Trip for Parents' 50th Anniversary

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Need ideas for parents' 50th anniversary

August 2008

Hi - would really welcome some advice about the following - my parents (mom and step-dad) are celebrating their fifthieth wedding anniversary in 2010. We're here in the East Bay, my folks and siblings all live in different parts of the country. For the past twenty years, we've gone away as an entire family to celebrate every five years (we stay in a condo complex in a family-oriented mountain resort, not too high end) - my brother and wife and daughter, sister and her husband and three sons, and my husband, myself and two kids. Now of course the kids are much older, some will be well into college by then, all the others except the youngest in high school. So here's the question: in the past, everyone has come along. This time, I'm not at all sure the older kids (in their very late teens) will want to come along at all. So I could really use some tips on how to navigate: my inclination is to go anyway, with whomever is available and able to attend the reunion. My sister thinks we should organize this around the kids and make sure we are in a place that is especially attractive to them, so that they'll want to come. My brother is in the midst of a divorce and can't even plan past next weekend. And of course, this is a huge anniversary for my folks and I really want to meet their needs most of all. So I'm wondering about how to pull this off, where to go (actually, especially where to go - two parties on the East Coast, two on the West), who to include, whether to go anyway even if the teens are unavailable. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. planner by default

When my parents' 50th. anniversary happened 8 years ago, we all went on a cruise. They didn't want a big party with their friends (a lot of their friends have died). They said they just wanted to be with their family, so we all went. There is something to do for everyone on a cruise. There are activities for all ages, and you hang out with whomever you want whenever you want, as much or as little as you want. You have meals together, usually. It's actually quite perfect for a family reunion or celebration. My parents really love cruises. The younger generation does too. We in the middle, from the 50's generation don't like it so much, but for this sort of family gathering, I still think it's perfect. Look into it! burken

Check out Club Med Sandpiper in Florida. It is a fun place for all ages and abilities. If you sign up for their email you will get occasional notices about specials. My husband and I went there pre-kids, and (not being the canned vacation/cruise type of people) we had a way better time that we expected there. It was amazing. It's extremely family-oriented, but also extremely friendly to the child-less at the same time. I think teens, young adults, young kids and grandparents would all enjoy it. We swear we're going back there with our kids someday. The best part is that it's all-inclusive, there are tons of activities that require zero planning and zero extra cost, all meals are included, and the food is wonderful. There's no ''where should we go for dinner tonight?'' Once you get there, you lock your wallet in your room safe and have no need to touch it until check-out time. The more active will enjoy water skiing, sailing, trapeze & trampoline, tennis, yoga, etc (with free lessons and equipment for all of these), but it's just as good for those who enjoy less physical activities. There are three swimming pools including two for families/kids plus a quiet no-kids pool for when you need a break. L

I organized my parent's 50th anniversary/family reunion in Las Vegas, lots to do for everybody of various ages. It was a great success. We all stayed in a motel with a nice pool, many folks with kids went pool-hopping. Practically all the big hotels have theme parks, and there are video game malls. And of course, the strip... They organized a banquet for us that was fine, and there's a Costco there for other celebration supplies/food. We even rented a fountain for champagne, which was very fun but I wouldn't do it again; the champagne went flat too fast. Just a thought... enjoy! Bonnie

Carmel for 50th Wedding Anniversary

March 2007

It is my parents 50th wedding anniversary this year and they have expressed a desire, rather than have a big party, to spend a week in Carmel. Do you have any reccomendations for accomodations Carmel or the area - possibly something cozy with character? I'm thinking of something with a little bit more than a standard motel room type atmosphere for the special occaison. They are in the late 70s but active so I was thinking something near Ocean Ave would be good so they could could entertain themselves and dine without having to get in a car and drive themselves somewhere every day. Eva

We just returned from Carmel over Pres. weekend. We drove down Ocean Ave. which is a great street w/ lots of art galleries, restaurants, specialty stores, boutiques etc. We noticed an inn called the Normandy Inn which looked great for a stay in Carmel right on Ocean Ave. and between all the shops and the actual beach/Ocean. If you're looking for a place for your parents to stay and not have to drive I would definitely check them out. It looks like they also serve a complimentary breakfast. Their rooms look quaint and well done. Good Luck!

