Go on a vacation with your family and one thing is almost certain: you’re going to create memories—and hopefully laughter—for years to come. I want to share one of those memories from my family with you.
Years ago when our two boys were smaller, we used to camp in a tent. There was something about sleeping in the cold, clear mountain air that we loved. During one trip, however, we got a little too close to nature.
We were all sleeping in our tent when my wife, Jean, and I had an unexpected wake-up call around midnight. A big, hungry black bear raided the empty campsite next to ours, knocking over a large dumpster in his search for food.
The boys didn’t even wake up – but needless to say, Jean and I were quite alarmed. What would we do if the bear came near our tent?
After some discussion, Jean and I decided we’d roll over on top of the boys and act as human shields. Our plan might sound heroic, but it was more the result of desperation than bravery – there was nothing else we could do! Thankfully, though, the bear finally sauntered off about 3 a.m., leaving Jean and me too wired to sleep.
The next night – yes, we stayed another night – we put our noisy re-chargeable air pump right next to the sleeping bags to be employed in the event of another marauding bear. It was a wonderful plan – in theory, just not in practice.
It was about two in the morning when our little guy Troy triggered the air pump with his tossing and turning. The noise blasted through the quietness of the night. Jean and I woke up half the campground trying to turn the thing off! We couldn’t believe it.
Let’s just say that, by the next summer, our family had purchased a used camper trailer! (I’ll share a bit about that “adventure” in the video below.)
The story has become legend in the Daly home. It’s a memory we’ve laughed about over and over again, a shared experience that binds us together.
Memories like these draw us closer as a married couple and a family. Remembering and cherishing the moments we’ve shared together is one of the reasons why I take summer vacations so seriously! They make all the time and effort Jean and I spend planning and saving for these trips worth it.
I bring up the importance of memory-making and trip-taking because I want to invite you to join my wife, sons and me on a family-oriented vacation next year to celebrate our ministry’s 40th anniversary.
We’re commemorating the milestone with a Bahamian cruise aboard the Disney Dream!
The Focus on the Family 40th Anniversary Cruise will take place on Nov. 13-17, 2017. We’ll spend four nights sailing to the Bahamas with stops in Nassau and Disney Castaway Cay, a private island paradise.
We want this cruise to be an amazing stress-free vacation for families to enjoy and remember. That’s why our team is working hard to ensure the trip provides the perfect combination of Christian entertainment, Focus teaching, and fun activities. Those families who join us will have opportunity to:
- Have fun with me, Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley, Danny Huerta (Executive Director of Parenting), and several other Focus leaders.
- Hear messages from respected teachers and longtime friends of Focus, including Ray Vander Laan (That the World May Know film series) and Dr. Del Tackett (The Truth Project film series).
- Take part in Focus-exclusive family entertainment and activities, including an Adventures in Odyssey 30th Birthday Live Show.
- Attend a live Focus on the Family broadcast taping.
- Enjoy a concert featuring a popular contemporary Christian music artist.
All of this will take place on the Disney Dream, which offers unique and specialized activities for kids, tweens, teens and adults; Broadway-caliber musicals and live shows; fireworks at a pirate-themed deck party; and first-run Disney movies in state-of-the-art theaters. Plus, it’s the first “Very Merrytime” voyage of the Christmas season, meaning all on board will experience extra entertainment, special decor and Disney characters dressed for the occasion.
If you want to learn more about the Focus on the Family 40th Anniversary Cruise, please visit www.FocusCruise.com. To help with your vacation planning, we encourage you to book by Nov. 12 of this year to take advantage of half-off the required 20 percent deposit.*
We hope you’ll consider the Focus cruise for your family vacation next year. And as it relates to this year’s vacation, I’d love to hear what your plans are! From relaxing “staycations” to all-out adventures, let me know what’s in store for your family in the comments section. And if you have a fun or humorous vacation story, please share that, too.