I recently had dinner with an old high school friend at a cozy café across from the Abbess Metro station in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris. There was a Christmas market in the square across the street and children gleefully laughed on the merry-go-round where I had taken my son around and around (and around) earlier in the day. Although the evening was chilly with a misty rain, the smell of chestnuts roasting, the wine and the great conversation made it warm.

My friend and I caught up on the years that had passed, where old classmates ended up, and how our families were doing. The conversation gradually moved to vacation, a topic we both are quite passionate about. He made the observation that many of his clearest memories are from the vacations that he has taken throughout his life.

I don’t recall much about my tenth year of life except that my mother took my brothers and me on a month long journey through Europe by train. When I was twenty-one, I went to Chile with a great group of people from college on a mountaineering trip and again, not much else from that year comes to mind. When my grandmother was in the thick of Alzheimer’s disease, we went on some long car rides out of town together to visit family. I still remember the blue sweater she wore while commenting on my poor driving skills and I recall her occasional attempts to escape from the moving car.

For most of us, holiday is a small fraction of our lives but the memories from those vacations are often the most vivid ones that we have. We greatly anticipate vacation, we let loose while we are away, we are challenged by new environments and we have the opportunity to intimately reconnect with those whom we love.  Whether we go to an old haunt or an exotic new city, vacation is a time when the routine of life is interrupted and we see the world through a different lens.

As I walked home in the drizzle from dinner through the lively Friday night streets of Paris, the vacations of my life came to mind. I’m so thankful that I had the chance to make those memories.

Our company provides Assisted Vacations for family caregivers and their loved-ones because holiday is a very important part of life.  We help our guests continue making the memories that will remain.

My best,


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