Keeping a vacation journal


Growing up, my family spent a week every summer at the beach. My grandparents had a trailer on the bay where they lived all summer long; and for 2 weeks, my aunt would rent a condo right across the street. My family stayed with her for one of those weeks. We spent the week fishing, crabbing, and clamming off my grandpa’s boat. We rode rides on the boardwalk, played on the beach, had campfires every night, and played pranks on my cousins and my dad. They are some of my favorite childhood memories.

Somewhere in all those years, my aunt started bringing along a journal that was always on a table for anyone to write about what was happening that day. She has several of those books filled with so many memories of things like late-night card games gone crazy or when my dad was painting my cousin’s toenails while he was sleeping. I love that we recorded all those memories.

A few years ago, my husband and I decided we wanted our kids to grow up with similar memories and made it a priority to spend a week at the beach. On the Christmas before our first beach vacation, we got a blank journal with the words Beach on the cover.


I leave it in our large suitcase throughout the year and then, when we are at the beach, sit it on the table for everyone to write about their days.


My kids love drawing pictures and taping in little mementos from things we did that year. As they get older, I am excited to see what they write about, and what memories are important to them.

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