After many fun, but culturally limited holidays with our now-teenagers, we found that being exhausted after our costly yearly traipsing taxed us physically and financially. Once home, we’d only have a T-shirt, a mug, sore feet, and an empty wallet to show for our summer outing.
More importantly, we’d be left with an empty feeling about spending a small fortune to ride roller costars, and then justifying the time spent standing in interminable lines with our children as ‘quality time’.
How about enjoying a relaxing vacation with a purpose instead of waiting for hours at a theme park for a 3-minute thrill?
Early morning on a weekday, we were conveniently whisked away by a driver in a passenger van from Balboa Park in San Diego. And this is where our serene escape started!
After a short hour and half ride, we were escorted across the border to our destination. This service is included with every package at the resort. You can also choose to take a direct shuttle from the San Diego airport.
Rancho La Puerta is located across the border in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. The multi award-winning health and wellness spa and resort was established in 1940, and this summer is offering families a very unique experience: a vacation with intention focusing on relaxation.
Rancho La Puerta ‘s new Family Weeks vacation packages is the solution for families looking for an actual vacation; one where both parents and kids can decompress and unplug while learning new things in a sustainable environment.
The primary focus of these unique family vacation packages is to give you the opportunity to regain control of your well-being, while providing you and your family with the excitement and cultural adventure of visiting a foreign country.
In 2010, Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Polls gave Rancho La Puerta a “World Savers Awards” Honorable Mention.
For two weeks in August of this year, Rancho La Puerta will welcome families with children ages 7 to 14 years old. From August 4-11, and 11-18, carefully planned programs and cross-cultural experiences have been developed with the specific intention of broadening horizons and introducing kids and teens to another culture in the safety and comfort of the 3,000 acre resort.
Parents will be able to enjoy all the traditional programs, fitness classes, and events usually only offered throughout the year to guests 14 years and up.
During Family Weeks, programs will be tailored to age groups: 7-11, 11-14, and 14-17. Children (and parents if they choose to) will be able to select from a specially developed schedule of camp-style activities, lectures, culinary experiences, and presentations from world-class artists and speakers which will make parents want to be kids again.
Here’s only a sample of the one-of-a-kind experiences planned for Family Weeks:
- Animation — Dave Zaboski, a former Disney Animator who worked on classics like “Beauty and The Beast,” “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin” will gently guide the younger set to bring the imagery of a story to life. Learn more about this master of animation at www.thedivineline.net/
- Bio Construction — You don’t have to go all the way to Africa to build a well or latrines in Guatemala to learn about humanitarian work when there’s much to do in our backyards. In this sustainable bio-construction hands-on activity at the resort’s Permaculture Center, kids will get down and dirty with local children learning to mix and build a clay oven. Language doesn’t need to be a barrier when your hands can do all the talking in this cross-cultural experience!
- Strike-A-Chord Family Concert — Karl Anthony is an award-winning entertainer with a soft spot for teenagers. He led the first Russian/American Teen Summit in Moscow, and is the recipient of the 2007 Gandhi/King Season for Nonviolence Peace Hero Award. Karl is not a traditional entertainer, he uses his talents to connect people, and has a creative approach to teach peace.
- Photography — Bring your cameras! Tom Birmingham has worked with Stagekids, and as funding director for Big Sur Arts Initiative in Big Sur, California. See his work at www.bigsurarts.com.
- Cooking with Denise Roa — This enthusiastic chef has prepared healthy dishes for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Hilton Torrey Pines, in La Jolla, California, and Pacifica Del Mar among others. She was an instructor at the Art Institute of San Diego, and will use this experience to show youngsters how and why things are cultivated at the resort’s organic farm. (No, tomatoes don’t grow in crates!) Children, tweens, and teens will pull and pick their own ingredients and then prepare their own meal in a modern-equipped but rustic kitchen. After the culinary class, you and your children can also dine al fresco in a bucolic setting reminiscent of the well-known film, “Under The Tuscan Sun.”
Four pools, private ’casitas’ nestled among vineyards, and a Parkour course round off the selection of unique offerings this world-renown all-inclusive resort has to offer.
Travel + Leisure Magazine awarded Rancho La Puerta the “2011 Development and Community Building” award.
After a demanding year at work or school, a great number of families try to create lifelong memories with their kids while chasing the elusive ‘bonding’ time that intense vacation experiences are intended to provide.
You shouldn’t need a vacation from your vacation. Especially not if you’re spending an avarage of $4,000 making memories — or once there, dreaming about being home with your feet up!
A week at Rancho La Puerta with your family will not only recharge your soul’s battery, it will re-energize your kids’ imaginations by opening their minds to a world outside of their comfort zone without sacrificing comfort…the essence of a real vacation.