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Deb and family on Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine


Passion for Adventure
When I was a kid growing up in Stoughton, Mass., my parents would take my younger sister Pris and me on month-long camping trips across North America. Our accommodations were simple a tagalong tent trailer pulled by a used station wagon but our modest setup squired us to unforgettable sites, including Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, South Dakota’s Corn Palace, the Petrified Forest, and the Alaska Highway. We passed the time in the car hosting made-up radio shows, creating art projects with materials in our fun bags, and sharing chunks of sweet pecan rolls from our favorite roadside stop, Stuckey’s.

My mother insisted my sister and I record our adventures in journals. It proved habit forming. Thirty years later, I’m still writing travel stories. These days, they appear in national magazines and newspapers, including Country Living, FamilyFun, and the Hartford Courant. If you’re a TV watcher, you may have seen me on Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kelly, the CBS Early Show, and CNN. To promote my book, FamilyFun Vacation Guide: New England and others in Disney’s travel series, I even drove a 27-foot RV across country with my husband, two kids, and parents in tow stopping at TV stations in ten cities along the way.

As a parent of two young kids, I believe family vacations are more important than ever. Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon helps us treasure our planet. Visiting other countries and trying to speak a few words in the native language leads to respect between cultures. Living temporarily without televisions, electricity or running water can be a blessing you’ll have time to learn the names of the stars, play cards by candlelight, and tell jokes until your bellies ache. In short, you become closer as a family.

But adventures needn't involve gas, tons of money, and reservations -- your livingroom, back yard and kitchen are tickets to merriment. I'll never forget the time my dad spent hours with me in the back yard building a solar cooker out of tin foil and cardboard for my seventh-grade science project. The tiny burger took four hours to fry, and just when we were about to remove it and wrap it to show my class, the neighbor's dog Tippy ate it. Some of the best times I've had with my kids involve gathering on our livingroom magic carpet for a night of stories, games and music.

I hope will help make times with your family more special. If you get a chance, let me know what stories you'd like to see on future pages. My hope is you and your kids will be regular visitors. Pull up a chair and make yourselves at home.

Deb (left), her parents, and sister Pris visiting Lake Louise, Canada, 1970





Deb and family on her national book tour, Washington, DC





Cape Cod, Mass.

© Deborah Geigis Berry, The Family Adventure Mom, 2008-11. All rights reserved.

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