The Smallest Moments of Travel Make the Biggest Memories

by Carrie McLaren with no comments

We had just wrapped up six hours of fun at Magic Kingdom Park. Yep, we got there at 8 a.m. and packed in as much fun as possible.  My husband had a business meeting in town that day, so it was just myself and my two girls.

We stopped in to see Mickey Mouse, we flew through the air with Dumbo, we sang along with The Little Mermaid and more. We squeezed a ton of fun into our time at the park – staying just ahead of the crowds and the heat too!

I was tired, yet so thankful for the great memories we made during our ‘girls only’ day at the park. I cherish these days and the memories we make together.

As we made our way back to the hotel, I asked Maggie – my eight-year-old – what she’d like to do for fun the rest of the day. Her answer? Read a book under the tree at our hotel. So, that’s exactly what we did.

We spent two hours on a blanket under a beautiful tree — reading, laughing and of course, taking pictures to remember the moment. They invented silly games, we took turns reading out loud, we said hello to strangers passing by and had a blast.

And now, looking back at that four-day trip, the one memory that sticks out the most from our trip is the time we spent under that tree. Sure, I loved playing at the Magic Kingdom (it is my favorite park!), but that afternoon was the part of our trip I’ll remember the most. Nothing too complicated, just simple fun — and most importantly, they chose the fun!

With the end of the school year here (finally!) and the arrival of summer, that day and our time outside under the trees has been heavy on my mind.

Vacations and getaways can be stressful — especially if you are the one planning everything. That’s my ‘job’ in our family. Sometimes I feel like I plan too much and don’t allow for spontaneous fun, other times I feel like I’ve failed to plan anything at all.

I’m constantly reminding myself that vacations are made to break away from the daily routine, to explore new (and old) places and to enjoy time with family. Relaxing and enjoying each other’s company — and unplugging from devices, people and schedules.

So, with that said… this summer, I’m vowing to slow down and enjoy the small moments and let them happen naturally. No overscheduling and no hurrying on to the next adventure. I want my girls to be just as much involved in the deciding our activities and what happens next. Because that is where the fun happens.

I hope that when they grow up, they remember our afternoon under the trees. It was a few hours of fun, soaking up the great weather and sunshine. And acting silly with mom. And it made my heart soar.

I’m thankful for those memories and I’m excited to make some more memories this summer. Maybe we’ll find a cozy tree to sit under for awhile too.




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