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Components of a 3-Year-Old’s Dream Vacation

Matt Villano

My No. 1 priority this week is to finalize details for the first trip I’ve ever taken exclusively with L, my older daughter.

Already, most of the critical details are in order. Our destination: Los Angeles. Our airline: Virgin America. Our hotel: the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Our rental car provider: National.

Remaining details are in the works. We know we’ll visit a buddy of mine and his new son. We know we’ll hit up some playgrounds. We likely will do a hike outside of Malibu. And we definitely will stroll Rodeo Drive so L can gaze upon real-life couture dresses (she likes drawing them, you see, and when she draws them on cats—which she does quite often—we refer to them as cat-oure. But I digress).

Beyond this, however, the schedule is wide open. Which earlier this week prompted L to share the components of her dream vacation. After much deliberation, she settled on three requests: 1) Call Room Service. 2) Order a plate of French Fries. 3) Eat fries in bed.

That’s it.

No demands for a trip to American Girl Place. No desires to get autographs from Taylor Swift or Nina Dobrev (we’re big TVD fans in this house). Heck, the kid didn’t even mention the Ferris Wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. Just fries. In bed. From room service.

At first, this fantasy caught me off-guard. Then I realized my wife and I were directly responsible for it. When we were L’s age, traveling with our respective families, neither of us had the luxury of room service. As such, these days, whenever we travel with our girls, Powerwoman and I make a HUGE deal about ordering it. And we savor every bite.

Apparently, this ritual has made an impression. For my older daughter, at least, room service has become as much a part of family travel as TSA checkpoints, incessant picture-taking and the white-noise app on my Smartphone.

One might say we’ve created a monster. But if this is all it takes to make the kid happy when we’re on the road together, I don’t think I’d want it any other way.

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