Nature Overload On Vancouver Island
I don’t like to rough it—I’m not that person. But my wife, Kelly, and our kids wanted us to try this wilderness resort for four days. We went fishing and saw a pod of five or six killer whales. Later, a bald eagle came soaring by our boat and grabbed a fish out of the water. When we got back to the resort, we came across a bear. We’re city slickers from New York City. It was too much for us to process.
Italy with the Famiglia
I grew up in Italy. Everything tastes better in Italy. My wife and I had a date night in Rome at Antica Pesa. We ordered the cacio e pepe, a local pasta dish with pecorino cheeses—it was one of the nicest meals I’ve ever had. We went back the next night with my parents, my wife’s dad and the kids. We joke that when it’s just you and your wife, it’s a vacation; when it’s the family, it’s absolutely a trip.
Fishing in Turks and Caicos
The Amanyara resort in Turks and Caicos is our go-to romantic getaway spot for a long weekend. There are these little free-standing beach rooms with their own private cove. Kelly and I went snorkeling once and laid down at the beach. When I reached into my pocket, I found a little clownfish in there! I’m not sure how it got there, but it might’ve been when I was collecting some shells to look at later.
Hitting the Road
When people think of vacations they think they have to travel to another country. My family realizes that some of the best ones have been right here in America, where we fly west, rent a minivan and go from park to park. We go out on a lot of hikes. Our phones don’t work too well. At one point, at least one person is crying—it could be me or a kid. But now that the kids are getting older, those are the vacation memories that we really enjoy.
Mark’s Must-Pack List
Our parents used to put olive oil on us, which had zero SPF. People know a lot more about the sun and the effects of it now. Although one of our three has to be constantly reminded to put sunblock on. I’m not going to tell you who it is, but her name is Lola. We always tell her, “I know you’re 16, and it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but you’ll thank us in 20 years.”
I like to bring a good pair of swim shorts. I like this brand called Orlebar Brown. They’re comfortable and can double as just casual shorts. They’re also the ones I was wearing when I accidentally caught that clownfish in my pocket!
We’re definitely a music family. Everyone brings their own portable speaker. It’s going to be a different kind of hike if my 16-year-old daughter is in charge of the music—then it’s a lot of hip hop—versus my wife, who makes great playlists.