One of the unique challenges many youth pastors face is finding time for family vacation. The reason it is difficult is because the times when students are out of school are usually prime times to do things with them that you can’t do when school is in session. When everyone else is able to take vacation, we are running events, taking kids to camp, on missions trips, etc. When the youth pastor has school-aged children of his/her own, as soon as the breaks are over and they’re ready for a vacation, they can’t go because their kids have school. Such was the case for me this summer. While our family is planning some special vacations this year (it’s our eldest daughter’s last year of high school), we simply couldn’t get much time away together this summer. But yesterday we did take a day off to head into New York City for a mini staycation. We went on a nice brunch cruise around the city, visited the new One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) Observatory, 102 floors up on the tallest building in the western hemisphere, and had dinner and a nice time on Penn Plaza. Today was the last day of chill before the girls go back to school tomorrow, so tonight we had a nice family dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Buona Sera in Smithtown. It’s hard to believe tomorrow is Natalia’s first day of high school, and Claudia’s last first day of high school.