Summer Odyssey - Enrichment and Adventure 2019

Posted by on 8/16/2019
It’s the long-awaited summertime once again. For numerous families it is more than time shared in great weather, it’s hours, days, and moments, made available, with great intent to reconnect.  This year over 100 million Americans, many of them families, plan to deviate from normal schedules and over-commitments, to journey to places outside their comfort zone.
Odyssey – Epic Journeys from Beginning to End

Many families will seek beach excursions, at home, or in faraway destinations.  They may choose:  National Park explorations, like Yellowstone, which is about to have an eruption for the first time in 70,000 years, or the Grand Canyon with 2,000-year-old rock matter, perfect for fossil hunters, and many caves and eco systems are waiting to be explored.  The Florida’s Everglades offer families a true, slow-moving river excursion, where crocodiles and alligators live harmoniously, and the wetlands shine with incredible vegetation.  Beautiful Yosemite, in California, offers mountainous adventures, unique waterfalls, crystal clear lakes and sandy beaches. Well-traveled families allude to the fable that “a traveler to Yosemite Valley, turning in a full circle, will see more natural wonders in a minute, than can be seen in a whole day at any other destination.”

The Best of the Far-a-way’s “The farther away you go, the closer the home becomes.” 

There are many fabulous places to visit in the United States that could fill many of those 18 summers shared with children, and then some, with fun and wonder.  So why take far-a-way trips to destinations which require long flights, jet lag, and putting kids through security checks, and waiting in line (on the queue, as they say in London, and abroad)?  There are no experiences in the world which compare to far-a-way travel, for many families who look for life-altering odysseys, which offer personal and intellectual growth.

Home is Great - Africa is Awesome

An excellent example of home versus far-a-way trips might be taking the tribe to the zoo.  Many species of animals may be viewed at state-side zoo’s like Balboa Park, in San Diego, which offers over 600 species from many countries. However, viewing herds of desert elephants, running free, in their native homeland, in the northwest province of South Africa, while on safari, is a spectacular and mesmerizing moment, for every traveler.  East Africa offers destinations that children have read about in school, such as Mt. Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria, and even an incredible hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti National Park, like in the book “The Noon Balloon”. Many lodges offer special family activities, like having a Park Ranger introduce the children to the diverse species of dazzling, colorful beetles and insects, many of which are edible.  There is something so special about Africa that keeps families coming back. It might be the closeness and mesmerizing interaction of the rare and often endangered animals which they see, and often engage with, the fascinating people and culture, or the sheer exotic beauty of the continent’s breath-taking vistas, sunrise and sunsets. It is said that no one can explain the magic of Africa, but it lifts people up to view life from above their stresses, fears, struggles and lofty expectations. 

Families who love, and yes, crave, adventures in those faraway places, can now choose to visit Eilat, in southern Israel, and have an opportunity to experience the magnificent beaches, and coral reefs of the Red Sea, with its neon fish, stingrays and other unique aquatic life. No longer requiring a  road- trip across the 5,000 square miles of the scorching, hot Negev Desert, flights are available, and many resorts in Eilat are brand new, very captivating and charismatic.  Eilat offers:

excursions in glass bottom boats to fabulous underwater reefs, to swim with dolphins
taking the Red Canyon Shuttle to the mountains for hiking and exploration 
Wind or Kite Surfing, and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding offer new water sports to experience
touring Petra, the famous archaeological site in Jordan with narrow walkways through large rock walls
visiting, and actually floating or walking in the Dead Sea and feeling its healthy mud between your toes
mixing and mingling with French tourists, Israeli’s and other worldly traveling families, forming friendships and making memories
experiencing the border with Egypt’s stunning Sinai Peninsula. 
It is said that everyone should visit the incredible sites of this holy city, Israel, once, at least, in a lifetime. 
TOKYO – Epic Journey
Tokyo is an ideal destination for families.  It is a true odyssey because families come to experience the culture of this 15-million-year-old island, see the sites, learn fascinating facts, and have uniquely Japanese fun. Tokyo’s people are very friendly, kind, and informative. In Tokyo, as in all of Japan, the architecture (shrines and gardens too) are unique and stunning.  The extremely popular, 100-year-old Shinto shrine Meiji Jingu, or shrine within a forest, in the heart of Tokyo, protects endangered plants and animals. Families learn what legends have foretold; placing a few coins in the offering box at the main shrine, and making a small bow, allows the wish each person makes there, to come true. Going sailing on Tokyo Bay offers a majestic view of Mt. Fuji, the 2080-foot Skytree Tower, and Tokyo Gate Bridge. Getting anywhere on the metro-subway is fast, smooth and quiet. Taking a bullet train to Disneyland in Tokyo, offers families lots of Mickie and Minnie themes and moments.  However, DisneySea has the most rides, and thrilling adventures for older children, and adults too.  The National Museum of Nature and Science, in Ueno park, has a dizzying number of “hands-on-interactive” dazzling phenomena, like the terrestrial globe, horizontal pendulum, a giant squid specimen, fossils of triceratops, and more.   Legoland Discovery Center challenges “hands on” blocks building of every size. There is an enormous model of Tokyo, built from Legos, and a laser beamed hallway to try and walk through, un-beamed. The cuisine is fresh, and delicious. Popular noodle dishes, udon and yakisoba are plentiful, and a visit to the famous restaurant Tonki, which creates only one dish “tonkatsu” (tender breaded pork), is known globally as the most delicious food of Tokyo. 

Online maps of both Tokyo and the 1st Time Trip to Tokyo Guide, are the best source for planning a family, personalized journey, and crafting time to pursue each member’s choices and interests, for a totally One-of-a-kind trip.

Wherever you go becomes part of you. There are so many memories to be made, and revisited, exotic cuisines to savor, cultures to experience, learn from, and embrace, vistas to capture on camera and download, topography to engage in, and conquer; bringing families the kind of enrichment that deepens bonds, brings a new level of mind expanding information about the world, and its many wonders to everyone.

Whether traveling near or far, or while at home, planning future journeys, creativity inspires priceless future memories. Visit Lucky Poke to pick out a of the variety of games to enhance shared moments and tweak the need to poke some holes with surprising rewards.
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