I must confess; I’m not a seasoned traveller.
I went to Vermont with my foster family when I was 15 years old & gained 10lbs eating Ben & Jerry’s. I went to Tim Horton’s Camp as a child & broke my arm & ended up with a lovely scar. But, my favourite place on that short list is Ontario Pioneer Camp.
The first time I told my foster parents that I loved them & referred to them as my family was when I left for my first trip to Girls’ Camp. It was so easy there. It was easy to be Christian; everyone was. There were no cliques. Everyone was a friend. No one disliked anyone, we all loved each other & wanted to serve God. When I became a counsellor, I loved my little campers. I loved to teach them about life, God & how to sail. Sailing was my passion there; I loved my little boats & everything about them & sometimes, when everyone was asleep, I’d sneak down to my beloved sailboats & enjoy the beauty of the lake. I loved the place so much, that I took the name of it for my eldest daughter. It was a place of peace & joy; two traits I wanted her to have (& she does…most of the time).
But the one place I’ve always wanted to go is New Orleans. I want to go to the French Quarter, walk the old streets. I want to go to the Lestat cafe (if it’s still open) & stay in a big old hotel. I want to go to jazz clubs & old graveyards. When I got married, we were supposed to go there for our honeymoon but finances prevented it. But, I still want to go there so badly…just not during Mardi Gras.
Of course, I also have to go to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. My youngest daughter LOVES football. She’s a little stat quoting analyst who watches NFL AM like it’s church. Once a month I take each girl out for a day of fun and she chose to eat chicken wings and watch her team, the Saints (she also got into a very heated debate with an elderly man which ended in her saying “Mr. Man, stats can’t wie! My team is better!”). Since football is a big interest for her, it’s my job as her mother to understand & embrace her interest (well, I try. She rolls her eyes a lot & explains things many times. I feel it’s payback for the number of times I repeat ” put your backpack away”), so if I ever make it to New Orleans, we’ll be cheering Drew Brees & the Saints to victory, while she’s decked out in her official Saints cheerleading uniform.
Speaking of understanding your child’s interests; the sometimes angry tween has begged me to take her to New Orleans all year. Of course, it’s not for the scenery, or the history, or anything like that. She wanted to go to Wrestlemania XXX, to see her idol, Divas Champion AJ Lee.
I would like to travel to many places, but NOLA is at the top of my list. I hope to get there someday, whether it’s on my own, as part of my “dream wedding” (more on that later) or to take the tiniest princess to see her “boys,” I know I’ll get there someday.