The Keyes family vacationEverybody has that one great summer family vacation. Whether you’re the Griswolds going to Wally World or you’re the Goofs going fishing, summer vacations can be some of the greatest memories in your life. A few of our employees had this chance to make special memories recently thanks to some planning.

So Much Fun, Planning to Go Back

Cayla Keyes, AVP and branch manager of South Six street and the Downtown Drive Branch, got to spend some much needed family time with her boys. She says:

“I am so grateful to work for a company that allows a generous amount of paid time off. That paid time off lets me enjoy time with my family. This past spring, we were able to take our three boys to Disney World over Spring Break (Shout out to Jessica Parlier with Storybook World Travel for her planning expertise! We literally just showed up with everything taken care of for us!). We spent five days and attended every park. We had a blast and plan to go back every other year. I recommend taking the time to go – it is definitely a magical experience for all ages!”

Debbie Shelton zip liningA Little Magic to the North

Debbie Shelton, SVP, branch manager of West Wabash and Montvale branch, and Retail Customer Service manager, spent her birthday cooling off in the north. Debbie shares:

“On my birthday in July, I flew up to Vancouver to visit my sister, my nephew and his wife and two kids. We toured around Vancouver and went to the Butchart Gardens, which were absolutely beautiful, the scenery just took my breath away. Then, later on in the week, we boarded on a Wonder Cruise for a nine-day Alaskan Adventure. We stopped in plenty of ports like Juneau, Skagway, and the Hubbard Glacier. At the glacier, we took a helicopter ride to the top where we could see miles of clear blue sky, and got to drink some of the refreshing glacier water. At another port we stopped at, Ketchikan, I had the chance to go zip lining, which was exhilarating. All in all, each of the ports had their own wonder and magic that we could explore. Even when we were at sea all day, we weren’t bored, with plenty of activities on the cruise ship. The customer service really was magical, and helped make the vacation one of the best I have ever had!”

More than a Lucky Trip to Ireland

Pat Phalen, our executive vice president, also got to spend some time with his family, including his ancestors in Ireland. He describes his trip:

“I spent a week in Ireland with my mom (76), dad (83) and my sister. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to Ireland. Actually, I had never been over the ‘pond,’ so I was excited about the trip. I am very pleased to say that the trip was amazing. While the family closeness caused a little stress at times, I was surprised how well we all got along for the entire week. If I was going to come up with a title of the trip it would be “touring Ireland one pub at a time.” Really it was all about seeing the sites and meeting the locals.

“The views of Ireland are breathtaking. Everything is green, everything! We were constantly in awe of the views of the rolling hills, the mountain ranges, the hayfields, the sheep and cows that wandered through the meadows and the glimpses we got of lakes, streams, bays and the ocean. We spent hours in cemeteries tracing our heritage. Both sides have origins in the southern regions of Ireland. While I was anticipating this to be the worst part of the trip, it ended up being wonderful. The hair on your arms rise when you realize you are walking where your ancestors walked 150-200 years ago. However, as wonderful as all that was, nothing compared to the hospitality that we received. The people of Ireland are collectively the most gracious, friendly and sincere people I have ever been around. Going into the pubs, drinking a pint with them and getting to know their stories was simply amazing. They live to host travelers and show them a good time.”

Family Time Better than LocationPat Phalen and family in Ireland

Phalen continues: “The most memorable part of the trip wasn’t the sites or the pubs or the history, it was when the four of us, as a family, got to sit and visit over lunch or dinner (and maybe a drink or two). We were all together and didn’t have anyone else to talk to and nowhere we had to be, so we just talked. I learned things about my parents that I didn’t know. Dad has told us stories about being stationed overseas in the army in the mid 50’s but never before did I know that he drove an ambulance on the Autobahn or that he had spent some time in Monaco (those were some interesting stories). Also, we spent about an hour discussing how they first met. We had always heard that they had met in a dance club, but after a lot of pulling, we got the full story. Dad recalled exactly when he saw mom as she walked into the club. He said that he didn’t waste much time to ask her to dance… and the rest is history. Mom was taken aback, with a tear in her eye, that he had such vivid recall of that night after all of these years.

“The trip proved that life is short and that the time we spend with family is limited and fleeting. Touring Ireland one pub at a time? Yes. But make sure you experience those times with the right people. I have to admit, I had trepidations when I was told we were going on this trip but I wouldn’t have wanted to see Ireland for the first time with anyone else.”

When Friends are Family

Though our Communications Director Marilyn Titone Schaefer comes from a large family, it’s her annual summer vacation with her high school girlfriends that took center stage this year. She says:

“This was the 30th anniversary of our first trip together, so my friends and I wanted to include a friend who was there from the beginning but, now, can’t travel easily. So seven of us went to her! Her family has a beach house in North Carolina, and we were invited to spend a long weekend there.

“Most years we do a weekend in Chicago or St. Louis, which is always great fun. Yet our friends’ family treated us to an awesome experience. A beautiful, newly renovated house, a pool, intercostal waters with a beach in walking distance. Our trips started out years ago as a shopping adventure and the substitute for individual birthday parties. We’d tell our husbands, ‘You take care of the kids for a day. That’s our present!’ Now that the kids are out of college and we don’t need a mall; we’re just as happy sitting around with a cup of coffee or wine. We’ve had a lot of years since high school, but we never grow tired of talking about some of those adventures: McDonalds. The grotto. The borrowed Halloween costumes. The fire department in Atlanta.

“Coming home this year was a little bittersweet. We left behind our good friend, but took away some unforgettable new memories.”

Future Getaways

Will you get to take a special trip next summer? We’d love to help you plan to have the money you’ll need to make your own awesome adventure. Stop by any INB Branch and we’ll help you start a savings account specifically for your trip. We offer some other tips on our blog.