By Mike Henle Freelance writer

Not long ago, my wife, Carmen and I learned about the value of a family vacation. I haven’t been on a vacation in years. We mapped out a challenging and exciting trip to Texas, and we couldn’t have picked a better place to go.

The trip was to celebrate our granddaughter, Taylor’s graduation from high school, her 18th birthday and early 50th wedding anniversary for us. Taylor also just happened to be born on our anniversary date.
The homes and rolling grass hills provided the perfect background. Even with the sometimes challenging weather, people seem to love Texas, otherwise known as the Lone Star state. We spent more time in the pool than anywhere else and it was worth every minute.

I learned the value of “down time”. I spent time with our oldest son, John learning about woodworking. He and I made an ice cooler coffee table for the patio. I never would have thought using power tools could be so relaxing.

We had walks around the neighborhood, visits to feed the horses at the stables and family time. It’s so important to spend time with the grandkids as they have a different perspective on life. They grow too fast. We also got to see our granddaughter, Makayla perform at her dance recital and just hang out with grandson, Aidan.

The only downside was the bugs! Mosquitoes love me.

We were gone for a week but could have stayed longer. The weather does change fast though. We got to the airport only to have a 5 hour weather delay due to thunder and lightning and rain. We haven’t seen rain in months in Las Vegas.

People complain about the airports, airlines, security but we had a good experience. Even with the delay home, we managed to stay busy. To our surprise, the other passengers just took the delay in stride as well.

I’m now looking forward to Carmen planning trips to see our son, Joe in Sparks and son, Jeff and his family in Detroit. I learned to trust Carmen’s ability to get us to the airport, on the plane and off to more adventures.

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