10 Best Grandparent Trips
Updated on: April 2023
Best Grandparent Trips in 2023
Grandparents Michigan Style: Places to Go & Wisdom to Share (Grandparents with Style)
How to Babysit a Grandma
Family Field Trip: Explore Art, Food, Music, and Nature with Kids (Child Raising and Parenting Book, Montessori and World Schooling Book, Summer Vacation Guide)
Amy Lee, Dream Too Much
Child of the 50's
Just A Day at the Pond - Little Critter
- ENCOURAGE literacy skills with highlighted narration
- FOLLOW along with three fun ways to read!
- LEARN new vocabulary with tappable words
- TAP objects to hear their name read aloud
Retro Road Trip
25 Solid Gold Maori Songs (Traditional and Contemporary Maori Music)
On the Road With Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Collection (Road to Singapore/Road to Zanzibar/Road to Morocco/Road to Utopia)
Fond Memories of Grandpa and the Mafia House
I made the mistake of asking my grandfather if I could smoke his pipe. Having a lifetime of experience, he knew just what to say. He looked at my grandmother, smiled...
My grandmother was from a generation that still knew how to cook. Her house was always filled with the smell of baking cookies and pies. Grandpa smoked a pipe. They lived in small home built by their father. They worked very hard for what they had and always were both at ease, and self satisfied.
My grandfather had informed me that we would be going somewhere special in the afternoon. He was the type of person who always saw the best in everyone. For decades they owned a local floor covering business. My grandmother took the orders and watched over a tiny store. Grandpa would install the floors.
I made the mistake of asking my grandfather if I could smoke his pipe. Having a lifetime of experience, he knew just what to say. He looked at my grandmother, smiled and said "of course you can smoke one of my pipes, which one would you like?" He taught me how to load the tobacco and lit a match for me.
I felt like a man, though I had just become a young adult. I never dreamed we would sit around and smoke pipes together. Grandma just went about tidying up the house almost as if she knew what was going to happen next. We finished smoking our pipes. It was time for our special trip together. Unfortunately, I had begun to feel dizzy from the pipe smoke. I then became violently ill. "Let me know when you feel better" he said.
I never did feel better that afternoon. My grandfather had just taught me not to smoke. My grandmother only grinned at his simple ingenuity
We rescheduled our special trip together the next morning. I had no idea where we where going. We drove to some small town in Pennsylvania which had been home to a steel mill. The town looked partially abandoned and dirty. We pulled up in front of a house. The paint was peeling. Underneath the decay, I made out the grandeur of a huge mansion. The home's graceful columns and massive front doors strained against both time and weather for survival.
No one lived in the house. We pushed the door open easily and took our own tour. The huge old stone fireplace hearth was now home to a bird's nest. A giant newel post still anchored the sweeping staircase. I was amazed because I had never seen such a grand house and yet sad somehow, to see no people left. The house left an impact with me and led to lifelong interest in architecture.
We stopped for lunch somewhere near Youngstown. The restaurant building looked almost as old as the mansion had. We stepped inside to the sound of clanging glasses and the bustle of a crowd. The smell of spaghetti hung heavy in the air. Most of the diners were speaking Italian, which I had never heard before. I marveled at a giant fresco painted on the wall.
My grandmother joined us at the restaurant. My grandparents didn't seem to know anyone at the restaurant in particular, although I did have the impression they went there often. It seemed like we were the only non Italian diners in the place. The food was so wonderful it led to a chronic lasagna craving I have yet to fully satisfy.
My grandmother left to mind the store. My grandfather continued his tour. As we entered the Youngstown area he would periodically point out houses and tell me who lived there. Having lived in the town his whole life, he seemed to know most of the history. He had labored in many of the homes installing floors.
The final two homes he took me to made the greatest impression on me. The first was clearly a very nice home. It was built of brick, large, as if to say the owner had made it. The landscape was immaculate. He told me who lived there. I noted the name. Later in my life I would see family members of this person on television and the news. They will go unnamed, mainly because I value my life!
As we approached the next home he parked the car. I was confused because all the other houses we saw were very nice. What were we doing I wondered. Across the street there was large lot. It was surrounded by a chain link fence on all sides, topped with razor wire.
Looking through the fence it was easy to see a square white house that sat in the middle of the lot all by itself. There was no landscape; instead the entire lot was flat and paved with asphalt. Was it some sort of business I asked my grandfather? "Look again" he said. It was then that I noticed the house only had windows upstairs.
Looking across the barren pavement at the house, all I could see on the lower level was one door. "Why does the house have no windows" I asked grandpa. "It's a mafia house" he said. Now it made sense, this house was designed with maximum security in mind. With that, he drove away toward home.
Now that my grandfather is gone, I am only left with a fond memory of that day. Somehow he knew that would be enough.