THE BLOG
04/18/2013 08:21 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2013

Divorce Diaries: The New Family Vacation

Alamy

I'll be chronicling my new life as I go through the divorce process and I hope you'll follow my journey. If you're looking for me to bash my ex, that won't happen. But if you're looking for a woman and mom excited for a new life, if you find it interesting to read about the roller coaster of emotions and all of the things that come with starting over... then join me here.

I always remember when I was a kid my mom saying she loved seeing things through my eyes. I never fully understood that expression until I had kids of my own, now especially that they are old enough to enjoy experiences I present them with.

The most incredible things that I have witnessed through my kids eyes have been in the past year, since I separated from their dad. And that's because now I can fully enjoy being a mom on a mission doing and enjoying every journey we take. To me now, there's nothing I can't do. There's no task too big, there's not a thing I can't accomplish as a parent on her own.

Now, any chance I get, I plan adventures for my two boys and myself. Whether it's little things around our city, like touring a new neighborhood, ice-skating at Wollman Rink, taking the kids on the subway to a Brooklyn Nets game or a walking tour of Wall Street, we are always on the go.

However, it's the bigger excursions and adventures that have surprised me the most. When I started to plan my first vacation on my own with my boys, I couldn't decide what to do. With the boys only four and eight, I couldn't figure out what kind of trip would be the easiest to do as a single parent. Should it be a beach trip or something a little more active? Would it be hard for me to keep them busy all day with swimming and playing or should I be more adventurous? I finally decided a mixture of the two would be a successful trip so we headed out west. The planned stay at the Loews Santa Monica would be perfect. Part beach, part boardwalk, part in the middle of a town with things to do. It was perfect except that I didn't plan for the 50-degree weather so instead of the beach and water activities, we mixed it up with day trips to tourist locations around Los Angeles. When we spent the afternoon visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Mann Theater and the Hollywood sign, I became my mother 30 years ago looking at the same locations through my eyes.

The visions continued as we drove down the coast in our Audi blasting Disney Radio and singing over and over again to Justin Bieber as we went to meet friends at the Aviara Hyatt just outside San Diego for the second part of our trip to Legoland. (If only my parents had Disney Radio, it would have made that same trip years ago so much more manageable.)

Our next stop proved to be planned perfectly. I wasn't quite ready to take on Disneyland on my own, so we met friends to take on Legoland. What a perfect choice. With just the three of us, there would have been an odd man out so now with another family of three we were six and everyone had a ride partner.

Despite my initial trepidations, the trip was a great success, and I felt like I won the Superbowl. Next "We're going to Disney...."

That was the plan until my friends asked if we wanted to go skiing with them. By now I successfully had a six-hour flight (with a little disastrous detour) under my belt and a part beach, part tourist, part theme park vacation under my belt; so why not try a ski trip.

It never crossed my mind that we're not skiers, so off to the Montage in Deer Valley, Utah we went.

I was scared long before we ever arrived. Friends asked how I would do it. "There's so much equipment," "How will you carry both of their boots and skis," "Wow, good luck, that's a lot of work." Everyone thought I was crazy. A non-skiing mom and two boys who have never skied before trekking across the country to ski every day, all day, for five days. What if the boys hated skiing? "Bribery," I was told. "Have chocolate on the way in, and chocolate waiting on the way out." Sounded good to me!

What a disaster I thought!

And how wrong everyone turned out to be!

It couldn't have gone smoother. All dressed in layers, ready to face the day. No problem. Snacks packed -- no problem; boots, skis and poles -- no problem. Ski school... best invention ever.

With tears rolling down my face (hopefully hidden by my sunglasses), I dropped the boys off for ski school at 10 a.m. the first day. By 1:00 p.m., my spying served its purpose. I knew we would all enjoy the trip. In less than three hours, my boys were standing on skis and smiling. I picked them up by 3:30 every afternoon to hugs, smiles and enthusiasm for the next day.

The beauty of ski school for the kids meant moments of beauty and freedom for me. I may not have had a spouse to take turns with or pass the kids off to, but ski school served that purpose for me.

However, the best part about the trip wasn't the just the skiing, the swimming or the daily smores outside the hotel with our friends. The best part went back to my mother's saying, and this time even deeper. It was not only the seeing my kids experience something new, but also the joy and confidence this new skill brought them. The drive and determination to get back out there to keep learning, to keep improving and to thoroughly enjoy something so new for all of us. And that is a vision I will never forget and one I will continue to create for my boys.