About a year ago, J and I were returning from a trip to DC to spend a little time together and take my aunt and uncle up on their offer for us to visit them. It was around that same time that I learned that my kids had their own “bucket list” (although they never called it that) of sorts, which included only two things. 1) Ride on an airplane, and 2) See the ocean. After earning a little extra money from some summer work, J and I decided that the following summer would be a great time to take the older two kids out to DC to visit Mark and Kayo again.
Fast forward to Christmas, when Santa brought plane tickets to the kids for their trip.
Fast forward again, to July, when we had scheduled our trip. We flew out of Des Moines, with Delta. I think I ended up flying in and out of Des Moines four weeks in a row, each time on a different air carrier. Delta was great to the kids, giving them each pilot wings, and making them feel very welcome and comfortable. Delta is one of the few airlines I rode on this year that still provides both snacks and drinks. In fact, they provided a choice of snacks, as well as offering an app to download to watch movies for free on your device. Sometimes they can get a little pricy, but when I booked my tickets it was the cheapest rate, so watch for good deals.
Staying with family can have its own list of considerations when you travel, but Mark and Kayo are great hosts. I always worry about putting them out, or the kids being too loud, but it is so great to have a place to land at the end of the day that isn’t a cramped hotel room. Or to have a home cooked meal instead of eating out all week. Above and beyond that, my aunt Kayo is one of the best cooks you’ll ever meet, mixing her Japanese/Asian inspired flavors with more “traditional fare.” And Mark has outdone himself with his man cave in the basement. The kids loved watching movies, playing pinball, and A became a Dig Dug pro on the Ms. Pacman multicade.
The kids loved getting to know Mark and Kayo as much as anything else on the trip. Kayo and I enjoyed wine at dinner, and lots of adult conversation, and all of us enjoyed Uncle Mark’s evening tradition of an ice cream treat before bed.