How to Avoid Your Crazy Aunt

They say you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. For better or worse, you are bound to this group of people, no matter how crazy they may be. This dynamic can make for interesting family reunions. Uncle Steve always slips an inappropriate comment into the dinner converstaion. Cousin Sally snores at night. Grandpa Joe wakes everyone up at the crack of dawn for his “famous” flapjacks. Aunt Winifred still treats you like a 7 year-old. We’ve all been there. So, the question remains, “How do you participate in a family reunion, even if your family tree includes individuals you would rather avoid?” I have a few tips that, if followed, can ensure a family gathering devoid of typical unpleasantries that all-too-often encourage time apart rather than time together.

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Tip #1 – Separate Sleeping Quarter

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This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many family reunions book accommodations that bring everyone together under the same roof. I recommend booking condos or suites like those found at Coral Springs Resort. These suites include multiple bedrooms per unit and multiple units per floor, which means traffic in between the units is easy while peace within the units is maintainable. Go the extra mile to ensure tranquility by making room assignments according to age groups, weekly plans, or overall relationships. For example, put all those who want to get an early morning ski in before breakfast in the same unit, while those who prefer to sleep later in another unit. Put that group of particular aunts who like to gab all day in the same suite – they will love the time together and you don’t have to spill your life story every time you walk past them to use the bathroom. Got kids? The double-double bunk room is a perfect place for them! You can fit at least two to a bed, if not three and they will love a space to play and climb together. Spend time with those you want to see and avoid those you don’t by creating a strategic room arrangement.

Tip #2 – Plan a Variety of Activities

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St. George is a perfect destination for family reunions for this very purpose. The city and surrounding area are full of countless activities to suit any preference. Avid hikers? Drive over to Zion National Park. Foodies? St. George has a lively farmer’s market. Kids? Check out this amusement park. Need a relaxing evening? There are plenty of movie theaters to choose from. The more research you do, the more options you’ll find. Plus, finding an activity that will appease your crazy aunt will also allow you to enjoy your own time elsewhere.

Tip #3 – Choose Family-Friendly Restaurants

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As a foodie, eateries are my favorite part of any vacation. I like to do research beforehand so that we don’t end up unknowingly paying to take the family to a “meh” restaurant. So, take initiative! Find places that will both please the family and your personal tastes. I recommend Freddy’s for a fun family dinner and George’s Corner for a more adult-style brunch or lunch. But don’t stop there, you’ll find plenty of eateries all around the St. George area that will make your family glad you came along.

Depending on your family dynamic and who is invited, a family reunion can prove a raving success or complete flop. Follow these simple tips and you will not only be able to avoid your crazy aunt, you will also be able to have a genuinely fantastic time bonding with these people. Hey, you’re stuck with them anyway! You may as well enjoy them.

Live Well, Travel Better

Weston Sill

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