As young parents we always strived to take vacations with the family as often as possible.

We have a daughter Juliana and our son Victor. Both are adults now.

We love caves. Almost everywhere we went we would make sure we toured a cave or a mine. There was one in particular that offered a spelunking experience.  I really wanted to do this. I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time. Most location did not have this option unless you were trained climbers (we were not) much less for youngish kids. They were about 13 and 14 at the time. They also required that we attend the standard walking tour of the cave with the rest of the public just to make sure we were comfortable with going into a cave. I think they also used it to see if the kids are well behaved enough to do the tour. Can’t blame them there!

SO back up a bit more before attending this event. Victor, even from an early age had a deep interest in computers and all they could do. He would save his money just so he could buy the next new thing. Often the item he wanted would be pretty expensive so we would offer to pay half, most of the time if it was not too expensive. There are exceptions. He was earning money by washing dishes in my home bakery so it did take time to earn that money. There was one particular upgrade he wanted that was a whopping 1200.00. Too rich for my blood and we decided it was something us as parents, would not be willing to pay. We were also saving for said vacation. Long story short we said no to funding the computer. He would have to wait and save up on his own.

So here we are the day of. The location was pretty remote and there was a gap of time between when the regular tour ended and our special tour started. We packed dinner in the cooler and ate there in the parking lot. We always took the pop-up camper for vacations, so this was normal for us to picnic.

While we were hanging out Victor noticed the receipt for the spelunking cost. It was defiantly a splurge at 100.00 a ticket. He was crushed. I KNEW exactly where his thought was going. He asked, “How can you justify 400.00 for us to do this and not computer parts?” We talked about past trips we had taken and the various cost associated with them and how the experience is worth way more than the money.  He was just never made aware of how much they did cost. He understood but was still not too happy about it.

It was finally time to go do the tour. As luck would have it, we were the only ones for that day. The guide was a young man about 32 and a total cave geek! He lived for this cave. He helped clear it out and explore it the 10-12 years that it had been open. He knew all the rocks and all the cool places we could go. He was also a total surfer dude. Loads of fun.

Pretty sure he took us into place that were not normally saved for guest. We waded through water, shimmied through holes almost to small for me. Climbed up and over all sorts of formations. Once, we even had to hold a rope and swing over the water and around a wall to land on the other side. I’ll admit, that part was truly a bit scary! It was so exciting too.

Side note: none of what we did would have harmed the cave. He was very careful to explained everything along the way of what we could and could not do.

The whole tour was supposed to be 2.5 hours, pretty sure we were there for over 3.

Covered in mud and laughing all the way out, we all had a blast. Victor could not stop talking about all the things we got to do. Then he stopped. Totally still… and grinned. He said, “That was worth every penny!”  That was a proud parent’s moment for us. He got it!

To this day the experience consideration vs cost is still discussed when making decisions or purchases, events and things.