Helping families be happy
JUN, 2012

Sharing Your Anniversary as a Family? 

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Today's guest blog is by Stephanie Porter (Queen Scarlett) who is currently celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary with her husband and two daughters in Europe. She is the author of A Familiy Lives Here: How to Live Happily in Organized Chaos, forthcoming from Familius. 

When my husband and I were married on October 10, 2001 we told each other that we would go to Europe for our 10th anniversary. Why? My husband is a fan of history, and I am entranced by the art, architecture and romance of Europe. We both have a love affair with food, and have wanted to taste our way through countries filled with centuries of history.
Last year we celebrated our momentous ten year anniversary and realized we had better book our trip, or we might let it slip through our fingers. So we did. 
When people realized we planned to bring our daughters, they wondered if it was the right choice for an anniversary celebration. Our answer is two-fold. First, there really isn't anyone we trust to leave our girls with for any period of time. Second, we love sharing adventures as a family, we've grown accustomed to it out of necessity, and after all, our marriage wouldn't be as wonderful without our daughters.
We will embark on our Mediterranean cruise June 15th. We've discovered that unpacking once, and having the convenience of a kids center, entertainment, food, amenities in one place, works wonders for a relaxing vacation. Right now we're enjoying a couple days exploring the mysterious, chic, romantic city of Barcelona. I recently fell in love with this city from afar after reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. 
The story is a mysterious adventure as a young boy comes of age. The city of Barcelona becomes a character in the adventure. The writing utterly satisfied my love of books. In fact, the story is practically a love note from readers to their beloved tomes. There are a lot of gothic undertones in the story, which is no wonder, as Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) is practically the artist du jour in this city.
Tomorrow we visit La Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic church designed by Gaudí. The construction on the church began in 1882, but Gaudí didn't get involved until a year later. Gaudí lived the last of his years working on this church, and in 1926 when he died, it was barely a quarter finished. It is still under construction.
We've only spent a day in Barcelona, and there's something magical walking its streets filled with the sound of Espanol and Catalan. My daughters are enjoying speaking simple Espanol to communicate, and we are grateful for the kindness the people show as we try our best to speak their beautiful language.
We are all enjoying the food. We've had mouthwatering tapas, paella and fideuás, and postres (dessert). My favorite part of this so far, is the chance to experience these new things together. As we do this the girls are discovering different ways of doing things, and opening their minds to the world around them. 
That change in perspective, and widening world view is worth every penny we've saved to get here. Has there been stress, exhaustion, disagreements, and frustration on the 13+ hour flights to get here? Absolutely. However, like with anything worth doing, there's hard work involved. Once all the planning is done, it's time to let go, and enjoy the flow.
Day one has been wonderful, I'm excited to see how the rest of our trip goes.
Have you taken your family on an adventure? What did you learn, love, or would do over? If you haven't yet, where would you like to go? What would you like to do?
You can follow Stephanie on:
Twitter - @QueenScarlett

Blog - Frankly My Dear - www.queenscarlett.com
Porter family photo courtesy of Stephanie Porter
La Sagrada Family photo courtesy of Palabra / Shutterstock.com








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