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How connected are we?

For the most part social media is a wonderful thing! It lets us to stay in touch with Aunt Sandy, who we haven't seen since entering middle school. It allows us to stay connected with college buddies — even if only to banter back and forth about the hockey playoffs, and it provides the opportunity to follow along with what high school acquaintances are up to these days. Social media has allowed us to be more connected than ever before.

When our birthday rolls around, before we even wake up and climb out of bed, our news feed is flooded with cheerful wishes from colleagues, family, and that random friend from the 4th grade. As we respond and banter back and forth with our well-wishers, we realize just how long it has been since we've actually seen each other. "We really should get together soon," is emphatically stated, and yet soon our good intentions fall to the wayside only to be repeated the following year when Facebook once again prompts us to "help _____ have a great day!"

Time to disconnect & actually connect!

Why? Why do we keep waiting to truly reconnect? Is simply following along to photo postings of first days of school, new hair cuts, and trips to the local park actually enough?

Wouldn't it be great if Aunt Sandy and you could get together with your long lost cousin, Frankie — don't you recall that summer you two were practically inseparable? And what about those college friends — it's been at least 10 years now (or more) and most of them have kids all about the same age as yours! What about reconnecting with them and having your kids create that same bond you have? After all, didn't you make a pact at graduation? What ever happened to that??

Stop just saying "we should get together" -- start planning!

But is it really that easy?

I will admit, I'm just as guilty of not staying connected as anyone. Between work, kids, and that never-ending to-do list, it all comes down to time — and we can all agree that there isn't enough of it. When that much anticipated vacation time comes around, we have one week — that's just seven short days — to get away from it all. Who has time to get their place ready to host a reunion? And does anyone really want to spend their sweet vacation time cramped in the spare bedroom of a friend or relative's home? But you still want to see everyone... ugh! If only there was another option!

Plan a Destination Reunion!

How about a destination get-together? Sort of like a destination wedding... just no need for formal apparel, gift registries, and getting stuck eating at a table with people you've never met!

Destination reunion, getaway get-together, joint vacation... whatever you want to call it, it's a great way to reconnect and not sacrifice your vacation. The other plus side — I can guarantee that the memories you will create exploring a place like the Adirondacks will definitely outshine the experience of eating macaroni salad in Aunt Sandy's suburban backyard. When I think about what is available in the Tupper Lake area for a destination gathering, the possibilities seem endless, but here is a little guide to help get you started.

Step 1: Find Lodging

When I say lodging, I'm using the term loosely as there are a variety of options. You could book a block of rooms at a local motel or inn and enjoy family time by the property's pool or lakeside private beach. You could book adjoining campsites at an Adirondack campground, or you could find a private vacation rental and turn a large lakeside house into your own private base camp for all the fun you have planned throughout your destination reunion. The other option is to have everyone pick a lodging option that best suites their needs and spend your days together and then retreat back to your quiet accommodations for a little R&R. 

Step 2: Find Activities

Now, I know this is step 2, but I'm bad at following instructions (even if they are my own) so I usually start with this step. The reason I jump to activities is because they can really shape the look and feel of your vacation. Are you looking to be active or do your really just want to relax? Are you hoping to explore cool cultural locations with your group, or do you want to challenge them to keep up with you as you explore the Adirondack wilderness? This is where the vacation dreaming really hits full swing, so lets get started! 

Note: For a full listing of things to do in the Tupper Lake region, browse through the "recreation" and "things to do" listings, but to get you started here are a few recommendations:  

  • Explore the Wild Center 

If you are in Tupper Lake, The Wild Center and their new Wild Walk is pretty much a must. If you are visiting as a group, this option sweetens up even more as they offer group discounts for parties of 10 or more.

  • Earn Tupper Lake Triad patches

Hiking is a great activity for all ages, and Tupper Lake offers a variety of family-friendly hikes that are great for everyone from the seasoned hiker to the first time mountain climber. If you are looking for a fun group activity, consider taking on the new Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge. Hike Mount Arab, Goodman Mountain, and Coney and earn your patches as a group. The hikes can easily be done in a day or weekend, or you can choose to space them out over the course of the summer. Want to make sure you reconnect again? Climb one or two now, and make arrangements to meet back up next summer to finish the third.  

  • Sneak in a round of golf

Got golfers in your group? The Tupper Lake Golf Club's scenic mountain course will be a happy break for them to throw together a fun (or competitive) family golf tournament.

  • Have a beach day

Vacation and beach are sort of synonymous in my world, and if that is what you are looking for, you will be happy to hear that Tupper Lake might arguably have one of the largest and nicest beaches in the region. Adjacent to Little Wolf Beach there is a large shaded picnic area, as well as a pavilion that groups can reserve for a family BBQ!

  • Book a Private Group Stargazing Session at the Adirondack Public Observatory

Tupper Lake is also home to the Adirondacks' only observatory. The Adirondack Public Observatory offers free stargazing on Friday night's as long as there are clear skies. However, if you are traveling as a group, I highly recommend scheduling a private stargazing session. A three-hour group session for 20 people starts at only $100. 

  • Get creative!

Really your activities are only limited by your imagination. Rent a few kayaks or stand up paddle boards and have family races. Set up a family fishing tournament, scavenger hunt, or bike ride. Set aside some adult activities such as sampling at the local breweries. And finally, don't forget to schedule some rainy day alternatives such as bowling or a visit to the Adirondack Museum.

Step 4: Invite & Share! 

Once your reunion itinerary starts coming together, get back on social media and make good on those promises to get together. Social media is a great way for everyone to take part in the vacation planning process

- Happy Reunion!

Get together in the Adirondacks:

Linking up

Welcome home

A touch of history and education

Boreal birding base camp

Stay cool, friends

Talk about Great Camping

A Noble gathering