Being an active grandparent is a fantastic aspect of senior living. Helping take care of your own children’s children lets you feel young again, see things through the eyes of a child, and exit stage right whenever there’s a diaper to be changed or when a temper tantrum is visible on the horizon.
But even the most dedicated of grandparents can use a bit of time to themselves. All those Saturday morning youth soccer matches and after-school pickups can fray seniors’ nerves a bit and have them idly looking at travel ads for a chance to recharge their batteries.
Plenty of grandparents are major contributors to multi-generational families, which means they’re back on duty Monday morning. But quick getaways for the grandparents can be a great chance to remain connected to one another, take a load off, and remember that part of being retired means relaxing, even it’s just for 48 hours before going to help out with a potluck dinner or a unfortunate case of the flu.
No matter where you live in the US, these quick trips can be a great way to travel to a new location or an old favorite for a couple of days of R&R.
Be still your jaded ideas of Las Vegas as a non-stop party town of gambling fiends and bachelor and bachelorette parties. And while some casinos do cater to just those type of crowds, the old guard of Vegas is still proud of its history and those that remember it well. The Bellagio boasts a gallery of fine art that rivals anything in the Western world. Past collections have included works by Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. If you’re wanting to be entertained, Cirque du Soleil has been dazzling audiences in Las Vegas for 25 years with no end in sight. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for shows. Everyone from Shania Twain to Lionel Richie to Jerry Seinfeld to Celine Dion is playing in Vegas from time to time. It’s a great chance to catch a once-in-a-lifetime performance or two. And don’t forget the gambling! Whether your game is blackjack, poker, or the nickel slot machines, there’s a table for any taste.
New York City:
The city that never sleeps makes it easy to get in and get out without wasting a lot of time in transit. If you’re a history or art buff, the museums are second to none in the world. Like in Vegas, there are amazing shows on Broadway and off of it, so get ready to see the most brilliant musicals in the world come to life. Another great idea for seniors who might find all the walking or subway hopping a bit taxing is to take helicopter tour of Manhattan. Spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the rebuilt World Trade Center and more are waiting for you.
New England Fall Foliage:
If you are a sucker for natural beauty and moving at a bit of a slower pace, a fall foliage tour by rail is right up your alley. Seniors don’t have to worry about renting a car, following directions, or missing one single minute of the spectacular scenery. The rails start as far south as Maryland and West Virginia and can extend all the way to Michigan, Quebec, and Montreal.
Texas Hill Country:
If you’ve ever spent time in Dallas or Houston, it’s hard to imagine hills in Texas larger than the freeway overpasses. But venture out past Austin and you’ll find one of the best-kept secrets of the south. Filled with rivers and rises, wineries and historical districts, the Hill Country is the perfect place to spend a long weekend drinking in the scenery. While there are no fantastic museums or helicopter tours, the Hill Country can be the perfect spot to unwind and let the tensions of running errands and making after-school snacks fade away. If you do need a dose of history, cruise over to Johnson City to see the birthplace of Lyndon Baines Johnson; his presidential library is located at the University of Texas’ campus in Austin.
Senior living comes in all shapes and sizes, but when you’re an active grandparent things can be a bit more hectic. When you’re ready to do a bit of traveling and get away from it all, consider booking a weekend getaway to one of these amazing American destinations.
Cindy Greenfield writes about Senior Health, Wellness and Life-Minded fulfillment. She facilitates and blogs for Cascade Group’s Assisted Living Community in Bellingham.