Family vacations were not my favorite thing growing up. We didn't have a lot of money, meaning plane rides to exotic locations were out. Long cramped rides in small cars with no air-conditioning were in. But now that I have a child of my own, I want to open her up to as many new experiences as possible. So just a few weeks ago, my wife and I took our beautiful 5-year-old daughter on her first trip to California, which was my first trip out west, as well.

It always amazes me how fearless Meghan is and how many of the things that would have had me cowering behind my mother's leg at her age don't seem to phase my daughter at all. Whether it was riding across the country in an airplane, coming face to face with killer whale Shamu at SeaWorld (whom Meghan kept calling Shampoo) or giggling with delight before braving The Tower of Terror thrill ride at Disneyland, Meghan met every challenge head on; she never once shied away. In fact, Meghan loved the whole vacation so much that on the last day as we got ready to check out of our hotel, Meghan decided that she wasn't going home. She told my wife and I to go, and said she would find a nice family in California to live with. Luckily I was able to hustle my daughter out to the car and to the airport before she was able to start interviewing replacement parents. And just for the record, when it comes to thrill rides, Meghan is fearless— but her loyalty towards mommy and daddy leaves a little to be desired!