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Travelling with Mom

It's a day late for Mother's Day but I was just reading a post from RS on his Facebook page about travelling with his Mom. It made me think of vacations with my Mom. Just wanted to share a memory:

About a year before my Mom’s 80th birthday, I had asked her where she wanted to go for her birthday. She told me Hawaii…I’d actually meant where did she want to go out for dinner and if we should organize a party. But what the heck, we planned a family trip to Hawaii. Off to the beach one day and my Mom was so excited. She got into the ocean and told me something that I’d never realized; that she’d never swum in the ocean before and it meant a lot to her to get a chance. It was one of those days where the child became the parent and I was so happy to sit back and watch her enjoying herself. The next day she ramped it up and bought a snorkel, goggles and fins and it is one of my favourite photos. She turns 90 later this year and is dropping hints again of being included on another trip. We'll see.

Anyone else with a memorable travelling with Mom story?

Posted by
2023 posts

My mother loved cruising. It combined all her favorite activities - dressing up, eating food someone else cooked, no cleaning, playing the slots, drinking those fun named fruity drinks, and nightly entertainment. When I was having my first daughter, my hubby, mom, dad, and I went on a Caribbean cruise aboard the QE II, it was 1983. It was so much fun, we laughed and laughed. I have our picture from the formal night dinner sitting on my buffet in my dining room and smile every time I look at it.

Posted by
134 posts

Aren't you a wonderful son! I like your Mom's spunk. There are some excellent scuba diving resorts I can see in your mom's future. Why not ask her where she'd like to go as you did 10 years ago?

Posted by
361 posts

What a wonderful story and memory! About six years ago, my then 77-year-old mom and I went to Madrid and Dublin. We planned the whole trip ourselves and had a wonderful time. We visited museums, ate dinner outside in the plazas in Madrid, and took a day trip to the Newgrange burial site in Ireland.
Our apartment in Madrid had some funky decor, including a male mannequin sans clothing. We named him "Guillermo" and artfully draped a scarf around him, haha. We still mention our "roommate" from time to time when discussing our trip; always brings on a laugh.
Mom was a trooper and it was one of the best vacations I ever had. It was our first, and most likely only, trip to Europe together.

Posted by
4845 posts

The spam post by huku has been reported for deletion. Their Mom would be disappointed.

Posted by
4845 posts

My mother died long ago, but when I was young, we went to Florida as a family every summer, driving the same route to and from.

My mother-in-law came with my husband and I on trips 15-20 years ago. He got less vacation time than I, so she and I stayed longer, after he flew home. One trip included many of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. Another was her only time in Tuscany, more than 10 years before my husband could go there. We lost her in 2012. Take those trips when you can!

Posted by
345 posts

My mom is an interesting traveler. She loves to travel around the US and Canada using a high end tour company. She does best with someone else doing everything for her.

A bit of background. Her parents were world travelers and were always jetting off somewhere, including with my paraplegic aunt which of course was not easy. They usually went for a month at a time to a different country, but when my grandfather retired they did a trip around the world for 2 years, never coming home. This was in 1970, so quite a feat compared to now. This travel gene completely skipped my mom;)

In 2007 we invited her to come along when my daughter and I went to France. She was so excited and I planned everything. Let's just say that foreign travel is not her cup of tea. We all laugh about it now, and it is amazing that she was never taken advantage of. She would hold her pen wallet out to cashiers and tell them to take what they needed instead of just looking at the currency and giving the correct amount. She fell asleep on the metro with her purse unzipped and wide open. She would walk around with it like that too until we noticed and had her close it up. Yes, she was that American that thought if she spoke louder that they would understand her. So it was a great trip, but she has no desire to go to Europe again. I think she could handle London, but doubt she will go. It is a running family joke now, but the memories are still good even though most of them make us giggle.

Posted by
3789 posts

I never travelled with my mother, most likely due to difference in age and location. Perhaps if life had played out differently, we would have traveled together and enjoyed it. But we are perhaps too similar but with a twist and might have spent the time harping at each other. She did, however, keep up the strong influence of travel that my family had. My Dad was more the armchair traveler, my sister has lived overseas for decades, by brother has trotted around and lived in several countries and I was born outside Canada due to Dad's work...but Mom finally fulfilled her travel dreams when I was an old enough teenager to be left to fend for Dad and myself. She enjoyed group bus trips in Europe and would share her plans, and revel in the experience when she got home. Even as an angsty teen, you couldn't help be get caught up in her enthusiasm. But given her complaints (the tardy ones, the inconsiderate ones, the ones who don't follow rules' fellow passengers) I knew she couldn't have been an easy companion for others. Sadly, those complaints and criticisms would have made me very reluctant to travel with her. But I am glad she had the opportunity to do that travel, and when I use my linen tea towels from Scotland, or pass on the heavy cotton one of the London Underground to her grandson, I know she is still a part of me and that shared love of travel and global difference that wasn't so common in suburbia in the 1960s.

