Growing up I liked to swim. A lot. I was on three swim teams throughout the year and a lifeguard during the summer. So you can easily imagine that when I found out The International Swimming Hall of Fame is located right here in Florida that I would want to visit. It has taken us several years to make the time for it, but an opportunity arose when we decided to make a trip south to Florida’s three national parks (Dry Tortugas, Everglades, and Biscayne).
Since our oldest niece was born we have wanted to help her have a spectacularly memorable event. It could be a gift, an activity or anything really. During one of our brainstorming sessions it occurred to us that this was a little bit like Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and thus the Golden Ticket was born.
Over the years the idea has been refined so that it can apply to all of our nieces and nephews. This means it must be affordable and flexible enough to engage all of the different personalities involved.
We decided that, during the summer following their 10th birthday, each will spend a week with us doing fun things. Time might be spent cooking, shopping, sight seeing, going to the beach, etc. The basic concept is that the child has a lot of input in what we do and there are no brothers or sisters around to interfere. Maybe they want to make and eat a batch of cookies then watch two movies and sit around the house. That’s fine with us.
In the gallery below, I present to you the first Golden Ticket and this week’s Thing of the Week. This particular niece loves reading and writing both stories and plays. We are reading The Hobbit together when we visit so her Golden Ticket tips the wizard’s cap to this idea.