NEW FRANKLIN  Amidst summer jobs, long days and cross country training, Jenna Vincent and her family were able to hit the pause button long enough to enjoy a family vacation to Georgia.

The Manchester senior has spent her summer working two jobs and training for her final season of high school cross country and her parents and brother have been hard at work as well, so the family knew it wouldn’t be easy to line everyone’s schedule up long enough to take a trip together.

However, earlier this month and with the start of the school year bearing down quickly, the Vincent family headed to Savannah and Tybee Island in Georgia for some down time.

“We went to beach and River Street. We have been there many times and this time we just hung out as a family and relaxed,” Vincent said.

The five-day trip was a nice break from the hectic pace of everyone’s respective daily schedules and it also included a lot of time in the car together, as the family drove rather than flying.

Anyone who’s ever taken a long road trip with their family knows, spending hour after hour in the car can be a wild, wacky adventure.

“We had great time bonding as a family … singing, laughing and just basically catching up with each other,” Vincent said.

Since the family went to a place they had been before and knew the area, that left more time and energy for simply enjoying each other’s company and making the most of their time together.

Because Vincent is headed into the military once she graduates next year and her brother is leaving for boot camp with the Navy in a couple weeks, the siblings know they may not see much of each other in the near future.

With her brother set to ship out to boot camp on Aug. 28 and be in Great Lakes, Ill., for more than two months and San Antonio for more than four months, Vincent relished the opportunity to do activities together on the trip.

“It was amazing.  I got to spend quality time with my brother before he leaves for Boot Camp. We really haven't had a lot of time together as a family this summer and we took complete advantage of this time we had,” Vincent said. “We are very close and I wanted to have all the time I could right now.”

One of the activities the siblings engaged in was running on the beach each morning. It served both as family time and a chance to prepare for what lies ahead, as Vincent needs to be ready for both cross country and for her own physical tests as she goes through the enlistment process and her brother must be ready to handle the rigors of boot camp.

But above everything else, the trip was about stepping away from long work days and the crazy schedules that come with four people with jobs and their own personal schedules and savoring what could be the last family vacation for a while. Soon enough, the school year will start and Vincent will dive into classes, tests, cross country meets and other school activities, so a few days in Georgia - and a lot of hours in the car - with her family were just what was needed. 

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or andy.harris@thesuburbanite.com.
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