I'm not sure exactly when the tradition started, but we started to get together with my mom's extended family on Thanksgiving each year. After my grandmother moved to Palm Springs, we decided to make a big trip out of it one year and went to Disneyland and Joshua Tree National Park.
We were no stranger to trips, though usually we traveled by car and not airplane. We were no strangers to long car rides, having driven as far south as Florida and as far North as Maine from our home in Ohio. Sure, Matt had a tendency to get car sick, especially if the car interior was red, but we were always able to make good time. I'm sure dad considered making the trek from Ohio to California by car (a trek my family is planning on making in reverse soon) but considering the short duration of the Thanksgiving break we took an airplane.
We had a good time on our family trips (when we finally made it to our destinations) and it's something I want to do more with my family. I don't think I fully appreciated the range of experiences I was able to take in because of our traveling. Dad took us to museums in Europe, to state and national parks in the U.S., to shows in such cosmopolitan cities as Pittsburgh, to beaches along Cape Cod, and to family time and time again.
Last summer we had our last trip with my father. We met up in New Hampshire and Maine for a week. My children were so glad to see their grandfather. I didn't know it would be the last time we would see each other, but I am glad that we all had a last trip together.