Posted by
267 posts

I lost my mother when she was in the prime of her life. But the fact that she was coping with health issues made us not put off adventures when they would arise. A funny experience happened when just the two of us headed to the east coast. Coming from the midwest, we had never seen a round about, and when we found ourselves in one hand no idea how to maneuver it. The signage was not all that great, and of course no GPS. I headed in to a round about and we were both looking around trying to figure out where we were and how to get out of it. On the first round we didn't see the sign for where we were going. So we drove around again and found the exit we wanted, but of course too late to get off. On the third time around we were in the wrong lane, and on the fourth time around, I again missed it and my mom said. "There it goes again." By this time we were both laughing hysterically. Finally we got off on the 5th try, and we vowed to never do another round about. Of course they are now a mainstay, but I still tend to avoid them when I can. And I aways think of that trip with my mom with a smile when I find them unavoidable!

Posted by
1826 posts

My mom is an interesting traveler. She loves to travel around the US
and Canada using a high end tour company. She does best with someone
else doing everything for her.

My Mom has always been like this. Due to income issues when I was a boy, we didn't take a lot of vacations, and when we did, we didn't go far. Every year my dad would take us to Sicamous, BC; same campground, same campsite, same 2 weeks in July. I didn't know there was a bigger world. But after my dad passed away and my Mom retired, she and her twin sister started taking senior's bus tours in Europe, and all over the US and Canada. She and my aunt were too timid to set out on their own and so tours were the way to go. Thinking about it, maybe that's a reason I get defensive when I hear comments such as "tours are for lazy people" in this forum. In my mind I think of my Mom and need to protect her. She is far from lazy, but did need to stay in her comfort zone.

Posted by
1373 posts

My Mum took some bus trips from Canada to California with her friend, in order to visit my godmother there.
She would have been in her 60's then, I guess.
I thought that was quite brave of her, as she left my Dad at home.
No cell phones then to keep track of her!
In 2004, when she was 84, we had been doing some family history, and connected with her long lost brother in the UK; so she and I went to England for a family reunion.
She managed fine, and we both enjoyed the trip; though she snored like a trooper, so I had to sleep on the couch in our rental apartment in Cheltenham with a pillow over my head!
We also went to Toronto a couple of years before that to visit her wartime friend, whom she hadn't seen since 1956.
I'd never been there, so we both enjoyed that too.
She always wanted to see the Taj Mahal, and to go back to Italy where she had served during WW2; but after the last trip her dementia was appearing, and I didn't think it would be a good idea to go even further afield with her.
She was very happy in her dementia, and still talked about her childhood in England; she died at the age of 96.
I'm glad I was able to go a couple of places with her!

Have people read "Incontinent on the Continent" by Jane Christmas?
It's a hilarious, and a little sad, account of when the author took her own mother to Italy...well worth reading, as are her other books.

Posted by
1826 posts

No cell phones then to keep track of her!

In the Fall of 1989 my Mom and my Aunt were on a bus tour along the Pacific coast. I'm at home getting ready to watch the World Series game from San Francisco when an earthquake interrupted the pregame show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_PIt-m7wUA

It didn't occur to me right away but soon after I looked at my Mom's itinerary and realized she was supposed to arrive in San Francisco that day. It was about a day and a half before we heard from the tour company that everyone was OK. They were across the bay in Sausalito when it happened. They saw some smoke and fires but didn't realize what had happened. The bus bypassed San Francisco and found a hotel somewhere south. No cell phones, so all we could do was sit and wait for word. It was a tense 36 hours.

Posted by
628 posts

My folks traveled often and widely after they each retired for the last time. They used Elderhostel (later Road Scholar) mostly but they'd have been big fans and clients of Rick Steves.

Posted by
345 posts

Allan--I agree, tours are perfect for some people. I have not been on one so can't say, but I would not be opposed to it, depending. Growing up we did the same vacation. The same campground, every weekend during the summer, and every year. My dad's busy time was the summer, so we could only get away for 2 nights at a time, and that was the easiest thing to do and it was relaxing for him. I loved those trips, but like you did not realize there was a whole other world out there. When my grandparents would travel, that was so out of my realm that I didn't grasp it until later. When I was in college I wanted to do a study abroad term and my parents pretty much flipped and that was the end of that discussion. So once I had the opportunity to go visit my husband on a port stop, I jumped at the chance. Got passports for me and both kids and we took off to Portugal. Best decision ever!!! Funny about the SF earthquake, my dad was at the ballgame with a friend. They hopped in a random strangers car to get out of there.

Posted by
3894 posts

I had travels with my mom and dad when I was a kid, of course, but as an adult - in 2013 mom came to Italy with my husband and I (my dad passed in 2011). She'd only been overseas before once to the UK when she was young to visit her mom's family, then multiple visits to Portsmouth to visit my sister/grandkids over the last 10 years - but no sightseeing really, other then to nearby places.

