Bonnie and Jim Pritchard of Geneva have grandchildren geographically dispersed across the country.
Yet, they have been able to create that sense of connection and intimacy that is rare.
For Christmas, each child received a box and inside was a slip of paper with the words, “a trip to Egypt.” As you can imagine, the children were wild with anticipation. Ranging in age from 11 to 15 years, the timing was perfect for the trip of a lifetime.
Cox and Kings, a renowned travel agency, arranged all the details of this private tour of Egypt. Joining Bonnie and Jim were Isabel, Peter, Alden, Olivia and Conrad … and no parents! A beloved Uncle Tom also joined the party (before he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro), which meant there were three generations of the Pritchard family off to explore the Nile.
Soon June 11 arrived and the journey began. In Cairo they visited the massive Great Pyramids of Giza, the open-air museum at Memphis and the necropolis of Saqqara. They examined the treasures of Tutankhamun and the archeological site of Abu Simbel. Boarding Alexander The Great Nile Yacht, they toured the High Dam and The Temple of Phillae. Luxor, Karnak, Valley of the Kings—the list of wonders goes on and on.
For Bonnie and Jim, it was a return to the Nile, having been there 25 years ago. It was fascinating to see Egypt again through the eyes of their grandchildren. The energy and enthusiasm was contagious, and there was no time to tire—so much to do, so much to see. It was a shared experience where cell phones and video games weren’t needed to fill time.
In the thank you notes, there was a repeating theme. “Most of all, I enjoyed spending time with the family,” one child wrote. “My favorite part of the entire trip was having my grandparents with me,” wrote another.
It takes courage to take your grandchildren on the other side of the world without their parents for an extended vacation. For Bonnie and Jim, it was an opportunity to share their love of travel and their sense of adventure.
The real gift from grandparent to grandchild wasn’t Egypt, it was the gift of time. It was about being together. While the Pritchards took this amazing journey with the children, the time could be spent in your own backyard … uninterrupted, focused togetherness. That is the true gift that a grandparent can bestow upon their grandchildren … and that is what builds unforgettable memories.