Next Gen: Staycation or vacation?

By Susanna Barbee | Apr 02, 2014
Kristi Sutton and daughter, Chloe Taylor, visit the Biltmore House.

Whether traveling across the globe or relaxing at home, students around the country are gearing up for spring break, anxiously awaiting some much needed rest and enjoyment.

Stephanie Ulery, Waynesville mom to Sarah, 15, and Ben, 5, is excited to be staying home and traveling to local/regional destinations this spring break with her children and husband, Chris.

“We will be venturing to Cataloochee to hike a little and see the elk. We like to take a picnic and just enjoy being outside,” said Ulery. “We have passes to the Nature Center which also allows us discounted admission to the Knoxville Zoo. There is a great dinosaur exhibit currently at the North Carolina Arboretum. They have many activities for kids, and my son, Ben, loves dinosaurs.”

Families in the Western North Carolina region are fortunate to have many intriguing locales within a couple of hours driving distance. Along with the ideas from Ulery, families can visit Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway, camp at a nearby lake or campground, visit museums in Greenville, get wet at Splashville in downtown Asheville, or merely host a large cookout for family and friends.

“Last year for spring break, my husband, Chris, and son, Ben, went to Kentucky to spend time with family. My daughter, Sarah, and I went on a trip to Disney World with the Pisgah High School marching band,” said Ulery. In contrast to last year, she is happy that the entire family will be together this year and staying near home.

While some families are anticipating a relatively quiet and peaceful spring break with staycation plans, other families are traveling long distances to exotic destinations.

Kristi Sutton, Waynesville mom to Chloe, 12, is the Exceptional Children’s Preschool Coordinator for Haywood County Schools. Chloe is a seventh-grader at Waynesville Middle, and Sutton’s mom is an accountant.

With spring break beginning on April 19, all three ladies are looking forward to a week-long break from school and work as well as quality time together as a family.

“Chloe, my mother, and I are traveling to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic,” said Sutton. “Our hopes for spring break are to have a safe and fun trip to a new place we have never been, make some great memories, soak up the sun, relax, and enjoy our time away from work and school responsibilities.”

After surviving a quirky and frigid winter season, many families are merely looking forward to some long-awaited time in the sun.

“I am ready for a nice break from work and to get away for a week.  After such a cold, snowy winter, we are looking forward to getting away from the mountains and going to a warm, sunny location!” said Sutton.

Ulery’s husband, Chris, is the band director at Canton Middle School and her daughter is a freshman at Pisgah. “Chris and Sarah are looking forward to a long break from school, and it not be because of snow,” said Ulery.

Families are unique in their desires and expectations for spring break. Regardless of the destination, individuals of all ages eagerly await spring break as a time for renewal.

As Ulery said, “My overall goal for spring break is to spend some quality time with the family. Our children are growing up too fast, and these times will pass too soon. I’m so looking forward to relaxing and just taking it easy.”

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