners and bonding time – weekly.
      While I like having time at home, I like projects, too. It’s hard for me to just ‘relax’ at home because I always see something that needs ‘doing.’ I admire your ability to make your home a vacation spot. I need lessons!! πŸ™‚
      Smart to travel when it’s less expensive as well…
      Thanks for writing in.

      1. I find it difficult to ignore those things that just need doing, too. But, as I posted on my facebook page on Monday,when I’m on a mini-vacation, I try to stick with the “work” that fills me with joy, such as making preserves or fixing up the bean trellis. (Vacuuming does NOT fill me with joy!) These mini-vacations help me to prioritize what’s important for my personal fulfillment. They get me back on track, so I can lead a balanced life and get out of the rut of clean it up, make it dirty, clean it up, make it dirty, etc.

        There were several times this week, where I felt compelled to do some cleaning, but resisted the urge, knowing that the work would be waiting for me when my mini-vacation was over.
        Lili@creativesavv recently posted..Even with a large garden, I still have to buy some produce in summer

  3. Any time at home alone is a vacation for me. I never get bored – always a book to read or a DIY project needing to be completed. – or another blog to stalk. Enjoy your quiet home!
    ruthie recently posted..Hospital Gown

    1. Ruthie…you crack me up! I don’t get bored either. Although my husband made me promise not to open up any walls or add plumbing while he’s gone, I’ve found plenty to do. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Sara – I met your lovely children last week. It appeared they were taking their alternative plans in stride :). I hope to meet you and your husband and see them again in the future. I hope they continue to enjoy their college tours. My kids had cell phones in high school. I like the fact that they learned how to use them under our roof πŸ™‚ I’m enjoying your blog and am starting the declutter process…

    1. Oh, Laura, that is lovely you met them! My dear mother in law must have told you about Go Gingham – the kids like to keep it under wraps – LOL!
      So glad you’re enjoying reading and good luck with the decluttering. It’s been a necessary project but I’m dreading the upcoming ones we’ve got scheduled. Next up is my sewing studio which Brad made me promise to NOT tidy it up before I took photos.
      Thanks for stopping by… πŸ™‚

  5. I am “vacationing” at home for the month of July while my husband and son hike the John Muir Trail. The minute they left town I called a painting contractor and the local trash company to have a bin delivered. I have been tossing and sorting things right and left…I tell myself “It’s ok” as I rid myself of clutter that I couldn’t let go of for years. All in anticipation of “the big reveal” when they come home. It feels wonderful!

    1. My, my Susiqca you are ambitious! I’m so excited for you. I hope you’re sleeping, too. I always joke that while everyone is away, I may not sleep so I can maximize every day. LOL! Crazy.
      You’ll need to give us a full report when they return. Their trip sounds awesome and what a wonderful way for father and son to travel.
      Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  6. Sara, my thoughts:

    1). My kids probably had cell phones in middle school. T-mobile has a family plan that is ultra cheap and there were several times when they needed to get in touch with me. They definitely had them for all of high school.

    2). We are going on our first big family vacation in several years. Our third dog has a lot of anxiety, and it took us a long time to find a dog sitter who she could warm up to. Mission accomplished. In August we are taking Teddy to Boston to look at schools. This is our second trip to Boston, and we will take in Red Sox games while there. Normally I take the kids to LA to visit my folks, or Ty takes them to his family reunions.

    3). Which brings me to point three. Ty’s family has a reunion every five years. One was last year. He finally let me off the hook. These are not vacations, they are categorized as “trips” by all the in-laws. I think they were actually pretty ticked off that I didn’t go. You know, misery loves company. Anyway, while all three of them were gone, I completely remodeled my TV room. I wish I had torn down a fence as well, but will have to save that for the next reunion.

    Can’t wait to hear what your Son decides. Have a great summer.

    1. Hi Melissa ~
      Your summer sounds awesome and this weather is very agreeable!
      My son did get a cell phone this year – at 17. Actually, he and I got smart phones at the same time. They are convenient but I’m glad we waited.
      I love that you are so project oriented and making your home – soon to be garden – how you want it to be. My remodeling this trip has focused on my new to me vintage travel trailer! I can’t wait to use it but it’s in need of work.
      We’ll have to compare notes on the Boston schools – once I get some details. πŸ˜‰
      Enjoy your summer travels – and time alone!

  7. Whilst it’s winter in Australia, I like to vacation (holiday) to somewhere warmer – so tomorrow I’m off the Japan. Alone, and joining a tour of others from the voluntary state emergency service I’m part of (but never met these souls).

    As a family, we travel less and less, I’m the oldest ‘kid’ at 29, the youngest 23 and currently in Sth America. The last family trips were India, and another to the US when we all flew in and out at different times, but had a week together in NYC and Atlantic City. The US trip was seamless, except my brother, who is of age, wanted to go to clubs, and my mother was incredibly anxious. Thankfully, IMO, he got to go with his independence. Man that was a fight!

    Last weekend, i went out of town with my BF and my parents – that was a first, but as I said to all, a holiday with my favourite people, and it really was. That being said, it was hard to adjust to my roles as both daughter and girlfriend!
    SarahN recently posted..Japan packing

    1. SarahN, thank you for sharing this slice of your life! It is interesting to hear how “20-sometings” are with parents + BFs. I’ll look forward to those years….
      Enjoy your trip to Japan! Safe travels and I can’t wait to read about your adventures! πŸ™‚

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