Spring break brings fond memories

It’s spring break, which marks a winter/spring vacation for many families.
For many, that means a trip to southern climates where the temperature calls for shorts and swimming suits. Others will be heading to the ski slopes of Jasper and Banff.
When our sons were young, we found our way to Florida to see Disney World and walk the beaches of Fort Myers. My in-laws had adopted that Florida city for their winter retreat.
The boys loved to get up with the sun rising over the island and walk along the sand bar that ran about 100 metres off the beach. At low tide, you could walk to the sand bar and only get your ankles wet. At high tide, the water came to mid-thigh.
Our youngest on the first trip was just over two and was fascinated by every shell. As adults, we were on the hunt for sand dollars we would bleach when we got back to our condo.
The warm weather, the sun, and the water made for great memories.
A trip I remember fondly was to Winnipeg, when we toured the zoo in mid-March. With one son in a stroller and the other in hand, my wife and I walked through the zoo.
We had hoped for warm weather, but for those three days in Winnipeg, the mercury in the thermometer barely even looked at zero. That day at the zoo was cool, and we tried our best to stay out of the wind as we walked the paths.
Zoos are great places to visit in summer but in winter, many of the animals seem as reluctant to go outside as do adults, without being bundled up. But many of the animals were outside and that made both boys’ day at the zoo.
The zoo wasn’t busy, and it seemed we had the whole place to ourselves.
We had planned on spending almost a full day at the zoo but by early afternoon, everyone was chilled and so we headed back to the hotel and pool. I suspect the hotel and pool were the best part of the stay in Winnipeg for our two sons.
As our sons grew up, my wife would rise before dawn and get the two boys moving for Biwabik and skiing. They would return after dark. A couple of days on the slope was equally thrilling to travelling farther.
With both boys now gone, we have found other haunts to discover. This year, we’re sticking closer to home—the need for a spring vacation doesn’t seem as pressing.
And come next Monday, we won’t have the tans to show for the spring break, but we still will be rested.

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