Dispatch, Wyoming: A non-parent traveling with kids

By Michelle Baran

TWMBWYOMING200X115Travel Weekly's Michelle Baran toured Wyoming with Adventures by Disney. Her second dispatch follows. Click to read Michelle's first dispatch. 

“No parents at this table!” a giddy 5-year-old yelled at me as I dared to approach the very exclusive kids' table during dinnertime at the Brooks Lake Lodge.

“I’m not a parent,” I shot back. Silence. We glared at each other for a second. We were at a stalemate.

“No adults!” shouted a nearby youngster, who finally figured out the right term to get rid of me.

I giggled and moved on to the adults' table, where I obviously wanted to be all along. (No offense, kiddos, but we hung out all day, and clearly the feeling was mutual).

The fact was that I was indeed a bit of an anomaly on this Adventures by Disney trip. I was the only adult not traveling with children, which gave me a unique viewpoint from which to observe and interact with my traveling companions. ABD-Wyo-KidsTable

Oddly enough, it didn’t feel that weird to be traveling with a bunch of kids and their parents. Dare I say it was really fun?

I mean, how often can you get a super informative social media lesson from a 14-year-old on the ride back to the hotel after an awesome summit hike? (OMG, with no cell service and limited Wifi in the Wyoming wilderness we hadn’t been able to check FB or update our Instagram feeds in days. Such FOMO.)

And on what other tour would a two-hour rafting trip be boosted by a totally contagious, kid-induced laugh attack about how my helmet kept falling off my head just as we would approach the most threatening waves?

I mean kids provide great entertainment and a unique form of comic relief. They bring out the big kid in all of us.

And if anyone were to potentially get frustrated with the large number of munchkins around, I was the most likely candidate. The fact that I never did is a testament to both the parents and Adventures by Disney, who together worked to manage the kids’ highs and lows in such a smooth way that aside from a couple mini-meltdowns (hey, us big kids have them too), the kids enhanced rather than detracted from the trip.

ABD-Wyo-SmoresI also got to spend time with their parents, who actually seemed thrilled to have someone to chat and hang with who didn’t have kids. It almost seemed like we were sort of living vicariously through each other, borrowing each other’s lives whenever convenient.

They were happy to hand their kids off every now and again, and I was happy to discuss any and all non-kid related matters. (I was equally happy to discuss kid-related matters, too. We were on an Adventures by Disney trip after all, and how much and whether the kids were enjoying the itinerary was a key component of the trip.)

The truth is that the Adventures by Disney’s Wyoming trip is adult-friendly and kid-friendly.

And even as a non-parent, it was comforting knowing that us adults could saddle up to the cozy bar at the Brooks Lake Lodge, safe in the knowledge that the kids were nearby playing foosball or darts, all of us having our own age-appropriate fun, together yet separate.
 


Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly. 

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