What to expect on family vacation

7 Things To Expect When Vacationing With Your Whole Family

Ever been on a big family vaca?


Every year for Fourth of July week, my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins flock to Cape May, New Jersey for an annual beach trip. Since I was one year old, it has been the tradition to gather at Nana and Pop-Pop's beach house and celebrate the Fourth, and my mom and her two brothers' birthdays (which are all the first week of July). All 16 of us pile into "Pop-Pop's Funny House," as I would call it as a kid, and eat, sleep, shower and do anything else you could think of.

If you've ever gone on a family vacation with all your family and cousins you know how awesome it is. You're pretty much laughing the whole time at the random things that happen and at how nutty your whole family is when they get together. But there are also little things that start to bug the crap out of you after a while when you're all together!

Here are a few things that always end up happening on family trips of mine and I'm sure you can relate to some of the same shenanigans!

1. Sleeping in is not an option.

Whether it's the little guys running around downstairs or Nana coming in and throwing open the blinds at 8 am, sleeping in is just out of the picture this week.

2. Someone is getting a hair cut.

And most likely in a Mohawk. I'm not sure why, but these vacations always call for a buzz.

3. Get ready for backyard fireworks.

My pyromaniac brothers always make sure we have a boatload of backyard fireworks.... queue nervous mom and aunts, and scared dogs!

4. Something is going to need to be fixed.

When you get my Pop-Pop and uncles together we're either about to start a new project or finish an old one. The bike's tires are going to need pumping, the lawns going to need mowing, oh any way you can help!

5. Any diet you thought you had is going out the window.

Cookouts, desserts, snacks, snacks, snacks! I've been trying to be vegetarian this summer but I know as soon as my family all gets together my food choices aren't really my own. I'll most likely eat chicken, not because I want to eat chicken, but because we're having bbq chicken and that's that. Also, the pantry is filled with Chips Ahoy's sooo...

6. There is always cake.

There is always cake... and never candles. We're always scavenging through drawers to find odd end candles! And be careful you don't drop the cake!! (that only happened once).

7. Family photos will be taken

The annual Fourth of July cookout photo is something you can always count on.

(yeah we made the paper once, nbd)Cierra Peterlin

Most of us can look through albums and find family photos from vacations just like this. Even if you can't sleep in and have to shower last after the beach, these are some of the greatest times with some of the best memories. And, as I'm writing this article I am in the midst of another family trip, so I can't wait to see how the rest of this Fourth of July week family vacation goes! I'll tell Nana and Pop-Pop you said "Hi!"

(All photos are real, authentic Brown/Peterlin family vacation photos)

Cover Image Credit:

Cierra Peterlin

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6 Cheap Ways To Celebrate Your Fourth

If you have not yet decided how you will spend the Fourth of July, here are some affordable ideas that will spark your interest.

Independence Day has arrived! If you chose to stay close to home for the holiday weekend, there are still many possible was to spend your day. For those of you who have not yet finalized your plans for the Fourth of July, here are some ideas that will make for a fun holiday, but will not break the bank.

1. BBQ with friends and family.

Tye-dye a shirt or sew stars and stripes on an old pair of shorts to wear out on the fourth.

3. Enjoy America's pastime.

Since most people spend their day at family gatherings, you can find discounted MLB tickets. So, you could catch a baseball game for half the price. Just try to avoid costly food while you're there!

4. Go camping.

Take your family to local campgrounds or even in your own backyard, pitch a tent, or a camper, and enjoy your weekend outdoors.

5. Go out on the lake or river.

If you do not have a boat or know someone with one, you can take kayaks or paddle boards out on the water.

6. Watch your local firework display.

Sit up some lawn chairs and enjoy a firework display, free of charge, to celebrate your freedom.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Fourth of July! God bless the USA.

XO & best wishes,

Ashley Rose Corbin

Cover Image Credit: United Realty Group Wellington

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We Need to Forget About Advertising And Bring Back Small-Town-Style Parades

What makes small-town parades special


Today it seems most parades are extended commercials; each business uses their own float as an advertisement but it seems the foundation of a modern parade should be more than just a consumer's buffet. The Chatham Fourth of July Parade in Cape Cod, MA is considered one of the last small-town American parades.

What makes the small-town American parade special is its emphasis on community. I've had the luxury of walking in the Chatham Fourth of July Parade for three years now and every year there is a theme that somehow relates to their town, it is town pride.

What's special about this small-town parade is the passion its participants have. It's not a hundred professionals, strangers to each other working to put up the big inflatable snoopy or the muppets float like the Thanksgiving day parade. The focus of the parade is not one big celebrity people could only dream of having a conversation with. The small-town parade is average people with average jobs coming together to create something not even close to average.

All of the locals in town work on their own float for what they are representing, like a small business or theatre troupe or ice cream shop. It's a small-town, most of the people in the parade know each other and lend each other materials or ideas. Technically the Chatham parade is a competition, each float competing for a plaque and some publicity but that's not why all of these people come out to participate.

It's not to win, or to show-off their businesses or events show how fancy their float is. It's to have fun and to make the spectators have fun. It is a time to forget the troubles back home and enjoy the people you are watching the parade with. It is an opportunity to live in the moment.

As I walked the parade route, I saw all of the people watching smiling or talking or singing along to each float's music. The kids were all sandwiched in the front row with little bags or frisbees eagerly awaiting the goodies traditionally handed out. It's like Christmas in July for the kids. The parade route is hot, with close to no shade, even just sitting watching is enough to dehydrate for the day and yet nobody seems to care.

Everyone is still smiling. The point of a parade is not to advertise or show-off, the point of a parade is, as the Chatham, Cape Cod parade proves, to bring a community together under a common theme. It doesn't matter if the theme is pride or holidays or any other hundred themes, all that matters is the people of a community are together, supporting each other and having fun.

Cover Image Credit:

Anna Favetta

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