Lessons I Learned on Vacation with my Mom

by Brianna Krueger /
Brianna Krueger's picture
May 11, 2015 / 0 comments

Over the years my mom has acquired a few nicknames from my dad, brother, and I. Sue Gopher; Pokey; the maid – and she’s always taken it in good stride. In fact, she came up with Sue Gopher herself, though she doesn’t remember why. It’s not like she likes gophers or being one. There are some mysteries in life we’ll never solve.

But there are others are you learn to uncover, specifically from your mother. In honor of mother’s day, I’ve chosen to remember what my mom has taught me on vacation – add yours in the comments!


Chocolate is good for you.

I love chocolate. I’m 99% sure it is its own food group, and my parents must have assumed so as well because they loved feeding me chocolate. The only thing better than chocolate is having chocolate at Disney World - of which between the ages 2 and 9, I considered to be my second home. Princesses and chocolate, and magic, oh my!

Anyway, this one time (no, not at band camp) at Disney World, my mom decided to give me a chocolate Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. And because I couldn’t walk and eat, let alone see above 3 feet, my mom lifted 2 year old me and my ice cream bar onto her shoulders. Nothing quite like eating chocolate from what seemed like the top of the universe. Apparently, Disney’s universe was a lot better than my chocolate because instead of eating it, I let it melt…. and drip onto my mom’s head. To which she minimally wiped off and walked around with dried chocolate in her hair for the rest of the day.

Apparently, chocolate is not only good for the soul, and your skin, but your hair as well! 


Don’t let moments pass you by. 

My mom’s biggest fear is being cold. She’s the type that can be lounging at the beach on a gorgeous 80 degree day and still be wrapped in blanket with a cup of coffee complaining it’s not warm enough. During winter, she hibernates – we don’t see her half the year. 

So when it comes to riding the jet ski, it’s gotta be warm for her. One year, as it neared October and hibernation, she wanted one last ride and thrill on the jet ski, but it wasn’t quite bathing suit weather, and the wetsuits were already packed away for the season. Instead of letting the moment pass and head to her season of puzzles, she found a way to do what she wanted without the fear of being cold.

She rode the jet ski styled in sweatpants and a sweat shirt, and didn’t care who saw her. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to not let the good times pass you by or sit in the shadows of wondering ‘what if I had?’


Lessons I Learned on Vacation with my Mom - bravery!


Sometimes it’s okay to not help out.

My dad think he’s the master (over) packer so he’s often heard telling, specifically to my mom, “you’re in the way” when we’re packing the car. Perhaps it’s her gopher-ish nature, but she likes to stand around with her suitcase, and while it’s not like she’s stands in a spot all too inconvenient, she’s still told to be in the way. So she learned to put her suitcase off to the side and walk away and not help out. 

After all, it gives her more time to finish all her pokey tasks and be in the car a little sooner than normal. 

With this lesson, don’t mind if I do. Or, don’t. 


Enjoy the little things.

Not all vacations need to be enjoyed at high-speed. Sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and relax. Whether it’s with a cup of morning coffee in the sun or enjoying a television marathon by night, it’s these little things you might end up remembering.

I consider my family trip to Puerto Rico to be one of my favorite trips, yet not all my memories are from the exploring we did. One of my fondest was Starbucks coffee and a bagel breakfast on our hotel room balcony. The sunshine, the view, the coffee; simple but amazing.

Other trips, like my summers spent in Minnesota between semesters at college, I had a whole state to explore, but found the best destination was actually my sofa. Over the course of a few summers, my mom and I watched full seasons of multiple shows that left us a little empty when they were over because it meant no more of those characters, or our night time ritual. Until we picked out our next show.

Or maybe the little things are when you listen to the same CD on repeat in your rental car, so that every time you hear those songs you’re taken back to your trip, and those songs become a part of your life soundtrack – A girls-only trip to Orlando. From Disney to Sea World to Universal and everywhere in-between, our CD was there for those moments.  

Often, these moments that seem so minuscule are the ones that can impact you the most and warm your heart.


Don’t Buy Fancy Lunch Bags

My commute to work used to be an hour there and an hour home. After working eight hours between those commutes, it didn’t leave me much free time to take care of things I needed to do, especially stuff for my car. It was always with me and always home a little too late for the Auto Shop. So my mom occasionally offered to switch cars; I take hers and she takes mine, and takes it to the shop during her less restrictive schedule.

One day, she took my car to the gym with her. I drove a 2001 maroon-colored Durango that was your average car, except it was the size of a mini-tank. Anyway, my mom came out of the gym to find someone has smashed my front passenger car window in and stolen what they assumed was a purse. The joke was on them, though, because it was only a lunch bag - her fancy little lunch bag from target with purple and pink polka dots, filled with empty food containers.

While we got the last laugh at the loser, it still wasn’t fun having a broken window, and we decided, as a family, no more fancy lunch bags. Because they’ll take your sweatshirt too, and almost your Hanson Snowed In album!


Vacation with your mom.

Because after every vacation she will leave you with $20.
And you her love.



What lessons has your mom taught you on vacation?





Brianna Krueger is the Chief Editor for Wandering Educators


Photo courtesy and copyright Brianna Krueger