So I am officially a parent who doesn’t have a clue. According to my 13 year old son, anyway. More than ever I am getting the exasperated look from him like I am from a different planet. Here is the conversation yesterday, as I was helping him with his science experiment that I hadn’t fully read yet.
Him: “Mom, how should I measure my geyser?”
Me: “Geyser… what geyser? ”
Him: ” The one that goes up”
Me: “What do you mean? I thought you needed to drop Mentos into a Diet Coke from a distance?”
Him, eyes rolling “Mom, everyone knows when you drop Mentos in a Diet Coke it causes a geyser – it’s OBVIOUS. Nevermind. ”
Guess I must have missed that viral video.
I thought about many things… including how long does attitude this last… and, just because my life with years of this flashed in front of me, what kind of summer vacation would keep teens happy.
So I am updating an article I wrote about wilderness lodges in Alaska – where I met many teens who loved the adventure.
Visiting a wilderness lodge is not as easy as taking a cruise through the Last Frontier, and is not your typical hotel. There will most likely be a lot of driving to get there…but what a novel way to see the country. The wilderness lodge offers activities as well as meals and a place to stay. It is exactly the kind of travel destination I love to recommend: Sort of off the beaten path…great for kids…lots to do in the great outdoors.
Kids who are used to being plugged in and electronically entertained are probably going to be happier on a cruise, where there is never a shortage of modernization. However, if you want to get your kids away from that…my driving trip through Alaska exposed me to SO many cool things, and I felt closer to nature. Granted, a cruise ship can take you through passages that you normally wouldn’t get to see….and there are some cruise lines that have biologists on board to teach kids about their environment – so a ship is not all pools and play stations.
But the most memorable and teen-attractive thing I encountered on my Alaska by road trip is that I stayed at Tutka Bay Wilderness Lodge. Out in the middle of no freaking where, this place is so peaceful. And rugged. We spent some time in Homer, than took a water taxi to the lodge.
It is located at the southern end of Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula… on eleven acres. There is a main lodge, and six private guest accommodations, so you really feel like you are spending time with your family. The lodge offers organized excursions, so it makes taking day adventures easier.
We went bear viewing…kayaking with otters…and deep sea fishing. After a full day out in the fresh air, there are hearty home cooked meals and a hot tub awaiting. A family with teenagers and pre teens was staying there the same time I was , and the kids said it was their best vacation EVER. I was sold.
There are other wilderness lodges in Alaska… they are unique to the region. Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge is high end and nice I understand, but I liked the owners at Tutka Bay. One website to check for other wilderness lodges is www.alaska.org/where-to-stay/wilderness-lodges or Withinthewild.com
I’m not going to act like everything is easy about traveling this way – it is a lot more work getting around the huge state of Alaska this way, driving or flying from town to town..it’s not like there are places to stop and ask for directions in the middle of practically nowhere. And not a lot of convenient restaurants. So if that doesn’t sound like an adventure, or if you have really young kids then maybe a cruise is for you. Or stick to one place like Denali National Park. But the teens I met loved it.
Alaska’s not a luxurious place. It is unpolished, but beautiful. You will find your soul there. There is no Four Seasons… no hotel spa. Not that kind of trip…but wonderful and real. Definitely take the kids. Best time to go, since kids are out of school and weather is nice, is summer – and Tutka Bay is only open May-Sept. – “OBVIOUSLY”.