Travel tip: Puzzles are a great way to spend rainy days on vacation

The view from the back yard of Optimystical Vista
The view from the back yard of Optimystical Vista /

Vacations can go wrong in a quick moment so being prepared with something else to do is imperative not to have it ruined, so here is a travel tip, take a puzzle with you!

Recently I traveled to western Florida and spent a week at a house on the gulf coast. Literally on the coast. The house is surrounded by water and it moves at a different time than any other vacation I have taken. Rather than ticking seconds on a watch, your time passes from meal to meal and beer to beer. Or in our case, the arrival of the local sea life that populates the area.

This past week, however, we received an unexpected visitor in the form of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Elsa and the timing could have been worse, dab smack in the middle of our week. In other words, outer bands of rain came early, the storm itself for almost a day and the aftermath. We got lucky, to say the least. Our first two days of the week were perfect and the storm didn’t make landfall directly on top of us as expected.

Still, as the storm arrived, my family hunkered down. Storm shutters dropped into place and we waited for the power to go out and the wind to rattle the shutters. Inside, looking like a lockdown from some apocalyptic movie scene, we pulled out some board games and well, got bored. Then my wife pulled out a puzzle and instead of competing and the anxiety of waiting for the storm to hit, we relaxed, worked together, and built a puzzle. Ironically, my wife brought a Disney Frozen puzzle with us. Elsa, meet Elsa!

As the storm came and went, the puzzle stayed on the table until it was completed and everyone took part in putting a piece into place at some point. The best part of a puzzle is that it only ends when it is completed. In this case, the rather large number of pieces took two days but it was fun to see one of our kids walk by and spend a few moments adding a piece here and there.

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Puzzles are a great way to spend portions of a family vacation because it takes the television away and allows families to spend quality time together. On your next vacation, bring along a puzzle, you don’t know when you will need it, or want it.