So - I did all the planning - she went over about 3 weeks before to sister visit. We flew to London and trained to Portsmouth, spent a few nights visiting my sister, then back to London for a partial day. Then we flew to Naples. Spent the night - hit Pompeii on our way to 3 nights on the Amalfi Coast, 5 nights in Rome and 3 in Venice.

And other than her have a giant suitcase (because she was visiting my sister and taking things over) as well as a carry on - that made train travel a PITA (hindsight - we should've left that suitcase with my sister and had a grandkid bring it to London before we went home) - we had great fun. I'm lucky in that I get along famously with my mom (I'm trying to think of any time as an adult that I've been mad at her, and I've come up with nothing). And, I guess I get my morning person gene from her - we would go out early and roam Amalfi, Rome and Venice - it was great. After we got home, I told her I would print out photos for her - she even bought an album - but I did a photobook instead and gave it to her for Xmas. She LOVED it - and she tells me she still takes it out an looks at it.

I was hoping this year that we'd go back again - Amalfi was her favourite, so we want to return there, and after watching some Rick videos with her, I think we'll also fly to Paris, spend a few days there, then go see the Chateaux. This year will be a bust, so I'm hoping for a healthy mom next year so we can do it then.

Posted by
1767 posts

My mother introduced me to travel.

When I was eight years old she packed me up off to Girl Scout camp and spent two weeks on her own in Madrid. I learned from her that you don’t need a partner and you should not be afraid of being a single woman traveling

And probably fittingly our first trip together West Spain. And that started a long period of heading to Europe every couple years Spain, France , Croatia , Turkey, London, the Chelsea flower show, Italy, Portugal

I’ve had an amazing number of adventures with her. Sadly she’s no longer able to travel but she still loves to hear about my travels. My favorite of all time twas the year I surprised her with a Greek isle cruise. She loves ruins, she loves Greece. the memories will be with me forever

Posted by
2453 posts

My mother spent her entire life in Philadelphia. She was not an educated or well traveled woman. A big trip was to Atlantic City. I made a minor windfall in a Y2K stock and we decided to take the three kids, my in-laws and my mother on a cruise to Alaska. Mom was an energetic, emotive and loud little Jewish lady. My in-laws buttoned up Protestants. Formal night: these were the days when you dressed up-men in tuxes (including my then 6 year old son) women in cocktail dresses. There were two Mexican entertainers, strolling mariachis if you will, going from table to table singing, playing guitar. When they came to our table they asked for requests and Mom says “do you know La Bamba?” They reply “do we know La Bamba!!” And energetically launch into it. Mom stands up and starts to dance with them to applause by the surrounding tables. I look at my in-laws and they have frozen smiles. My kids are mortified saying “grand mom, sit down, please!!”. Mom says “what do I care, I’m having a ball and no one here knows me!!”. The song ends, she gets more applause. No sooner does she sit down when a woman comes up to her and says “aren’t you Etta from the beauty parlor on Bustelton Ave?” I miss her.

Posted by
134 posts

Oh, Alan! I love this. Your mom sounds like a delight. Oh, the stories they shared on Bustleton!

Posted by
1826 posts

Sadly she’s no longer able to travel but she still loves to hear about
my travels.

I started taking selfies thanks to my Mom, not a lot but a few everyday while I'm on vacation. Every morning while I'm away my Mom will log onto Facebook to check out my daily travel photos. I had started emailing her a few every morning and then when she joined Facebook I was able to do it that way. The photos were of scenery and sites we'd seen the day before. One day she emailed back and subtlety asked if I was really there because she was seeing no photos of me or my wife. From then on, I take a selfie of my wife and I and make sure one of those is on every Post.

Posted by
119 posts

I am so loving reading this thread.

About 20 years ago a friend I worked with called me up and said British Airways was running a special $349 round trip I lived in Seattle and my mom in Los Angeles I called her up and said let's meet in London she hemmed and hawed and I said you have to tell me now the tickets are going fast. She agreed to go she had never been to Europe before.

I arrived a day earlier and met her plane at Heathrow. We took the tube to our B&B. We just had the best time! We stayed in this b&b behind Victoria station and one night we were sleeping with the windows open and this is very drunk lady was wailing on the sidewalk and it went on for 2 hours...we got to giggling so hard and it was a running joke for years and years.

Growing up my mom's favorite picture was Van Gogh's sunflowers she was so thrilled to actually get to see the original in the National Gallery. I have so many great stories and memories from that trip. I lost my mom almost 4 years ago now to lung cancer and now recalling these memories I am crying happy tears..life is short, Carpe diem!

Posted by
439 posts

My Mother & Father created an environment where travel was natural. They took my sister and I across the USA, to Europe and allowed a long leash for solo travel. After I had been on my own in the military and was stationed in southern Turkey, I trekked across Europe to Norway to meet them on a coastal cruise in Norway……could not have asked for better travel partners. So traveling with my parents was the intro to what’s out there in the world.