k The Harpole-Merrick Family HIGHLANDS, LOUISVILLE, KY
TAKE AN OUTDOOR FAMILY ADVENTURE By Megan Seckman
Meghan Harpole and Meg Merrick like to take their boys Grayson, 8, and Gentry, 9, on adventurous outdoor vacations. COURTESY PHOTOS
KEEP YOUR SANITY ON A LONG TRIP
There are many ways this game can be played.
28 SUMMER 2016
Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling could be a solution to family vacation chaos. One player reaches into the story bag and pulls out eight story pieces one at a time. Then she tells a TALL TALE using one of the pieces drawn until all the pieces are included in the story. The story can be as wacky as your imagination will allow. When the story is over, all the pieces go back into the bag, and the next player draws to start his Tall Tale.
ou won’t catch Meghan Harpole and her partner, Meg Merrick, under the same umbrella at the same beach sipping the same cocktail each spring break. Nope. This family thirsts for the next new experience in outdoor adventure. Their vacations — and there have been a lot of them — rarely ever repeat: Vieques, Puerto Rico; Boyne Highlands, Michigan; Snowshoe, West Virginia; Charlottesville, West Virginia; Alaska; The Outer Banks; St. Louis, Missouri; Tybee Island, Georgia; and Wood Creek Lake, Kentucky to name a few. “Meg and I don’t give presents to our boys [Gentry, 9, and Grayson, 8]. We give memories. Traveling is what we choose to spend our money on, and we tend to take 3 or 4 trips a year: at Christmas, spring break, a summer trip, and a long weekend squeezed in somewhere. It’s our passion; there’s so much to see and so much to do out there. I think experiencing the world together keeps us happy and our relationship strong,” says Meghan Harpole, an ER nurse. Meghan describes her typical vacation as an active one, so at the time of this interview, they were planning their spring break trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, dubbed the Best Town Ever by Outdoor magazine. “This will be one of the only repeats we’ve ever had because I fell in love with this town! I googled ‘Family Fun Vacation’ as I always do before a trip and had no idea that Chattanooga had so much to offer. It’s one of the cleanest towns I’ve ever been to, they have one of the longest walking bridges in the world, there are some fantastic museums, and the city is in the middle of a beautiful natural forest. The boys were too young to raft the first time we visited, so that gives us a reason to go back. We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo the first time; this time we might camp.”
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Includes Beautiful Baby contest winner