We had a family reunion at Asilomar and the weather was so bad we got depressed. In June the weather was glorious everywhere else and grey, cold and windy at Asilomar. The food was so bad we could barely eat it, especially the bag lunches. Asilomar is often a very cold, windy place. We just stayed at Carmel last weekend with gorgeous weather and stopped by Asilomar for a walk on the way home and could barely get out of our car. On both of our visits to Asilomar the weather has been pleasant in Carmel and freezing in Asilomar. Carmel is expensive and staying in Monterey or the Big Sur area is less expensive. anon

We are regaular visitors to Carmel and have stayed at many places - from Casa Palmero and The Lodge at Pebble, to the Carmel Valley Ranch, Bernardus, etc. L'Auberge Carmel sounds like exactly what you are looking for. It is a recently (3-4 years ago) remodeled old inn just a block off of Ocean. Very European - rooms aren't really large, but, extremely well-appointed. The hotel restaurant is probably the best in Carmel. The hotel owner also operates Bouchee, the other ''best'' restaurant in Carmel (he also recently opened an Italian restaurant that we have heard good reviews on). Prices not cheap but FAR less than places in Pebble or Bernardus and such - and not as commercial. It is, to us, a very special place - they really make you feel well-taken care of and special. Content in Carmel

Multi-Family winter vacation for parents' 50th

April 2006

We need help planning a family vacation for 9 adults and 4 children (16,7,4,2) for my in-law's 50th anniversary. We would like to go somewhere warm in late December (their anniversary is December 22) and are looking into Hawaii (Maui or Kauai), Mexico, the Carribean, or Puerto Rico. We are willing to spend some money, knowing that prices are higher at this time of year, but we're certainly not looking for 5 star accomodations. We'd love to all fit in one or two places - villas or condos perhaps. To add to the mix, we also need to be near a hospital as the 2 year old child has hemophilia, and if any emergency came up, he would need to be treated (we're in touch with our doctors about this as well). We don't need super touristy - in fact, we'd prefer to avoid it. But swimming (ocean/pool), some shopping, decent restaurants, and golf would be nice. Any ideas? Thanks for the help!
Family Planner

My family is going to Kauai next Jan. (parents, three siblings with spouses and kids, ranging from newborn-11yr old) 16 of us total. We found a great place, not super fancy, but seems perfect with kids. It is just a short walk to a beach that is where all the locals take babies and small kids, because it is very protected. The place is called Hale Pohaku. We choose it because it has units all together, so we can be close but not on top of each other. It has one big house and several smaller cottages. It has a pool. It is near Poipu, but not right in the middle of town. I believe there is golf course very near by. I don't know about the proximity to a hospital, but I would imagine it is close. I am sure there is one in Poipu. mary

Short trip for 50th anniversary?

Jan 2004

Hi - My in-laws will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in mid-December. Originally they wanted to take the whole family on a cruise. This has now been nixed for a variety of reasons (including the fact that they couldn't find one short enough for my husband, who would go nuts on a 6-day cruise). I am looking for recommendations for a trip that we can all enjoy to help them celebrate at that time of year. The trip would be approximately 4-7 days, depending on where we go. Most family members live in NY, a few live in Florida, and we live in the Bay Area. The only kid will be ours, who will be 6 at the time. The next youngest would be 18 by then. So we need someplace where our kid could have fun as well as the grownups. There would be my in-laws, my brother-in-law/sister-in-law and their daughters (then ages 18 and 20), my other brother-in-law, and my husband, daughter and me. From what I understand, going someplace warm was originally the idea, but now my mother-in-law is talking about going to New Orleans (we've never been). Would be grateful fo! r any reative/fun/interesting idea occupied. Going someplace to just hang out on a beach and veg out, for example, would not work for the majority of the family members - there have to be lots of things of interest to actively do/see. Thanks! L.

If timing is the major stumbling block, please be aware that you *can* get a 3-day or 4-day cruise from Florida. I have taken a 3-day cruise from Orlando to the Bahamas and another 3- or 4-day cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on two different cruise lines. Any travel agent could set you up with trips before or afterward to Disneyworld, Cape Canaveral, etc. I don't care for cruises in general, and I don't unconditionally recommend them, but FYI I liked the Norwegian cruise better than the Royal Carribean because the lunches were better food and better organized. David in Berkeley

There are Mexican cruises that are shorter from around here, but I'm with your husband: Being trapped on a boat for any length of time is my vision of hell. Have you considered renting a big house in a vacation spot? Some place like Cape Cod/Nantucket or the Outerbanks>