Three, four or was it more years ago we stopped taking vacations.
We've never been inclined to go to any of the Disney parks; our vacations always meant two weeks at a rented beach house on Long Beach Island down the Jersey shore. After it proved too challenging for Charlie to be in a different setting for an extended period of time, and after he became a far better swimmer than us such that we could not let him swim the way he wanted to in the ocean (i.e., as far as possible, beyond where the lifeguards let anyone), we tried to fill his beach-going needs with day trips. These (taken in autumn, winter, spring and summer) worked for a time, and Charlie seemed to be able to handle beach comings and goings, and then he really, really wasn't able to handle these at all.
In 2013, we made exactly one trip to the island, a trip that turned out to be our farewell salute.
More than once, on a drive past the Bay Bridge, or after Jim and Charlie have finished a ride on the bike paths in Berkeley and stowed their bikes in our little garage and settled down in the airy rooms of our house, or as and after they rode on the Bay Trail down the Peninsula on this sunny Sunday, we have said to each other, "It feels like we're on vacation."
Autism never takes a vacation, I wrote the first summer I started blogging -- but to find a way to integrate the things that Charlie liked about his old vacations (lots of time being active outdoors by the water under the sun) with the tasks of daily living, eases the bumps and travails, and existential agonies, of this journey.